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Llewellyn returns as five Cardiff Blues youngsters are selected for Wales Under-20

8th February 2019

Max Llewellyn is one of three changes made to the Wales under-20 side, as five Cardiff Blues youngsters are selected to take on Italy in Mantova on Sunday.

Gareth Williams' side look to bounce back from last week's defeat to world champions, France, in Vannes, with Dragons' Ed Scragg and Lennon Greggains also introduced into the starting line-up following suspension to Jac Price and injury to captain Tommy Reffell.

In the Leicester Tigers back row's absence, Ospreys hooker Dewi Lake takes over the captaincy.

Cardiff Blues quartet - Jamie Hill, Ioan Davies, Ben Warren and Teddy Williams - are retained following encouraging performances against the defending champions last week.

Centre Llewellyn made his debut at under-20 level against England in last year's Six Nations campaign, and went on to make his Guinness PRO14 debut as a replacement at Judgement Day. He also crossed for his first senior try in Cardiff Blues colours during this season's Syft International Challenge victory over Uruguay.

Three Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf products are included in the form of regional team-mates Llewellyn, Davies and Williams.

Cardiff Blues academy coach, Richie Rees, is delighted to see a strong representation from Cardiff Blues in the side, and welcomes the return of centre Llewellyn.

"It's great to see Max returning from an injury, which he suffered in the Principality Premiership derby between Cardiff and Pontypridd on New Year's Day," said the former Wales scrum half.

"That injury was a disappointment for him, as he'd been performing well both in the Celtic Cup and the Premiership this season. He'll be chomping at the bits to get back out there this weekend.

"To have five boys involved is huge and is a proud achievement for the whole pathway and academy structure at Cardiff Blues.

"Four of the boys keep their places from last week, and despite the defeat, I thought all of them were impressive against a very strong French side last week.

"I'm particularly pleased for Jamie Hill as well, as he came into the starting line-up at the 11th hour last week and took his opportunity with both hands.

"Jamie came into the pathway system slightly later than usual, but he's now being rewarded for his hard and diligent work on the training ground, and he has the potential for a bright future in the game.

"Another shout-out has to go to Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf. They've produced a good selection of international and regional players over the years, and to have three boys involved this weekend is proof of the good work made down there by Llywarch ap Myrddin and the rest of the coaching team."

Wales Under-20: Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues); Tom Lewis (Scarlets), Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues), Aneurin Owen (Dragons), Deon Smith (Dragons); Cai Evans (Ospreys), Jamie Hill (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Dewi Lake (Ospreys, capt.), Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), Ed Scragg (Dragons), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), Lennon Greggains (Dragons), Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets), Taine Basham (Dragons)

Replacements: Will Griffiths (Dragons), Tom Devine (Dragons), Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), Max Aylin (Dragons) or Iestyn Rees (Scarlets), Ellis Thomas (Llanelli), Dafydd Buckland (Dragons), Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers), Joe Roberts (Scarlets)