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Cardiff front row duo return for Wales under-20 finale

Pathway | 12th July 2021

Cardiff's front row duo of Nathan Evans and Efan Daniel return to Wales under-20's starting line-up for the Six Nations finale against Scotland on Tuesday.

Prop Evans and hooker Daniel, who are both part of the Cardiff Blues academy, were included in the starting line-up for the opening two rounds of action against Italy and Ireland. However, they made cameos from the bench in the defeats to France and England.

Their return to the starting XV are among seven changes made by head coach Ioan Cunningham for the clash against winless Scotland.

Alex Mann will again captain the young Welsh side from the openside, while Ethan Lloyd retains the number nine jersey. Ioan Evans, who will link up with the Arms Park outfit over the summer, continues his midfield partnership with Joe Hawkins. 

Jacob Beetham, who has donned the number 15 jersey in all four games to date, will start on the bench, having been replaced by Morgan Richards at full back.

He is joined on the bench by fellow academy members back row Evan Lloyd, who made his only appearance of the campaign against Italy, and Ben Burnell, who is set for his first outing at this level. Loosehead prop Theo Bevacqua is ruled out with concussion. 

“We obviously want to finish on a high and that is a focus for us - we started with a win so it would be nice to finish with a win with this group,” explains Cunningham.

“We’ve freshened up the playing group as some of the boys have played a lot of rugby and we also have a couple of players carrying knocks. Both Dan John and Theo Bevacqua have had concussion symptoms so have been replaced by Carrick McDonough and Cameron Jones respectively.

“With so many guys available next year, if their last game here is a win then that is what they will remember, so that is a big platform to start from next year.

“Scotland have tested England, Ireland and France in all aspects during their games. If you give them enough possession then they can punish you.

“They've got a lot of variety and creativity in their play, especially off line-out. They are going for one big push to finish with a win, the same as us so it's going to be a mental challenge for the two teams as well.

“Credit has to go with the entire group of players and management the way they have dealt with the covid restrictions and it’s a credit to Welsh rugby the boys have held their heads high in the challenging circumstances."

Wales U20 v Scotland U20, Cardiff Arms Park, Tuesday 13th July, KO 8pm (Live BBC2Wales)
15 Morgan Richards (Dragons/Pontypridd)
14 Carrick McDonough (Dragons)
13 Ioan Evans (Pontypridd)
12 Joe Hawkins (Ospreys)
11 Tom Florence (Ospreys)
10 Sam Costelow (Scarlets)
9 Ethan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby);
1 Cameron Jones (Ospreys)
2 Efan Daniel (Cardiff Rugby)
3 Nathan Evans (Cardiff Rugby)    
4 Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs)         
5 Rhys Thomas (Ospreys)
6 Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs)
7 Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – capt)
8 Tristan Davies (Ospreys)

16 Connor Chapman (Dragons)
17 Lewys Jones (Nevers)
18 Zak Giannini (Llanelli Wanderers)
19 James Fender (Ospreys)
20 Harri Deaves (Ospreys)
21 Harri Williams (Scarlets)
22 Will Reed (Dragons)
23 Ben Burnell (Cardiff Rugby)
24 Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Rugby)
25 Eddie James (Scarlets)
26 Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby)