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Belcher hooks a place for Ireland clash

15th June 2015

The Wales Under 20 side to face Ireland in the fifth place semi-final today (Monday, 7.30pm local time, Viadana) contains two changes and two positional from the side that beat Japan 66-3 on Wednesday - with Cardiff Blues hooker Liam Belcher called in to start.

Harrison Keddie returns after injury and starts at No 8, Tom Phillips switching back to the blindside flank.

Cardiff Blues forward Seb Davies moves to the second row alongside Adam Beard with captain Rory Thornton having returned home for medical assessment on an injured knee.

Belcher starts at hooker and Dragons flanker Ollie Griffiths has taken over the captaincy of the side.

The backline is unchanged with Blues trio Garyn Smith, Jarrod Evans and Tomos Williams all starting.

Coach co-ordinator Allan Lewis said: “Spirits are high after a very good win against Japan and it’s important the good work that’s gone on in training translates to the game. Ireland certainly offer a greater physical presence than Japan, especially defensively.

“Ireland have done themselves justice so far in this tournament. They showed a great deal of commitment against New Zealand on Wednesday in a very physical encounter.”

If Wales beat Ireland, they will face Australia or Scotland in the fifth place final on Saturday.

“That would be an achievement after losing our first two games," added Lewis. "However, we can’t afford to look further than Ireland. We must look after our performance and if we do, the result will take care of itself.”

Wales U20 team v Ireland (Monday, 7.30pm local time, Viadana):
Dafydd Howells (Ospreys/ Neath); Ellis-Wyn Benham (Blues/ Cardiff), Garyn Smith (Blues/ Pontypridd), Owen Watkin (Ospreys/ Bridgend), Joshua Adams (Scarlets/ Llanelli); Jarrod Evans (Blues/ Pontypridd), Tomos Williams (Blues/ Pontypridd); Luke Garrett (Dragons/ Cross Keys), Liam Belcher (Blues/ Pontypridd), Dillon Lewis (Blues/ Pontypridd), Seb Davies (Blues/ Pontypridd), Adam Beard (Ospreys/ Aberavon), Tom Phillips (Scarlets/ Llanelli),  Ollie Griffiths (capt, Dragons/ Newport), Harrison Keddie (Dragons/ Ebbw Vale)

Replacements: Torin Myhill (Scarlets/ Llanelli),), Keagan Bale (Dragons/ Cross Keys), Joe Jones (Blues/ Cardiff), Lee Taylor (Carmarthen Quins), Ryan Elias (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Daniel Jones (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Joe Thomas (Ospreys/ Swansea)