Wales U20 make two changes for crucial match

Five young Ospreys named in team to face France in Auckland at the Junior World Championship

Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward has called on every one of his side to 'perform to their optimum level' in order to beat France on Tuesday (3.35pm NZ time, 4.35am UK time).

Wales beat Fiji 48-19 in their opening Junior World Championship match last Monday, but went down 21-35 to Ireland on Friday.


Tuesday's match against Grand Slam champions France will determine who Wales will play in the remaining two matches as the youngsters aim to finish as high as possible in the Championship table.


Hayward has made two changes to the starting line-up for the France game. Senior Wales capped Dafydd Howells starts at full back, replacing Ashley Evans, and Tom Williams starts at scrum half in place of Luc Jones.


Hayward said, "We felt the forwards played well against Ireland and as a result, they are unchanged for this match. We feel the two changes behind the scrum will bring something extra to this particular game, with Tom Williams, who played very well during the Six Nations, expected to up the tempo at 9, and we feel Dafydd's running ability could course France problems from full back.


"France have an excellent line-out and maul, so we will need to try to break up the game a little. They are unbeaten this season, but Ireland pushed them close and they are beatable – if we cut out the errors and every player performs to his optimum level.”


On the bench, Ben Roach returns after receiving numerous stitches after the Fiji game, and there is a place for RGC's Harri Evans who can cover centre and wing.

Wales team v France (Tuesday 10 June, QBE Stadium, Auckland, Tuesday 15.35 NZ, 4.35 UK . The match will be shown in full as live at 10pm on S4C):


Dafydd Howells (Ospreys); Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Steffan Hughes (capt, Scarlets), Jack Dixon (Dragons), Joshua Adams (Scarlets); Angus O'Brien (Dragons), Tom Williams (Blues); Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Olly Cracknell (RGC), Will Boyde (Carmarthen), James Benjamin (Dragons)


Replacements; Scott Otten (Ospreys), Luke Garrett (Dragons), Callum Lewis (Blues), Ben Roach (Blues), Scott Matthews (Dragons), Luc Jones (Dragons); Ethan Davies (Dragons), Harri Evans (RGC)