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Wilde one of five uncapped players named in Wales U20 squad

International | 7th June 2023

Cardiff's Harri Wilde is one of five uncapped players named in the Wales squad ahead of the World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa later this month.

The Ysgol Glantaf outside half played a key role for the club's U18 side last season and is rewarded for his form with a place in Mark Jones' 30-player squad. 

Wilde is joined in the squad by four Blue and Blacks team-mates in full back Cameron Winnett and back row trio Gwilym Evans, Mackenzie Martin and Lucas de la Rua. Academy coach Craig Everett is also a part of the backroom team, taking charge of the defence.

Dragons' Ryan Woodman will captain Wales, who are drawn alongside France, Japan and five-times winners New Zealand as the Championship returns for the first time since 2019.

“It’s a very mixed team in terms of youth and experience,” said Jones. “There are a lot of exciting players in there particularly around our backline and back row. There is also a lot of potential in the front five moving forward.

“Historically they have been pretty strong in this competition over the years. Someone mentioned the last three times we have played them we have actually won twice.

“It’s not a game we are fearful of – we see it as a real opportunity, we’re very respectful of New Zealand rugby particularly at U20s level. Their school system is phenomenal, I’ve experienced it first-hand. When you are playing a New Zealand team it’s a good measure of where you are – your potential as an individual and as a team.

“We also know the French are very strong in the Six Nations. They picked up some terrific victories, they gave us a good hiding in that tournament and Japan is one of the fasting rising nations in world rugby so they are going to be a very difficult opponent as well.”

Jones added: “We just want to be better than what we were in the Six Nations around our performance levels.

“If we get the improvements in the areas we have targeted then I think the results will reflect that. We’re looking to improve individually and collectively and that will hopefully give us the best chance of results. None of us are going out there not to win games of rugby.”

Wales match schedule

Wales U20 v New Zealand U20 – Saturday, 24 June, Paarl Gymnasium – KO 3pm BST
Wales U20 v Japan U20 – Thursday, 29 June,
Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch – KO 1pm BST
Wales U20 v France U20– Tuesday, 4 July,
Athlone Sports Stadium, Cape Town – KO 3.30pm BST

A full playing schedule is available on the World Rugby website, and tickets to the tournament are available here.

Wales men’s World Rugby U20 Championship squad: Josh Morse (Scarlets), Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths (Dragons RFC), Lewis Lloyd (Ospreys), Sam Scarfe (Dragons RFC), Lewis Morgan (Scarlets), Louis Fletcher (Ospreys), Ellis Fackrell (Ospreys), *Kian Hire (Ospreys), Liam Edwards (Ospreys), *Evan Hill (Ospreys), Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby), Jonny Green (Harlequins), Ryan Woodman (Dragons RFC), Morgan Morse (Ospreys), Lucas De la Rua (Cardiff Rugby), *Seb Driscoll (Harlequins), Gwilym Evans (Cardiff Rugby), Archie Hughes (Scarlets), Harri Williams (Scarlets), Che Hope (Dragons RFC), Dan Edwards (Ospreys), *Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby), Bryn Bradley (Harlequins), Joe Westwood (Dragons RFC), Tom Florence (Ospreys), Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby), Harri Houston (Ospreys), *Huw Anderson (Dragons RFC), Llien Morgan (Ospreys), Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)