Wales U20 hand debuts to Callum Bradbury and Sean Moore in a new-look second-row pairing to take on arch-rivals England in a sell-out Six Nations Championship clash at Parc Eirias on Friday night (1915).
Cardiff Blues’ Alex Dombrandt and Maxi Williams, of the Newport Gwent Dragons, filled the second row berths as the 2016 Grand Slam champions began with a 27-5 victory over Italy last Friday night.
The inclusion of Cardiff Blues’ Bradbury, the former U18 skipper, and Pontypridd prospect Moore are the only changes made by coach Jason Strange from the team that faced Italy..
“For us to be able to introduce two players of their quality to the team is a real boost,” says Strange.
“Sean has been playing well for Pontypridd and has impressed in training with us, while Callum, who has returned from injury, was one of our outstanding players at U18 level.”
Wales have won their last eight matches in the U20 Six Nations, but England U20 are on a six-match winning streak in all competitions.
That all points to a titanic battle in North Wales in front of a sell-out crowd.
“It will be a memorable moment for our players running out in front of a sell-out crowd, but as coaches we want to see how they react to that pressure against a strong England side,” added Strange.
““The decisions they make and how they perform is key to their development, which will make it a very intriguing game for us.”
Despite missing several of his players due to unavailability and injury, Strange sees the positives in the situation:
He added: “It’s of long-term benefit for us to give new players opportunities and widen our player base, because we want to have an experienced squad going into the World Rugby U20 Championships in Georgia this summer.”
Wales U20 team to face England U20
15 Will Talbot-Davies (Newport Gwent Dragons)
14 Jared Rosser (Newport Gwent Dragons)
13 Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets)
12 Keiran Williams (Ospreys)
11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets)
10 Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues)
9 Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues)
1 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues)
2 Ellis Shipp (Newport Gwent Dragons)
3 Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Blues)
4 Callum Bradbury (Cardiff Blues)
5 Sean Moore (Pontypridd)
6 Morgan Sieniawski (Cardiff Blues)
7 Will Jones (c) (Ospreys)
8 Morgan Morris (Hartpury)
16 Corrie Tarrant (Cardiff Blues)
17 Steff Thomas (Scarlets)
18 Chris Coleman (Newport Gwent Dragons)
19 Alex Dombrandt (Cardiff Met)
20 Aled Ward (Cardiff Blues)
21 Declan Smith (Scarlets)
22 Phil Jones (Ospreys)
23 Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues)