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Cardiff trio named in Wales U20 squad to face Poland

International | 19th January 2023

Three Cardiff youngsters have been named in the Wales U20 squad for Friday’s friendly encounter with the Poland senior men’s team at Cardiff Arms Park (KO 7.15pm).

Byron Hayward has named a 26-man matchday squad as preparations intensify ahead of the Six Nations Championship, which kicks off in February.

Entry will be free for spectators at the Arms Park, with gates opening at 6.15pm.

Cardiff academy forward Mackenzie Martin, who made his debut at this level last summer, will line up in the number eight jersey.

He is joined in the starting XV by Cameron Winnett, the full back who has racked up four first team appearances with the Blue and Blacks.

Elsewhere, Harrison James - a regular fixture in the Cardiff RFC side this season - is named amongst the replacements while former Cardiff academy centre Louie Hennessey, now of Bath Rugby, wears the number 13 jersey.

“It’s a last opportunity for players as we play Ireland in just over two weeks in the opening round of the Six Nations in Colwyn Bay,” said head coach Hayward.

“Physicality is important at test match level so we’ll be looking to match them so hopefully we can stand up to them and win the physical battle.

“If you look across the 15 places, most of them will be up for grabs. We’ve got good competition, particularly in the back-line. Our nines are strong and we have good competition at 10 and in the centres – there is plenty of competition there.”

With Mason Grady joining Joe Hawkins, Christ Tshiunza and Dafydd Jenkins in Warren Gatland’s Six Nations squad, Hayward says there is plenty of incentive for his players to put their hands up.

“We don’t need to say anything to motivate the players, less than six months ago the likes of Joe, Dafydd, Christ and Mason were playing for us. They have all graduated within six months of coming out of the U20s so that’s a real positive for us.”

Wales U20s v Poland, Cardiff Arms Park, Fri 20 January, KO 7.15pm
15 Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)

14 Llien Morgan (Ospreys)
13 Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby)
12 Harri Ackerman (Dragons)
11 Harri Houston (Ospreys)
10 Dan Edwards (Ospreys)
9 Archie Hughes (Scarlets);
1 Dylan Keller Griffiths (Dragons)
2 Lewis Morgan (Scarlets)
3 Will Couch (Scarlets)
4 Liam Edwards (Ospreys)
5 Jonny Green (Harlequins)
6 Huw Davies (Sale)
7 Luca Giannini (Scarlets)
8 Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby)

16 Isaac Young (Scarlets)
17 Freddie Chapman (Ospreys)
18 Tomas Pritchard (Scarlets)
19 Patrick Nelson (RGC)
20 Owain Evans (RGC)
21 Caleb Salmon (Scarlets)
22 Tom Caple (Dragons)
23 Harri Williams (Scarlets)
24 Harrison James (Cardiff Rugby)
25 Iestyn Gwilliam (Scarlets)
26 Jac Davies (Scarlets)