5 Ospreys named in Wales U20 squad

Joe Gage gets his first start at full back, Jon Fox is named at No.8 while Owen Watkin (Centre) and captain Rory Thornton keep their places in the starting XV. Adam Beard is named on the bench.

Elsewhere, north Wales born Rhys Williams will start on the left wing after an injury to Elis Wyn-Benham who was originally selected to start.

Up front, Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias and Ospreys back row Jon Fox also earn places in the starting line-up for the first time, Fox starting at No 8 and Harrison Keddie moving to the blindside flank.

Coach Chris Horsman is looking forward to returning to Parc Eirias, where he was based for two seasons as RGC head coach.

“I’m proud of what we achieved at RGC in a relatively short space of time, both on and off the pitch, and now I can see it from the other side as part of the Under 20 set-up.

“There’s a fantastic passion and desire in north Wales – the England game was a wonderful occasion – I’ve already had lots of messages of support ahead of the game and we just want to produce another good performance to give the crowd something to cheer.

“Looking at the group, we have made a few tweaks. Up front, Ryan Elias comes in who has played some regional rugby recently and although it is no reflection on the other hookers, it will be good to add his experience to the side.

“Jon Fox showed up well when he came off the bench against France, he’s a good ball carrier and we have good strength in depth with Jordan Viggers on the bench.

 “Looking at the three games so far, we had the excellent performance and result against England but things weren’t quite right against Scotland and France so we are focussed now on improving execution in certain areas and hopefully the result will follow.

“Ireland area a good side and both teams look to play rugby so it should be an entertaining encounter.”
Supporters are urged to purchase their tickets early to avoid disappointment on the night.

Tickets are £15 (stand), £10 (terrace) and £5 for Under 16s terrace tickets and are available now from Venue Cymru, Llandudno – www.venuecymru.co.uk / to personal callers or by calling 01492 872000 and from Colwyn Leisure Centre to personal callers or by calling 01492 577900
Wales Under 20 team v Ireland (Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, Friday 13 March, 7.45pm on BBC 2 Wales):
Joe Gage (Ospreys); Joshua Adams (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Garyn Smith (Blues), Rhys Williams (Leicester Tigers); Jarrod Evans (Blues), Tom Williams (Blues); Luke Garrett (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (capt, Ospreys), Harrison Keddie (Dragons) Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Jon Fox (Ospreys)

Replacements: Liam Belcher (Blues), Keagan Bale (Dragons), Alex Jeffries (Dragons), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Jordan Viggers (Blues), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets), Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Barney Nightingale (Dragons).