Wales Under 20 head coach Jason Strange has named five Young Ospreys in his matchday 23 to face Ireland on Friday night.
Strange has selected a side balanced with experience and youth for their opening Under 20 Six Nations match at Donnybrook, with Adam Beard and Owen Watkin, key players in last season’s Wales Under 20 side, featuring just days after being involved for the Ospreys against Glasgow.
Strange said: “The side is boosted by the regional experience of some of our key players, while the younger players joining the squad have benefitted from an international pathway which has seen them progress from Wales Under 18 and the development tour to South Africa over the summer which gives the players a huge amount of confidence and bridges the gap between the two age group.
“We want to play a fast, attacking style of rugby that will pose questions of the opposition and the 3G pitch at Donnybrook will suit that approach.
“Donnybrook is a traditional destination for Welsh rugby fans on a Friday night during international weekends and we hope a good crowd will turn out to support the boys.
“We looked at the Six Nations as whole in our preparations and selection – the ultimate aim is to develop as many players as possible by exposing them to this level of international rugby.
“We have some injuries at the moment, in the forwards in particular, but we see that as an opportunity to give others a chance at this level.”
Tom Williams has been withdrawn from the squad through injury, while scrum half Reuben Morgan-Williams and prop Robert Lewis have been added.
Following Friday night’s clash with Ireland, Wales Under 20 return to Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay for their first home match of the season, against Scotland.
Wales Under 20 v Ireland: Rhun Williams (RGC); Elis-Wyn Benham (Cardiff Blues), Harri Millard (Cardiff Blues), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Keelan Giles (Ospreys); Dan Jones (Scarlets), Declan Smith (Scarlets); Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Blues), Dafydd Hughes (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Tom Phillips (captain, Scarlets), Shaun Evans (Scarlets), Harrison Keddie (Newport Gwent Dragons)
Replacements: Ifan Phillips (Scarlets), Robert Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Leon Brown (Newport Gwent Dragons), Bryce Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Morgan Sieniawski (Cardiff Blues), Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys), Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Joe Thomas (Ospreys)
Wales Under Six Nations fixtures:
Ireland U20 v Wales Friday 5 February, Donnybrook (7.35pm)
Wales U20 v Scotland Friday 12 February, Parc Eirias (6.30pm)
Wales U20 v France Saturday 27 February, Parc Eirias (7.45pm)
England U20 v Wales Friday 11 March Ashton Gate (7.45pm)
Wales U20 v Italy Friday 18 March, Parc Eirias (7.05pm)