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Williams make seven changes as Wales Under-20 prepare to face France

Williams make seven changes as Wales Under-20 prepare to face France

Williams make seven changes as Wales Under-20 prepare to face France


Wales U20 head coach Gareth Williams has made five changes to the back line and two up front as the search for a first win of the U20 Six Nations continues at Stadiwm Zip World this Friday against France.

Defeats to Italy and Ireland in the first two rounds of the Championship sees Williams try to freshen up the squad with some new faces, while injuries and illness to some key individuals have forced his hand in other areas.

Cardiff Blues’ Jacob Beetham gets his first start of the campaign at full-back replacing Ioan Lloyd as do wingers Frankie Jones and Mason Grady who replace Dan John and Ewan Rosser respectively.

Osian Knott suffered a bang against Ireland and is replaced by Ospreys centre Bradley Roderick who will  come into the team alongside scrum-half Ellis Bevan who takes over from Dafydd Buckland.

Up front, hooker Dom Booth and second row James Fender come into the squad, with Will Griffiths and Jac Price making way.

Despite two defeats from two so far, Williams believes his side have learned important lessons along the way, demonstrated by their strong second half showing in horrendous conditions in Cork last time out.

“You could see in the second half against Ireland where we put that element of pressure rugby into place we got good value out of it – if we could have done that on a few more occasions in the first half that game would have gone down to the wire,” Williams said.

“France have been flag bearers over the last few years in this age group – we look forward to bringing them to Colwyn Bay to face the challenge of going up against them.

“We are aware of what’s coming but I hope the disappointment from the Ireland game will drive our boys on as that game could have been much closer if we hadn’t committed errors in the first half. Ultimately we just want to keep putting ourselves into those positions.”

Wales U20 v France U20, Stadiwm Zip World, Friday 21 February, KO 7.35pm

15 Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Blues)
14 Frankie Jones (Aberavon)
13 Bradley Roderick (Ospreys)
12 Aneurin Owen (Dragons)
11 Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues)
10 Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers)
9 Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Met);
1 Theo Bevacqua (Cardiff Blues)
2 Dom Booth (Scarlets)
3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues)
4 James Fender (Ospreys)
5 Ben Carter (Dragons)
6 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues)
7 Jac Morgan (Scarlets) – Captain
8 Morgan Strong (Ospreys)

16 Will Griffiths (Dragons)
17 Callum Williams (Scarlets)
18 Archie Griffin (Bath Rugby)
19 Rhys Thomas (Ospreys)
20 Gwilym Bradley (Cardiff Blues)
21 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons)
22 Joe Hawkins (Ospreys)
23 Josh Thomas (Ospreys)