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Warren and Davies start for Wales under-20

Age Grade & Academy | 28th January 2020

Cardiff Blues duo Ben Warren and Ioan R Davies will start for Wales under-20, as they kick off their Six Nations campaign against Italy at Stadiwm Zip World on Friday (KO 7.35pm).

Head coach Gareth Williams has named his side for the opener, with Scarlets back row, Jac Morgan, named as skipper.

Warren and Davies are amongst the eight players included in the 33-man squad who also featured during last season's Championship.

Cardiff Blues academy loosehead, Theo Bevacqua, who recently joined Wales' Capital Region through the Welsh Exiles programme, is named amongst the replacements.

“The returning boys gives us a good nucleus to work from and provides us a good spine throughout the side,” said Williams. “It’s good to have that sort of experience going into a campaign and I know those players are ready to take on the mantle of being a senior player in what I think is an exciting squad.

“It’s great to have a group of returning players, while also blooding new players as we build towards the Junior World Cup later in the year.

“As I’ve said before, last year was my first year as head coach of this age group and we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing England and Ireland at Zipworld Stadium in front of a passionate crowd in Colwyn Bay.

“We can’t wait to kick off our Six Nations campaign, and are excited to get back up to North Wales where our home support has been outstanding over the years. We really enjoy playing in Colwyn Bay.

“We’ve had a good period of player identification and skill development. But it’s always good to have a competitive element to our development programme.

“Italy will be a stern challenge, and we know we are going to face a difficult night. Italy played some good rugby in last year’s World Cup, and their U18’s were outstanding against our boys in their win in Gloucester last season. So our preparation and performance needs to be of a high standard.”

Wales under-20: Josh Thomas (Ospreys); Dan John (Millfield School), Osian Knott (Scarlets), Aneurin Owen (Dragons), Ewan Rosser (Dragons); Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers), Dafydd Buckland (Dragons); Callum Williams (Scarlets), Dom Booth (Scarlets), Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), Jac Price (Scarlets), Ben Carter (Dragons), Ioan R Davies (Cardiff Blues), Jac Morgan (Scarlets, capt.), Morgan Strong (Ospreys)

Replacements: Will Griffiths (Dragons), Theo Bevacqua (Cardiff Blues), Archie Griffin (Bath Rugby), James Fender (Ospreys), Travis Huntley (Ospreys), Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Met), Luke Scully (Worcester Warriors), Bradley Roderick (Ospreys)