Wales U20 Coach Mark Jones Shakes Up Team For Big Clash Against France

Morgan MORSE of Wales during the Six Nations U20 Championship match between France and Wales at Stade Charles Mathon on March 19, 2023 in Oyonnax, France. (Photo by Romain Biard/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Wales U20 Coach Mark Jones Shakes Up Team For Big Clash Against France

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By Paul Jones

Head coach Mark Jones has named a starting side boasting five changes for the crucial Pool A encounter against France at Athlone Stadium on Tuesday 4th July in the U20 World Rugby Championship. (Live S4C, 3.30pm UK)

There is just the one change in the backline where Ospreys winger Tom Florence gets his first start of the campaign after scoring against Japan as a halftime replacement. He replaces his regional teammate Llien Morgan.

Ospreys’ tighthead prop Kian Hire and Harlequins flanker Seb Driscoll get their first starts in a Welsh jersey after both impressed as second half replacements against Japan. They replace Louis Fletcher and Lucas De La Rua respectively.

Dragons RFC’s hooker Sam Scarfe replaces Lewis Lloyd who drops down to the bench while Ospreys second row Liam Edwards returns in place of regional teammate Evan Hill.

Cardiff Rugby back row Gwilym Evans and Dragons centre Joe Westwood will get their first action of the championship if they come on from the bench.

Defending champions France have shown they have every intention of retaining their world crown and looked impressive with a convincing win in torrential rain in Paarl over New Zealand in their last game. Wales suffered a heavy defeat the last time the two teams met in the Six Nations, but Jones is adamant that will have no bearing on this game.

‘It’s going to be all about the execution of the game plan, if we get it right then we know that can make it worthy of a really good contest,” said Jones.

“And that is the challenge for us. We’ve got to put our best performance out on the field like we did in parts against Japan and in larger parts against New Zealand.

“Conditions look like it is going to be much drier which suits us around our game plan and the strength of our game – then it’s a case of the boys committing to it and giving the best account of themselves.

“There is no pressure on us for this game. We are going to need that 80-minute plus effort against this French side – they have an incredible squad and incredible depth, but this is a great opportunity for us.”

Wales U20 v France U20, Tuesday 4 July, Athlone Stadium, KO 3.30pm (UK), S4C live

15 Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)
14 Tom Florence (Ospreys)
13 Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby)
12 Bryn Bradley (Harlequins)
11 Harri Houston (Ospreys)
10 Dan Edwards (Ospreys)
9 Archie Hughes (Scarlets);
1 Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths (Dragons RFC)
2 Sam Scarfe (Dragons RFC)
3 Kian Hire (Ospreys)
4 Liam Edwards (Ospreys)
5 Jonny Green (Harlequins)
6 Ryan Woodman (Dragons RFC – Capt)
7 Seb Driscoll (Harlequins)
8 Morgan Morse (Ospreys)

16 Lewis Lloyd (Ospreys)
17 Josh Morse (Scarlets)
18 Louis Fletcher (Ospreys)
19 Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby)
20 Gwilym Evans (Cardiff Rugby)
21 Joe Westwood (Dragons RFC)
22 Harri Wiilde (Cardiff Rugby)
23 Harri Williams (Ampthill)

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