Wales and Ireland have named their sides for Saturday’s U20 6 Nations clash at the Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay (6.30pm kick off).
Wales Head Coach Jason Strange has made just one change to the side that beat Scotland 65-34 in a quite extraordinary game of rugby. Cardiff Blues’ Shane Lewis-Hughes, who started every game of last year’s Grand Slam winning campaign, at blindside for Sedbergh old boy James Botham, who will be on the bench for this one.
Ireland Head Coach, Nigel Carolan, has shuffled his deck a little more. Jordan Larmour moves from the wing to full back, with Tommy O’Brien occupying the space left by Larmour on the wing, having previously started in the centres.
It is a fresh centre pairing, with fit again Jack Kelly returning to partner Ciaran Frawley. Elsewhere, Fineen Wycherley returns to the side, having made his Munster debut last weekend, he is in the second row alongside Oisin Dowling, while in the back row Gavin Coombes makes his first start of this U20 6 Nations campaign.
Speaking to Irish Rugby ahead of the game, Carolan said:
“The management team are very happy with how the side is progressing and developing so far in the Championship, but there is another big test ahead of us this Saturday in Colwyn Bay.”
“Wales have been going well in the competition, and despite a loss to England, they had a very big win against Scotland in the last round so they will be coming into this game full of confidence. We’ve had a good two week build-up to this game and had another good day with the senior side last week, so for us it’s now about getting out there and putting in a performance.”
Jason Strange, meanwhile, spoke to the WRU website, saying:
“The most pleasing aspect of that game in Scotland was our style of play, which is our biggest focus as a team, we’re starting to realise the way we want to play and the qualities we have as a side, so that’s something else I want to come to the fore at Parc Eirias on Saturday.”
“As well as we played in Scotland, we also have a few things to correct, which we’ll be looking to do this weekend. Our rate of progress from game one to game three has been excellent, though, which is mainly down to the players’ desire to get better.”
“After the atmosphere they created in our last home game, the team can’t wait to get back to Colwyn Bay. Playing against a quality side like Ireland is also another opportunity for us to get better as we build towards the U20 World Rugby Championship in the summer.”
Wales U20 v Ireland U20 – Saturday 11th March, 6.30pm kick off, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay – Live on BBC2 Wales & RTE 2
Wales U20 XV
15 Rhun Williams (Cardiff Blues), 14 Corey Baldwin (Scarlets), 13 Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues), 12 Keiran Williams (Ospreys), 11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), 10 Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues), 9 Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues), 1 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), 2 Corrie Tarrant (Cardiff Blues), 3 Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Blues), 4 Alex Dombrandt (Cardiff Met), 5 Sean Moore (Pontypridd), 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues), 7 Will Jones (c) (Ospreys), 8 Aled Ward (Cardiff Blues).
Replacements: 16 Owen Hughes (Newport Gwent Dragons), 17 Steff Thomas (Scarlets), 18 Chris Coleman (Newport Gwent Dragons), 19 Jack Pope (Bridgend), 20 James Botham (Cardiff Blues), 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys), 22 Phil Jones (Ospreys), 23 Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets).
Ireland U20 XV
15 Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), 14 Tommy O’Brien (UCD RFC/Leinster), 13 Jack Kelly (Dublin Uni/Leinster), 12 Ciaran Frawley (UCD RFC/Leinster), 11 Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster, captain), 10 Bill Johnston (Garryowen/Munster), 9 Jonny Stewart (Queen’s Uni/Ulster), 1 Joey Conway (UL Bohemians/Munster), 2 Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne FC/Leinster), 3 Charlie Connolly (Dublin Uni/Leinster), 4 Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster), 5 Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne FC/Leinster), 6 Gavin Coombes (Young Munster/Munster), 7 Paul Boyle (Lansdowne FC/Leinster), 8 Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster).
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher (UCD/Leinster), 17 Greg McGrath (Lansdowne/Leinster), 18 Matthew Burke (Corinthians/Connacht), 19 Jack Regan (UCD RFC/Leinster), 20 Marcus Rea (Queen’s University/Ulster), 21 Jack Stafford (Shannon/Munster), 22 Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon RFC/Munster), 23 Colm Hogan (Dublin Uni/Munster).