Five Ospreys to start against NZ U20

Wales Under 20 head coach Danny Wilson has made six changes (one positional) from the team that started against Fiji on Tuesday for Friday's Junior World Championship clash against New Zealand.

There are five young Ospreys in the starting XV, with fullback Ross Jones, wing Eli Walker and number eight Dan Baker retaining their places following the win in their opening fixture. They are joined by the Bridgend half-back pairing of Matthew Morgan and Tom Habberfield, Morgan’s fellow Osprey fly-half dropping to the bench alongside second row Rhodri Hughes.

Wales beat Fiji 44-18 In their opening Pool game on Monday, but Wilson stresses that New Zealand will be a different proposition altogether.

“New Zealand are undefeated in the five years of this competition," he said.

"They are certainly a massive force at this level, setting the tone as a team and as individuals. They were excellent against Samoa on Monday, and brought on a very big, powerful set of replacements from the bench, most of whom are starting against us.  

“The boys are really excited and looking forward to playing against the world champions. It’s always great to play the best sides in the world, it really sets a marker as to where you are. Our players know they will need to dramatically up their game in order to improve on last year’s result.

“We were pleased with our performance and result against Fiji. We knew Fiji were a threat and that we had to stick to our game plan which we did for most of the game, although we did try and play too much rugby too early in the game. We scored four tries from driving line-outs which was especially pleasing, with captain Cory Hill leading by example, and we scored two good tries from our resulting pressure once the game had broken up.

“The front row play was also very good with a number of penalties gained in the scrum.”

Former Osprey Tom Prydie was unable to take his place in the starting line-up on Monday as accepted due to a stomach upset, but returns for this game ahead of Luke Morgan, Walker’s performance as a late replacement for Prydie ensuring he keeps his place in the team.

Wales Under 20 team v New Zealand - IRB  Junior World Championship - Friday, 8 June 3.45pm UK time

Ross Jones, Tom Prydie, Cory Allen, Jack Dixon, Eli Walker, Matthew Morgan, Tom Habberfield, Rob Evans , Kirby Myhill, Samson Lee, Cory Hill, Matthew Screech, Luke Hamilton,, Ellis Jenkins, Dan Baker

Replacements:Darran Harris, Gareth Thomas, Willgriff John, Rhodri Hughes, Daniel Thomas, Jonathan Evans, Sam Davies, Thomas Pascoe