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Wales U20

Theo Bevacqua starts at loosehead prop for Wales

Wales U20 announce squad for England clash

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham has named his side to play Grand Slam chasing England at Cardiff Arms Park tomorrow in the fourth round of the U20 Six Nations (KO 8pm, LIVE S4C).

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Injuries to loose-head prop Garyn Phillips and second row Dafydd Jenkins have forced his hand somewhat with Rhys Thomas earning his first start at lock while Theo Bevacqua, who was a late change prior to the game against France, starts in the number one shirt. Dragons’ lock Joe Peard returns to the starting XV to form an entirely new second row alongside Thomas.

In the backline, centre Ioan Evans and fly-half Sam Costelow start after coming on against France from the replacements bench.

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Cunningham admitted losing the services of Jenkins in particular is a setback as he has been prominent in each of the games he has featured in so far.

“Losing Dafydd is a big blow as he has been one of our best players and he has been very consistent but his absence gives an opportunity for other players to put their hands up which is great,” said Cunningham.

“You can feel a bit of an edge when it comes to these big games and the boys are really looking forward to putting a performance together on the park against England.”

Wales have are hoping to put consecutive defeats to Ireland and France behind them but Cunningham is fully aware of the challenge ahead for his young side.

“They are physical men, they were very physical against Ireland and Ireland are a physical team, they are very well coached and well organised,” he said.

“They possess a powerful driving lineout so again it will come down to discipline, we can’t give England penalties around the halfway mark as they will kick to the corner and it will be a hard afternoon defending the lineout otherwise – managing the middle third and halfway line is going to be key for us.”

Cunningham was encouraged with the final quarter against France where Wales raced over for two tries in the last 10 minutes but he is aware his players will have to tighten up their discipline which has proved costly so far in the championship.

“It has been a big issue for us,” conceded Cunningham, “and trying to get the players to learn quickly about decision making at breakdowns, those back to back penalties which then puts pressure on us – it’s those piggy-backs we are giving teams and it’s trying to get them to see the bigger picture and understand how we don’t have to do that, we don’t have to over chase things or over commit to breakdowns which will help us eventually get more control in our game.

“We gifted France 21 points, but we did show glimpses against France where we showed what we can do when we strung a few phases together. The boys have trained well all week and are ready to go.”

Wales U20 v England U20, Cardiff Arms Park, Wednesday 7th July, KO 8pm (Live S4C)

15 Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Rugby)
14 Daniel John (Exeter Chiefs)
13 Ioan Evans (Pontypridd)
12 Joe Hawkins (Ospreys)
11 Tom Florence (Ospreys)
10 Sam Costelow (Scarlets)
9 Ethan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby);
1 Theo Bevacqua (Cardiff Rugby)
2 Oli Burrows (Exeter Chiefs)
3 Lewys Jones (Nevers)
4 Joe Peard (Dragons)
5 Rhys Thomas (Ospreys)
6 Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs)
7 Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – capt)
8 Carwyn Tuipulotu (Scarlets)

Replacements:
16 Efan Daniel (Cardiff Rugby)
17 Cameron Jones (Ospreys)
18 Nathan Evans (Cardiff Rugby)
19 James Fender (Ospreys)
20 Tristan Davies (Ospreys)
21 Harri Williams (Scarlets)
22 Will Reed (Dragons)
23 Carrick McDonough (Dragons)
24 Morgan Richards (Dragons/Pontypridd)
25 Eddie James (Scarlets)
26 Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby)

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