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De la Rua makes first Wales under-20 start in Treviso

International | 8th March 2023

Lucas de la Rua will make his first start for Wales under-20 as they travel to Italy on Friday evening.

The Cardiff under-18 star has been handed the number seven jersey for the Treviso Test, as Byron Hayward’s men seek their first win of this season’s Six Nations Championship.

Back row De la Rua is joined in the starting line-up by Cardiff team-mate Cameron Winnett, who has featured in all Wales under-20 matches over the past two seasons.

Blue and Blacks’ academy flanker Gwilym Evans also features in the matchday 23, and is set for his debut from the bench.

Elsewhere, Morgan Morse returns, replacing Cardiff’s Mackenzie Martin in the number eight jersey. Centre Bryn Bradley - brother of first team back row Gwilym - is handed a first start of the campaign.

The final changes sees Llien Morgan reinstated on the wing as Ryan Woodman once again captains the side from the blindside.

“Overall, the mood in the camp is good,” said Hayward. “Italy have the strongest scrum in the tournament without a doubt.

“If we can get parity up front and tighten defensively behind, we can beat Italy – I think we can beat any team in this tournament, but we have got to get all our nuts and bolts right,” he said.

“It was obviously disappointing to lose against England, but once again, it was only a one-score game at the 60-minute mark, just like it was against Ireland and Scotland. There are plenty of things we are doing really well and if the boys can tighten the defence, then there is no reason why we can’t come away with a win.”

Wales U20 v Italy U20, Stadio Comunale Di Manigo, Treviso, Friday 10 March, 7.15pm KO (S4C)
15 Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)
14 Harri Houston (Ospreys)
13 Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby)
12 Bryn Bradley (Harlequins)
11 Llien Morgan (Ospreys)
10 Dan Edwards (Ospreys)
9 Archie Hughes (Scarlets);
1 Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths (Dragons)
2 Sam Scarfe (Dragons)
3 Tomas Pritchard (Scarlets)
4 Liam Edwards (Ospreys)
5 Jonny Green (Harlequins)
6 Ryan Woodman (Dragons – Capt)
7 Lucas De La Rua (Cardiff Rugby)
8 Morgan Morse (Ospreys)

16 Lewis Morgan (Scarlets)
17 Josh Morse (Scarlets)
!8 Louis Fletcher (Ospreys)
19 Luca Giannini (Scarlets)
20 Gwilym Evans (Cardiff Rugby)
21 Che Hope (Dragons)
22 Iwan Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs)
23 Jac Davies (Scarlets)