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Four Cardiff Blues start Under-20s clash

16th March 2016

Wales Under 20 head coach Jason Strange has put his confidence in the side that beat England 42-16 at Ashton Gate last Friday for their U20 Six Nations decider, against Italy on Friday (7.05, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, BBC 2 Wales) - as he starts four Cardiff Blues from the start.

There is just one enforced changed, wing George Gasson is ruled out with a hamstring injury and replaced in the starting line-up by Joe Thomas, Joe Gage comes onto the bench.

Wales will clinch a first U20 Championship title and Grand Slam if they win on Friday, but Strange is determined his players and coaches will not look any further than the task in hand.

He said: “We’ve rewarded the players for their outstanding performance last week. Joe Thomas has featured on the centre and wing during the campaign so he is comfortable there.

“It is a fantastic achievement to win the Triple Crown, it was a good performance but we can still make improvements, which will be our main objective on Friday.

“The players got a taste of what it feels like to produce a really memorable performance last week, and they want to enjoy that again by finishing on a high this weekend.

“We’ve addressed the dangers of getting ahead of ourselves and if our mindset is not right. We must stay focussed on our own expectations and on meeting our high standards.

“Playing in big occasions like this one is a key part of the players’ development, we want them to continue playing with skill and ambition.

“The effort and unity they’ve shown has been our strength so far and our collective team spirit will be vital on Friday."
Wales team v Italy (Friday 18 March, 7.05pm, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay): Rhun Williams (RGC); Joe Thomas (Ospreys), Harri Millard (Cardiff Blues), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Keelan Giles (Ospreys); Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys); Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Blues), Dafydd Hughes (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Tom Phillips (captain, Scarlets), Shaun Evans (Scarlets), Harrison Keddie (Newport Gwent Dragons)

Replacements: Ifan Phillips (Scarlets), Rhys Fawcett (Scarlets), Leon Brown (Newport Gwent Dragons), Bryce Morgan (Newport Gwent  Dragons), Morgan Sieniawski (Cardiff Blues), Declan Smith (Scarlets), Billy McBryde (Scarlets), Joe Gage (Ospreys)