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5 Blues named in Wales Under 20s squad

22nd February 2008

Jason Tovey, Ashley Sweet and Rhys Webb will make their first starts for Wales at Under 20 level when they line-up for Wales against Italy Under 20 on Friday night (Rodney Parade 7.10pm).

The fourth change in the side from the 27-10 victory over Scotland a fortnight ago sees a return for Ospreys centre Gareth Owen who missed the Scotland game with a dead leg. He replaces Scarlet centre Rhys Williams in the starting line-up while Bedwas and Dragons full back Tovey replaces Daniel Evans, Cross Keys and Dragons lock Sweet comes in for Haydn Pugh and Rhys Webb features for the first time this season after recovering from a knee operation.

Head coach Patrick Horgan said, "We want to keep the majority of a winning side together but with the Junior World Championship only a few months away, everyone deserves a fair crack at staking their claim for a place in the 26-man squad for that tournament which we are hosting.

"Daniel and Luke Evans produced exceptional performances last week but I'm fully confident that the players coming into the side have the quality to help seal a win on Friday.

"Both Jason (Tovey) and Ashley (Sweet) are regular performers for Bedwas and Cross Keys in the Premiership and Rhys Webb deserves a chance after shoeing what he is capable of at the Under 19 World Championship in Belfast last April.

"While we are developing as a squad, it is important to build on the momentum of our win over Scotland.

"Italy went down 13-22 to England last week but they competed well and are certainly not to be taken lightly.

"They are physical up front and in the centre and will no doubt provide tough opposition but if we apply ourselves, I'm confident we can come out on top."

Wales Under 20 v Italy
Friday 22 February, 7.10pm, Rodney Parade, Newport

Jason Tovey (Dragons); Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Owen (Ospreys), Jimmy Norris (Dragons); Daniel Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Ryan Prosser (Bristol Academy), Scott Andrews (Blues), Ashley Sweet (Dragons) Jevon Groves (capt, Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Nicholas Cudd (Scarlets), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets)
Rhys Lawrence (Ospreys), Sam Hobbs (Blues), Haydn Pugh (Scarlets), Lloyd Phillips (Scarlets), Luke Evans (Blues), Rhys Williams (Scarlets), Daniel Evans (Scarlets)