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Wales U20 make one change for Italy

Wales U20 have made one change to their side for their final RBS U20 6 Nations fixture of 2015, against Italy.

That sole change comes because scrum half Tom Williams is linking up with the Wales 7s team for the Hong Kong and Japan legs of the HSBC 7s World Series, he is replaced by the Scarlets’ Kieran Hardy.

Wales beat Ireland 19-12 last week, putting them level on points with Scotland and Ireland, just two behind England and France. Unfortunately for Wales, the best that they, Scotland, and Ireland, can hope for is second place, as England and France face each other on Friday in what is effectively a Championship decider.

Speaking ahead of the game, defence coach Richard Hodges said:

“The selection meeting was a short one as we all felt the players deserve to keep hold of their jerseys after producing an impressive performance against Ireland. It’s an opportunity for Kieran to start a match in the Under 20 Six Nations – and also another opportunity for Tom to develop on the World Rugby Sevens circuit.”

“We need to back up our home wins with a good performance on the road. We won’t be back at Parc Eirias now this season – in fact we will be in northern Italy for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship – so it is key that we show we can produce the goods away from our home comforts.

“Italy are no mugs. They have a strong mauling game and good variety in their attacking kicking game. If we finish well, we can end the Six Nations as second placed team which would be a reasonable outcome to the tournament.”

Italy U20 v Wales U20 – Friday, 18.00, Live on BBC 2 Wales – Stadio Quercia

Wales U20:

Joe Gage (Ospreys); Joshua Adams (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Garyn Smith (Blues), Rhys Williams (Leicester Tigers); Jarrod Evans (Blues), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets); Luke Garrett (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (capt, Ospreys), Harrison Keddie (Dragons) Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Jon Fox (Ospreys)

Replacements: Liam Belcher (Blues), Keagan Bale (Dragons), Joe Jones (Blues), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Jordan Viggers (Blues), Owen Davies (Drgaons), Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Barney Nightingale (Dragons).

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