Young Ospreys open side flanker, Will Jones, will lead Wales U20 once again this weekend, when they face England at Parc Eirias on Friday night (7.15pm).
Man of the match in the opening weekend win over Italy in Milan, Jones is one of two Ospreys starting, alongside centre Kieran Williams, while a third, Phil Jones, is again on the bench.
In an otherwise unchanged starting line-up from the side which triumphed 27-5 in Milan last Friday, head coach Jason Strange brings in former Wales U18 captain Callum Bradbury and Pontypridd’s Sean Moore into the second row for their U20 debuts.
“For us to be able to introduce two players of their quality to the team is a real boost,” says Strange. “Sean has been playing well for Pontypridd and has impressed in training with us, while Callum, who has returned from injury, was one of our outstanding players at U18 level.”
The opening victory against Italy pleased the head coach, but he says he’s now concentrating fully on what this Friday will bring at Parc Eirias. “It will be a memorable moment for our players running out in front of a sell-out crowd, but as coaches we want to see how they react to that pressure against a strong England side,” says Strange. “The decisions they make and how they perform is key to their development, which will make it a very intriguing game for us.”
Despite missing several of his players due to unavailability and injury, Strange sees the positives in the situation: “It’s of long-term benefit for us to give new players opportunities and widen our player base, because we want to have an experienced squad going into the World Rugby U20 Championships in Georgia this summer.”
Wales U20 have won their last eight matches in the U20 Six Nations, whilst England U20 are on a six-match winning streak in all competitions – all of which points towards an engrossing encounter in North Wales.
Wales U20 team to face England U20
15 Will Talbot-Davies (Newport Gwent Dragons)
14 Jared Rosser (Newport Gwent Dragons)
13 Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets)
12 Keiran Williams (Ospreys)
11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets)
10 Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues)
9 Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues)
1 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues)
2 Ellis Shipp (Newport Gwent Dragons)
3 Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Blues)
4 Callum Bradbury (Cardiff Blues)
5 Sean Moore (Pontypridd)
6 Morgan Sieniawski (Cardiff Blues)
7 Will Jones (c) (Ospreys)
8 Morgan Morris (Hartpury)
16 Corrie Tarrant (Cardiff Blues)
17 Steff Thomas (Scarlets)
18 Chris Coleman (Newport Gwent Dragons)
19 Alex Dombrandt (Cardiff Met)
20 Aled Ward (Cardiff Blues)
21 Declan Smith (Scarlets)
22 Phil Jones (Ospreys)
23 Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues)