Four Eyasses to start in JWC openerWales Under 20 head coach Danny Wilson has named four Eyasses in his starting XV for the opening Junior World Championship game against Samoa tomorrow (6pm).
Winger Ashley Evans, outside half Sam Davies, prop Nicky Thomas and lock Rhodri Hughes all start, with two further Young Ospreys on the bench in prop Dan Suter and lock Jack Jones.
Wilson has given three players their first starts in a Wales Under 20 jersey, Dragons full back Hallam Amos and regional team mate, Bedwas scrum half Joshua Davies featured in this season’s Six Nations but did not start, while Blues and Pontypridd wing Owen Jenkins will make his Wales Under 20 debut when he starts on the right wing. Jenkins, son of former Wales hooker Garin, has impressed for the Principality Premiership champions at the business end of the season and was added to Wales’ Junior World Championship squad following injury and call-ups to the senior Wales squad.
In addition, there are three more changes to the starting line-up that faced England in the final game of the Under 20 Six Nations in March. Gareth Thomas and Ethan Lewis start in the front row in place of Nicky Smith and Elliot Dee, while Steffan Hughes returns to the centre.
“Team selection is based around performance during training over the past month or so and also in the knowledge that we want to give players a chance to impress in this competition with five games coming up in 19 days. While we have three new players to the starting line-up, the rest of the side have a lot of experience from the Six Nations.
“We are going into the Samoa game quite blind about the opposition. We have seen the players around the hotel and they seem very big and physical as you would expect. We face them at their most dangerous in the opening game of the tournament, they will be at their freshest and it will require a good performance from us to win. Having said that, we have settled in well, we have completed a good period of training and now we just need to get that first game underway.”
Wales Under 20 team v Samoa, Wednesday 5 June, Nantes (6pm local time):
Hallam Amos (Dragons); Owen Jenkins (Blues / Pontypridd), Steffan Hughes (Scarlets / Llanelli), Jack Dixon (Dragons), Ashley Evans (Ospreys/ Bridgend); Sam Davies (Ospreys / Swansea), Joshua Davies (Dragons / Bedwas); Gareth Thomas (Scarlets / Carmarthen), Ethan Lewis (Blues / Cardiff), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys / Swansea), Carwyn Jones (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Rhodri Hughes (Ospreys/ Swansea), Ellis Jenkins (capt, Blues / Cardiff), Daniel Thomas (Scarlets / Llanelli), Ieuan Jones (Dragons)
Replacements: Elliot Dee (Dragons / Bedwas), Thomas Davies (Blues /Cardiff), Dan Suter (Ospreys/ Bridgend), Jack Jones (Ospreys / Rovigo), Sion Bennett (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets/ Llandovery), Harri Evans (North Wales / RGC 1404), Dion Jones