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Wales U20 focus on Australia in U20 opener

Jason Strange has made three changes for the Wales Under 20 side to face Australia in the World Rugby Under 20 Championship opener tomorrow evening in Avchala Stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia. (5.30pm UK).

Katie Vizard | 30/05/2017
The Wales head coach has kept faith with the majority of the side that warmed up for the competition with a 29-22 victory over Scotland.
 
All the changes come in the pack with Cardiff Blues props Rhys Carre and Kieron Assiratti packing down either side of Ellis Shipp. They are joined by regional teammate James Botham, who replaces Aled Ward at No 8.
 
Will Jones will once again skipper the side and Strange has emphasised not only the importance of making a good start but strength in depth due to the short turnaround in matches.
 
Strange said: “It’s a competitive squad, which is always good for coaches. There were some tough selections but I’m really pleased with the team and hopefully we will do really well in our first game against Australia.
               
“The message to the squad has been whoever comes in has to take the opportunity so as disappointing it is for Kieron Williams and a couple of other players to miss out through injury, I’m sure the other players will more than embrace the challenge.
 
“It’s vital to get off to a winning start and not only in terms of the result but a performance.
 
“We’ve put a lot of focus on this first game and it’s important the players enjoy it and don’t become too nervous. It’s important that they relax, play with a smile on their face and express themselves because if they do that we’ll have a better performance.
 
“We’re confident, we have a good group of players, they work hard for each other and have a good team spirit so hopefully we’ll get the right result.”
 
Wales Under 18 captain Will Griffiths will win his first U20 cap in the encounter at Avchala Stadium in Tbilisi, as will Scott Jenkins and Joe Goodchild, if they come off the bench.
 
Following the big kick-off against Australia, Wales face England on Sunday (5.30pm BST) and Samoa on Thursday, June 8 (10am BST).
 
 
Wales U20 team to face Australia U20
 
15 Will Talbot-Davies (Newport Gwent Dragons)
14 Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues)
13 Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets)
12 Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues)
11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets)
10 Arwel Robson (Newport Gwent Dragons)
9 Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues)
1 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues)
2 Ellis Shipp (Newport Gwent Dragons)
3 Kieron Assiratti (Scarlets)
4 Will Griffiths (Ospreys)
5 Callum Bradbury (Cardiff Blues)
6 Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues)
7 Will Jones (c) (Ospreys)
8 James Botham (Cardiff Blues)
 
Replacements
 
16 Owen Hughes (Newport Gwent Dragons)
17 Tom Mably (Cardiff Blues)
18 Scott Jenkins (Scarlets)
19 Sean Moore (Pontypridd)
20 Aled Ward (Cardiff Blues)
21 Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys)
22 Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues)
23 Joe Goodchild (Newport Gwent Dragons)
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