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A Chip Off The Old Plumtree Hopes To Splinter Wales’ Hopes Against New Zealand

Welsh rugby may reap what is has sown when Wales face New Zealand in Argentina today (Mon) at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Among the Baby Blacks’ ranks will be Taine Plumtree, son of John, who coached the successful Swansea side for four years between 1997 and 2001.

Taine will be in the second row for the Kiwis, and will share the battle to make the fifth-place final along with the sons of two former Wales stars.

Cai Evans – son of Ieuan – is at outside-half, whilst Max Llewellyn – son of Gareth – plays at outside centre.

Plumtree junior was born in Wales in 2000, moved to New Zealand and then South Africa when his father coached firstly, Wellington, then the Sharks in Durban.

Plumtree senior has also served as forwards coach with Ireland and enjoyed a spell in Japan before ending up back in Wellington with the Hurricanes.

But he is best remembered in Wales as the coach of the exciting Swansea side that won the Welsh League in 1998, the Welsh Cup in 1999, and the Welsh-Scottish League in 2001.

Wales head coach Gareth Williams has freshened up his starting side for the game in Rosario (KO 2.30pm BST). There are four changes in the pack and two in the back line.

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The changes behind the scrum mean there are also two positional switches with Deon Smith moving from the left wing to right wing to allow Scarlets’ Ryan Conbeer his usual post wearing 11, while Llewellyn’s inclusion at outside centre sees Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler move to inside centre with Sam Costelow dropping down to the bench.

Up front, captain Dewi Lake will have two new props alongside him with Kemsley Mathias getting the nod at loose-head, while Ben Warren starts on the tight-head with Tom Devine and Nick English both moving to the bench.

In the second row Morgan Jones, who made his presence felt when coming on as a replacement against Fiji, joins fellow Scarlet Jac Price in the second row with Ed Scragg dropping down to the bench.

There is a welcome return for Dragons flanker Lennon Greggains who hasn’t played since the opening game of the campaign against Argentina through injury.

His presence allows Iestyn Rees a well-deserved break but the Scarlets back row is certain to figure from the substitutes bench later in the match.

“We’ve always emphasised how important the squad of 28 is, and this is getting more and more evident the longer we go in to this competition,” said Williams.

“Playing New Zealand is a great test for us, and a great fixture to be preparing for. They are rightly regarded as one of the best teams in the world at this age group.

“We don’t always get the opportunity to play southern hemisphere teams so this is a big challenge for us but one we have prepared well for.”

Wales:

15 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues)

14 Deon Smith (Dragons)

13 Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues)

12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys)

11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets)

10 Cai Evans (Ospreys)

9 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons);

1 Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets)

2 Dewi Lake (Capt – Ospreys)

3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues)

4 Morgan Jones (Scarlets)

5 Jac Price (Scarlets)

6 Lennon Greggains (Dragons)

7 Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers)

8 Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets)

 

Reps: Garin Lloyd (Ospreys), Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Nick English (Bristol Bears), Ed Scragg (Dragons), Iestyn Rees (Scarlets), Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Rio Dyer (Dragons), Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), Tom Devine (Dragons), 
Ioan R Davies (Cardiff Blues), Will Griffiths (Dragons), Tomi Lewis (Scarlets)

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