Saturday, 8 June 2013

Wales Under-20s ring the changes for Scotland clash

Wales Under-20s have named eight changes to the side that beat Samoa in the Junior World Championships in a bid to “keep the squad fresh” against Scotland.

After handing a 42-3 defeat to the Islanders to open this year’s tournament in Nantes on Wednesday, head coach Danny Wilson has opted to look at some of his other players as the gruelling JWC schedule continues tomorrow.

Scarlets full back Jordan Williams makes his JWC debut, along with Llandovery backs Aaron Warren and Rhodri Williams and Ospreys and Swansea prop Nicky Smith.

Pontypridd’s Thomas Pascoe, who played in three games in last year’s tournament, returns to the starting line-up, while forwards Elliot Dee, Sion Bennett and Jack Jones all did enough as substitutes against Samoa to earn a starting berth – Dee and Bennett scored touchdowns in the opening fixture.

Wilson said of his selection: “We believe we have made relevant changes to keep the squad fresh and reward players who have earned starting places through their performances in training.

“A bonus point victory with six tries to boot is a great start,” he added. “We didn’t pick up any significant injuries so we have a relatively fresh squad at the moment, but there’s still a long way to go.”

Scotland suffered a 44-13 loss to Argentina in their opening game, but Wilson expects a better fight from our Celtic cousins tomorrow evening.

The Scarlets forwards coach continued: “Scotland had a tough time against Argentina but they are a good side and will no doubt raise their game tomorrow.

“They have some dangerous players so we will have to be aware of their threats. Having said that, if we can play as we did in the Six Nations and against Samoa, I’m confident we can give Scotland a really good test.”

The Scotland fixture is again in Nantes at the Stade Pascal Laporte. Argentina also face Samoa tomorrow at the same venue, before the Welsh and the Argentineans prepare to clash on June 13 at Stade Henri Desgrange, La Roche-sur-Yon .

Wales Under-20 squad to face Scotland: Jordan Williams (Scarlets/Llanelli); Aaron Warren (Llandovery), Steffan Hughes (Scarlets/Llanelli), Thomas Pascoe (Blues/Pontypridd), Ashley Evans (Ospreys/Bridgend); Sam Davies (Ospreys/Swansea), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets/Llandovery); Nicky Smith (Ospreys/Swansea), Elliot Dee (Dragons/Bedwas), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys/Swansea), Jack Jones (Ospreys/Rovigo), Rhodri Hughes (Ospreys/Swansea), Ellis Jenkins (captain, Blues/Cardiff), Daniel Thomas (Scarlets/Llanelli), Sion Bennett (Scarlets/Carmarthen).

Replacements: Ethan Lewis (Blues/Cardiff), Thomas Davies (Blues/Cardiff), Dan Suter (Ospreys/Bridgend), Carwyn Jones (Scarlets/Carmarthen), James Benjamin (Dragons/Bedwas), Joshua Davies (Dragons/Bedwas), Owen Jenkins (Blues/Pontypridd), Jack Dixon (Dragons).


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