Young Ospreys second row, Rory Thornton, has been confirmed as Wales U20 captain for next month’s World Rugby U20 Championship in Italy, one of six Eyasses in the 28-man squad.
Pictured above: Wales Under 20 captain Rory Thornton (Ospreys) with Harrison Keddie (Dragons), Joshua Adams (Scarlets) and Dillon Lewis (Blues)
As well as Thornton, fellow second row, Adam Beard, number eight, Jon Fox, centres Owen Watkin and Joe Thomas, and wing, Dafydd Howells, all make the cut for the tournament in Italy (June 2-20).
Thornton and Howells are two of the six players remaining from last season’s Junior World Championship squad – prop Luke Garrett, scrum half Tomos Williams, wing Joshua Adams and National Dual Contract holder Tyler Morgan are the others.
There are four uncapped players at this level – locks Seb Davies and Lee Taylor along with Dragons pair Lloyd Lewis (wing) and prop Leon Brown, although Brown was on the bench for Wales U20 against Scotland but played most of his rugby at Under 18 level this season.
Wales Under 20 coach co-ordinator Allan Lewis said, “Our first two games are going to be real tests of our mettle. We will have to perform very well to beat France on the opening day and England are double world champions at this level so although we beat them in the Six Nations, and we will draw some confidence from that, they are the team to beat in this competition and this will be a different challenge.
“We’ve got good experience in the squad and the Six Nations enabled us to find out what we needed about most of the selected players. We have an established front row and the scrum is one of our strengths. While it’s always unfortunate for any player to miss out through injury at this stage, such as Joe Davies, that situation means other players have a chance to be exposed to this level of international rugby.”
Wales Under 20 squad:
Luke Garrett (Dragons/ Cross Keys), Keagan Bale (Dragons/ Cross Keys), Dillon Lewis (Blues/ Pontypridd), Joe Jones (Blues/ Cardiff), Leon Brown (Dragons/ Cross Keys), Ryan Elias (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Liam Belcher (Blues/ Pontypridd), Torin Myhill (Scarlets/ Llanelli), Rory Thornton (Ospreys/ Bridgend), Adam Beard (Ospreys/ Aberavon), Seb Davies (Blues/ Pontypridd), Lee Taylor (Carmarthen), Tom Phillips (Scarlets/ Llanelli), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons/ Newport), Harrison Keddie (Dragons/ Ebbw Vale), Jon Fox (Ospreys/ Swansea)
Tomos Williams (Blues/ Pontypridd), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Jarrod Evans (Blues/ Pontypridd), Daniel Jones (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Garyn Smith (Blues/ Pontypridd), Lloyd Lewis (Dragons/ Newport) Tyler Morgan (Dragons/ Newport), Owen Watkin (Ospreys/ Bridgend), Joshua Adams (Scarlets/ Llanelli), Joe Thomas (Ospreys/ Swansea), James Whittingham (Blues/ Pontypridd), Dafydd Howells (Ospreys/ Neath)
Wales’ World Rugby U20 Championship Pool games:
Tuesday 2 June Wales v France, Calvisano
Saturday 6 June Wales v England, Calvisano
Wednesday 10 June Wales v Japan, Viadana