Wales U20s set for JWC in New Zealand

Wales U20s Head Coach, Byron Hayward, has named six Eyasses in his squad for the forthcoming Junior World Championships.

The front row of Nicky Smith, Nicky Thomas and Scott Otten are all included, along with second row Rory Thornton and wingers Dafydd Howells and Ashley Evans, Fly-half Luke Price misses out after suffering ankle ligament damage.

The squad and management leave for New Zealand on Saturday but Hayward believes the recent weeks of training, along with last week's pre-tournament match against Scotland has given them an optimum level of preparation for the challenge ahead in the next month.

Wales, who reached the final of last year's competition, play Fiji, Ireland and France in Pool B of the Auckland-based tournament, starting with Fiji on Monday 2 June.

Hayward said, "We are raring to go. We feel the preparation has been spot on so far and we just can't wait to get out there now and play our first game.

"We managed to complete a period of conditioning that we felt was vital and that is a big bonus for us.

"In addition, the Scotland game last Wednesday was invaluable as it enabled us to test ourselves tactically ahead of the Fiji game in particular, and generally get a competitive run out which was important to blow away some cobwebs and expose any areas that needed extra work before we head off.

"We were really pleased with the performance in that game overall. The players executed what was asked of them very well, especially in the first half, scoring two tries from driving line-outs. We were a bit rusty in the contact area and we've worked on our discipline which was poor at times, but we also scored a try from 60 metres through Dafydd Howells and we need to be adept at both those types of games against the opposition we will meet in our Pool. Our kicking game was accurate too which was pleasing.

"Fiji, as we know from past years, are a skilful and dangerous side, especially in the loose. We like to play an expansive game, but only when the time is right and it will be key to try to win the game first before entering into an open game against them.

"Ireland will be a different challenge, but our set-piece will again be an important part of our game. France are Grand Slam champions and that final match of the Pool stage will require the most variety in our game. They are strong up front and in their backs and we will need to be spot on in both attack and defence in order to come out on top.”

Wales Under 20 Junior World Championship squad 2014:

Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Luke Garrett (Dragons), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys), Callum Lewis (Blues), Benjamin Leung (Scarlets), Ethan Lewis (Blues), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Scott Otten (Ospreys), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Scott Andrews (Dragons), Will Boyde (Carmarthen), Olly Cracknell (RGC), Scott Matthews (Dragons), Ben Roach (Blues) James Benjamin (Dragons)

Tom Williams (Blues), Luc Jones, Angus O'Brien (both Dragons), Ethan Davies (unattached), Steffan Hughes (Scarlets), Jack Dixon (Dragons), Harri Evans (RGC), Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Joshua Adams (Scarlets), Dafydd Howells, Ashley Evans (both Ospreys), Afon Bagshaw (RGC)