With one eye on this year’s Junior World Championship to be staged in Argentina, Wales U20 head coach Gareth Williams is excited at the prospect of watching his Six Nations squad develop into a major threat.
He has named a 32-man squad for the Six Nations championship which includes 13 players who have already gained experience at U20 level, captain Tommy Reffell among them, while two of the standout performers from last year’s Wales U18 squad, Dragons centre Aneurin Owen and Leicester fly half Sam Costelow, also feature.
“This is the first selection point gearing towards the World Cup when looking at the bigger picture,” explained Williams who is in his first campaign as head coach.
“I’ve been really impressed with the boys attitude and not just the players who have been successful in making the squad.
“We’ve also got an injured group of players and a training group as well as the Six Nations squad and all have been exemplary. We’ve had three camps with 60 players and the competitive nature of all ensures no-one can rest on their laurels as competition for places across the board has been intense.
“All of the coaching group, which includes Dai Flanagan [attack], Richard Kelly [forwards] and Andrew Bishop [defence] were mightily impressed by the effort the boys put in and we’re all now eagerly waiting to get the campaign underway in France,” he added.
Wales begin the championship against the junior world champions, France, at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes on Sunday 3rd February before facing Italy a week later.
Their first home game at Stadiwm Zip World in Colwyn Bay is in the third round of action on Friday 22nd February, when they host England. Wales play Scotland in the fourth round before completing their campaign against Ireland on Friday 15th March.
Wales U20 squad for Six Nations
Forwards: Tom Devine (Dragons), Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), Nick English (Bristol Bears), Dewi Lake (Ospreys), Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Will Griffiths (Dragons), Jac Price (Scarlets), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), Morgan Jones (Scarlets), Ed Scragg (Dragons), Iestyn Rees (Scarlets), Ellis Thomas (Llanelli RFC), Tommy Reffell – Captain (Leicester), Jac Morgan (Scarlets), Taine Basham (Dragons).
Backs: Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Jamie Hill (Cardiff Blues), Dafydd Buckland (Dragons), Cai Evans (Ospreys), Sam Costelow (Leicester), Aneurin Owen (Dragons), Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), Tom Hoppe (Dragons), Dewi Cross (Ospreys), Deon Smith (Dragons), Caine Woolerton (Ospreys), Rio Dyer (Dragons), Alex Morgan (Gloucester), Tomi Lewis (Scarlets), Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues).
Wales U20 Six Nations fixtures
- Sun 3rd Feb 19 15:00 France U20s v Wales U20s Stade de la Rabine
- Sun 10th Feb 19 15:00 Italy U20s v Wales U20s Stadio Danilo Martelli
- Fri 22nd Feb 19 19:05 Wales U20s v England U20s Stadiwm Zip World
- Fri 8th Mar 19 19:30 Scotland U20s v Wales U20s Meggetland
- Fri 15th Mar 19 19:05 Wales U20s v Ireland U20s Stadiwm Zip World
Tickets for Wales’ home games against England and Ireland at Stadiwn Zip World, Colwyn Bay are priced: Adults from £10, U16s £5 and are available via www.wru.wales/tickets or www.venuecymru.co.uk