Wales U20 head coach Gareth Williams has named his 28-man squad for next month’s World Rugby Junior Championship being staged in Argentina between June 4-22.
The side will be led by Ospreys hooker Dewi Lake who impressed during the Six Nations championship when taking over the captaincy reins from Tommy Reffell who suffered a hamstring injury in the first game of the campaign against France.
The side boasts plenty of pace and potential with hooker Garin Lloyd the only player in the squad who didn’t figure during the Six Nations.
Taine Basham misses selection due to injury but Scarlets’ Iestyn Rees proved an able deputy during the No 8’s absence due to Dragon’s regional commitments during the Six Nations.
Wales won’t lack for potency out wide with Ryan Conbeer, Tomi Lewis and Rio Dyer all having experienced game time on this year’s World Rugby Seven Series.
Williams admitted some tough calls had to be made on the final selection after a number of players from the wider squad and the Wales U19 side who played so well against Japan High Schools and England, had put their hands up.
“It has proved a tough process coming to the final selection but we are really excited with the squad we are taking away to the Junior Championship. The wider group of players put a lot of pressure on the incumbants,” said Williams.
“It’s fantastic to be back in training with the players and building towards a physical group with Argentina, France and Fiji.”
Wales open their Pool A campaign against hosts Argentina on June 4 at the Racecourse Stadium in Rosario before taking on current world champions France at the same venue on June 8 before completing their pool matches against Fiji on June 12 at Club de Rugby Ateneo Inmaculada, Santa Fe.
Wales U20 Junior World Championship squad
Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Tom Devine (Dragons)
Dewi Lake (Ospreys – Capt), Will Griffiths (Dragons), Garin Lloyd (Ospreys)
Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), Nick English (Bristol Bears)
Jac Price (Scarlets), Morgan Jones (Scarlets), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), Ed Scragg (Dragons)
Lennon Greggains (Dragons), Jac Morgan (Scarlets/Aberavon), Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers), Iestyn Rees (Scarlets)
Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Dafydd Buckland (Dragons)
Cai Evans (Ospreys), Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers)
Aneurin Owen (Dragons), Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues)
Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), Rio Dyer (Dragons), Deon Smith (Dragons), Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), Tomi Lewis (Scarlets)
Wales U20 fixtures
June 4: Wales U20s v Argentina U20s (KO 5pm BST)
June 8: Wales U20s v France U20s (KO 5pm BST)
June 12: Wales U20s v Fiji U20s (5pm BST)
Knockout stages on Monday, 17 June and finals day on Saturday, 22 June, live on ITV.