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Wales U20

Wales players warm up

Wales U20 name side to face Japan

Head coach Mark Jones has named his Wales U20 side to face Japan U20 on Thursday at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stallenbosch (KO 1pm UK, Live S4C).

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Wales will be looking to bounce back after their epic battle against New Zealand on Saturday in Paarl where the Baby Blacks squeezed home by a single point in the opening Pool A encounter of the U20 World Rugby Championship.

Jones has only made two changes to the starting XV – both in the pack. Louis Fletcher comes in at tighthead prop for Ellis Fackrell while Ospreys second row Evan Hill earns his first start after coming on as a second half replacement against New Zealand.

There are also two new additions on the bench, with tighthead prop Kian Hire and back row Mackenzie Martin getting the nod.

Jones explained the selection is a vote of confidence to the side that earned two bonus points against New Zealand.

“We’ve identified some areas in our game we want to rectify which might have got us over the line, giving the boys the opportunity to fix up those areas,” he said.

“It’s a reward for the boys – we haven’t had many games, so we need to build some cohesion in the team, and we want to make the team difficult to get in to.

“Although it was a positive performance in lots of areas, we didn’t win. And it wasn’t as good a performance as we expected from ourselves. Looking at the score-line, had we performed to the level we expected we probably would have got over the line.

“We’re all about the performance and usually winning takes care of itself.

“We’ve spent a lot of our time fixing up our own game – we have looked at Japan, it’s clear their score-line against France isn’t flattering but it wasn’t very flattering when we played them [in the Six Nations]. We’re certainly not taking them lightly but our focus is to improve as a group.

“In terms of the context of the tournament it is very important to try and get as many points as possible as we can. If we can get maximum points, then that would be terrific but first of all we have to win the game and that is not going to be easy.

“We’re going to have to start well and then maintain the intensity for the full 80 minutes. There were a couple of glitches in the last game and we got exposed so we need to ensure that doesn’t happen again.”

Wales U20 v Japan U20, Thursday 29 June, Danie Craven Stadium, KO 1pm (UK), S4C live
15 Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)
14 Llien Morgan (Ospreys)
13 Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby)
12 Bryn Bradley (Harlequins)
11 Harri Houston (Ospreys)
10 Dan Edwards (Ospreys)
9 Archie Hughes (Scarlets);
1 Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths (Dragons)
2 Lewis Lloyd (Ospreys)
3 Louis Fletcher (Ospreys)
4 Evan Hill (Ospreys)
5 Jonny Green (Harlequins)
6 Ryan Woodman (Dragons – Capt)
7 Lucas De La Rua (Cardiff Rugby)
8 Morgan Morse (Ospreys)|


16 Sam Scarfe (Dragons) 
17 Josh Morse (Scarlets)
 18 Kian Hire (Ospreys)
 19 Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby)
 20 Seb Driscoll (Harlequins)
 21 Tom Florence (Ospreys)
 22 Harri Wiilde (Cardiff Rugby)
 23 Harri Wiliams (Scarlets)

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