6 Young Ospreys start for Wales U20

As Wales U20 look to end the Junior World Championship on a high against Samoa on Friday, head coach Byron Hayward has named six Eyasses in the starting line-up.


Wales have recorded wins over Fiji and France in the New Zealand based competition so far, but lost to Ireland in the Pool stages, and to France 19-18 in the 5th Place Semi-Final on Sunday.


There are five changes to the team that lost to France. Osprey Scott Otten comes in at hooker and Joe Davies starts in the second row, with Will Boyde and Ben Roach starting in the back row. Behind the scrum, Ethan Davies gets his first start at outside half.


Tomorrow is the 7th Place Play-Off and Hayward is looking for a spirited and structured final performance.


"Other than Joe Davies, who is returning after a knock to the shoulder, the other changes will bring a freshness to the side with the players coming in having played less rugby during the tournament. They also deserve to start this game having trained and played well."


Having had time to review the one point loss to France on Sunday, Hayward admits to feeling they were unfortunate to a certain extent.


"It's been a difficult few days but the players have been honest and professional in their feedback and appraisal of the game.


"We did well to come back and take the lead in the second half on Sunday, and scored two good tries against one of the best defences in the competition. Our scrum was again dominant and to that end, it was disappointing not to come away with the win, but that's the nature of sport.


"Last year, we were on the right side of some single score victories, this time we have been on the receiving end but the harsh lessons that have been learnt are that if you make mistakes at this level, you pay for them.


"The improvement of some of the players here is tangible, and that is a key part of our role."


Wales Under 20 team v Samoa (Friday 20 June, 17.35 NZ time, QBE Stadium, North Harbour):


Dafydd Howells (Ospreys); Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Steffan Hughes (capt, Scarlets), Jack Dixon (Dragons), Ashley Evans (Ospreys); Ethan Davies (Dragons), Tom Williams (Blues); Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Scott Otten (Ospreys), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Olly Cracknell (RGC), Will Boyde (Carmarthen), Ben Roach (Blues)


Replacements: Ethan Lewis (Blues), Luke Garrett (Dragons), Callum Lewis (Blues), Scott Andrews (Dragons), Scott Matthews (Dragons), James Benjamin (Dragons), Luc Jones (Dragons), Angus O'Brien (Dragons), Harri Evans (RGC)