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Six Cardiff Blues involved as Wales under-20 keep the faith for England challenge

Age Grade & Academy | 4th March 2020


Five Cardiff Blues youngsters have retained their starting spots for Wales under-20’s Six Nations clash against England at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester, on Friday (KO 7.45pm).

Head coach Gareth Williams has opted to make just a single change to the side that claimed victory over world champions, France, last time out with Will Griffiths replacing Dom Booth in the number two jersey.

The Dragons hooker is joined in the front row by Cardiff Blues academy duo, Theo Bevacqua and Ben Warren.

Ioan Davies continues his run in the back row, having started every game during the campaign, while Jacob Beetham and Mason Grady are retained in the back three, after making their respective debuts against France.

There are two further Cardiff Blues connections on the bench. Back row Gwilym Bradley, who made a try scoring debut for Cardiff RFC last week, is once again amongst the replacements.

Bradley is joined by incoming outside half, Luke Scully, who will make the switch from Worcester Warriors to Cardiff Blues ahead of next season and has recovered after illness.

Williams has decided to keep the faith with the side that won at Colwyn Bay, and is pleased to see his side learning their lessons following early defeats to Italy and Ireland.

The head coach said: “I thought the boys controlled the game against France really well, lessons were learned after we didn’t do that very well in the first half against Ireland so that was a pleasing element. 

"We spoke about exerting pressure onto France as opposed to absorbing it all like we did against Ireland and for stages of the Italy game.
 
“We were proud of the effort the boys put in against France and the win gives the boys a lot of confidence.  

“They have built well throughout the campaign and improved as the campaign has gone on - I thought we put in a good performance in what were demanding conditions against France.
 
“We’ve had some pretty special results over the past 12 months, but consistency is key for these young players going into professional rugby.
 
“We know the challenge that awaits with the strength and depth England have. They’ve had two excellent wins early in the Six Nations and they’ll probably be disappointed with their last result so they will be looking to bounce back, so we have to go there and stand up to that and deal with their individual and collective threats.
 
“England have a great pedigree at this level but to go and play in front of the Shed in Gloucester will be a great occasion and something the boys are really excited about.”
 
Wales U20 v England U20, Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester, Friday 6 March, KO 7.45pm
15 Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Blues)
14 Frankie Jones (Aberavon)
13 Bradley Roderick (Ospreys)
12 Aneurin Owen (Dragons)
11 Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues)
10 Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers)
9 Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Met);
1 Theo Bevacqua (Cardiff Blues)
2 Will Griffiths (Dragons)
3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues)
4 James Fender (Ospreys)
5 Ben Carter (Dragons)
6 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues)
7 Jac Morgan (Scarlets – CAPT)
8 Morgan Strong (Ospreys)
 
Replacements
16 Dom Booth (Scarlets)
17 Callum Williams (Scarlets)
18 Harri O’Connor  (Scarlets)
19 Ed Scragg (Dragons)
20 Gwilym Bradley (Cardiff Blues)
21 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons)
22 Joe Hawkins (Ospreys)
23 Luke Scully (Worcester Warriors)