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Wales make five changes ahead of England clash

Wales make five changes ahead of England clash

Wales make five changes ahead of England clash

Under-20 Six Nations Championship Round 2, Mantova, Italy 10/2/2019 Italy U20's vs Wales U20's Wales' Dafydd Buckland scores a try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Giuseppe Fama

Wales Under-20s head coach Gareth Williams has made five changes to his squad as they prepare to meet England on Friday night.

Wales have so far played both games of the Championship on foreign soil, first losing to France before picking up a bonus point win over Italy in Round Two

Ahead of the clash at Stadiwm Zipworld, Williams has brought in three fresh faces to the starting XV that faced Italy and includes two new additions to the replacements bench.

In the forwards, Round Two hat-trick scorer Taine Basham has been released back to the Dragons and will be replaced at No.8 by Iestyn Rees.

Meanwhile in the backs, Basham’s regional teammate and scrum-half Dafydd Buckland starts his first game in place of the injured Jamie Hill, having made two appearances as a replacement so far.

Ospreys winger Dewi Cross will get his first start in this year’s Championship as he comes in for Deon Smith who takes his places on the bench.

Dragons’ Dan Babos and Max Ayling have also been brought onto the replacements bench.

“Iestyn Rees replaces Taine Basham in the back row as the Dragons have held Taine for PRO14 duty, ” said Williams.

“Iestyn has been very patient for his chance and has been training superbly.

“Jamie Hill and Harri Morgan’s injuries give Dafydd Buckland a good opportunity to show what he is capable of.

“He played the majority of the game against Italy in what was a wonderful result, so he is in a good place. It’s also good to see Dan Babos returning too, and the depth at this position is pleasing.

“Dewi Cross is very familiar to our environment and it is great to include him in the starting team again. He has worked hard for this opportunity and will be a great asset to us.

“Max Ayling is part of a very young group of second rows we are currently excited about working with. All four we have blooded over the last few weeks are Under-19s, therefore they are getting great exposure which will not only benefit our Under-20s programme for the next 18 months, but for the longer term of Welsh rugby in that position.”

Wales U20 v England U20, Stadiwm Zipworld, Friday 22nd February, KO 7.05pm

15. Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues)
14. Tomi Lewis (Scarlets)
13. Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues)
12. Aneurin Owen (Dragons)
11. Dewi Cross (Ospreys)
10. Cai Evans (Ospreys)
9. Dafydd Buckland (Dragons)
1. Rhys Davies (Ospreys)
2. Dewi Lake (Ospreys) (c)
3. Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues)
4. Ed Scragg (Dragons)
5. Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues)
6. Lennon Greggains (Dragons)
7. Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets)
8. Iestyn Rees (Scarlets)

16. Will Griffiths (Dragons)
17. Tom Devine (Dragons)
18. Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets)
19. Max Ayling (Dragons)
20. Ellis Thomas (Llanelli)
21. Dan Babos (Dragons)
22. Sam Costelow (Leicester)
23. Deon Smith (Dragons)