Wales have announced their squad for the forthcoming World Rugby U20 Championships in Georgia.
Starting against Austraia on 31st May, the World Rugby U20 Championships run through to the 18th June, with each team guaranteed five games, three pool fixtures, a game on semi finals day, and a game on finals day.
Wales have never won the Championships, but reached the final back in 2013, where they lost to an England side including the likes of British and Irish Lions Jack Nowell and Anthony Watson, as well Wales’ own Ross Moriarty, who played for England that day.
Wales’ squad for this year’s Championship is 28 strong, and contains five players that could win their first caps for the U20 side, Connor Edwards, Eddie Drake, Joe Goodchild, Scott Jenkins, and Will Griffiths of the Ospreys, who is also this year’s U18 captain.
Leading the U20 group will be Griffiths’ Ospreys teammate, Will Jones, who also skippered the squad during the U20 6 Nations.
A number of English based or formerly English based players are in the squad, including Bath’s Sid Blackmore and for Sedbergh pupil James Botham, now at Cardiff Blues, in the pack, and Newport Gwent Dragons’ former Solihull School star, Will Talbot-Davies, in the back division.
Speaking to Welsh Rugby ahead of the Championships, Wales U20 Head Coach Jason Strange said of the squad and the forthcoming tournament:
“It’s fair to say the time for experimentation is over with the World Rugby U20 Championship kicking off at the end of the month, we’ve got a balanced squad with huge amounts of potential, some of which we’ve already seen.“
“The new players coming in are there because they’ve shown they can integrate well with the way we want the team to play. We’re hoping they can add to what we’ve already achieved so far as a group.”
“They’ve got a very big opportunity in Georgia to show that they can make it to the next level, but most importantly to do so as a team.”
Wales and Scotland will meet ahead of the tournament for a warm up game on Tuesday 16th May before the tournament kicks off on the 31st May.
Wales U20 Squad for the World Rugby U20 Championships:
Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Blues), Sid Blackmore (Bath Rugby), James Botham (Cardiff Blues), Callum Bradbury (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), Eddie Drake (Cardiff Blues), Will Griffiths (Ospreys), Owen Hughes (Newport Gwent Dragons), Scott Jenkins (Scarlets), Will Jones (captain, Ospreys), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues), Sean Moore (Pontypridd), Ellis Shipp (Newport Gwent Dragons), Steff Thomas (Scarlets), Aled Ward (Cardiff Blues).
Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), Connor Edwards (Newport Gwent Dragons), Joe Goodchild (Newport Gwent Dragons), Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys), Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues), Phil Jones (Ospreys), Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues), Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets), Arwel Robson (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jared Rosser (Newport Gwent Dragons), Will Talbot-Davies (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Wales’ World Rugby U20 Championship Fixtures:
Wednesday 31st May – Australia (5.30pm BST)
Sunday 4th June – England (5.30pm BST)
Thursday 8th June – Samoa (10.00 BST)
Tuesday 13th June – Semi-finals and knock-out matches
Sunday 18th June – Final and knock-out matches
|2017 World Rugby U20 Championships Pools|
|Pool A||Pool B||Pool C|