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Dragons duo start for Wales Under-20s

19/02/2020

Dragons duo Anuerin Owen and Ben Carter both start as Wales head coach Gareth Williams makes seven changes in the search for a first win of the U20 Six Nations continues at Stadiwn Zip World this Friday against France (kick-off 7.35pm).

Injuries and illness to some key individuals have necessitated the overhaul in some cases although Williams is also keen to freshen up the squad with some new faces.

Cardiff Blues’ Jacob Beetham gets his first start of the campaign at full-back, replacing Ioan Lloyd as do wingers Frankie Jones (Aberavon) and Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues) 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 also earn his first start of the campaign alongside Cardiff Met scrum-half Ellis Bevan who takes over from Dafydd Buckland.

Up front, Scarlets hooker Dom Booth returns to start ahead of Dragons’ Will Griffiths who drops back down to the bench while Ospreys second row James Fender comes in for the injured Jac Price.

Wales have lost to Italy and Ireland in their opening two games, but Williams believes his side have learned important lessons along the way, particularly as his young side outscored the defending Grand Slam champions in the second half in horrendous conditions in Cork last week.

“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,” said Williams.

“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 (Live BBC TWO Wales) 

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 – CAPT)

8 Morgan Strong (Ospreys)

Replacements

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)

France have been flag bearers over the last few years in this age group – we look forward to bringing them to Colwyn Bay...
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