Sale's Rhys Jones will make his first start at outside half, with fullback Martyn Thomas returning to the side after a hamstring injury. Marcus Johnstone will come in on the left wing to win his first U20 cap, while a new centre partnership sees Gareth Maule moving from 13 to 12 and James Lewis moving back into the midfield from wing.
Bedwas wing Jimmy Norris and the Wanderers' Luke Ford have been called up to the bench from the Wales U19 squad.
In the forwards, Blues locks Bradley Davies and James Down will make their first starts at U20 level with Davies having recovered from an ankle injury that has kept him out of the side until now.
Scarlets lock Lou Reed is ruled out after picking up a shoulder injury in France while Marc Jones will start at hooker after impressing as a replacement in Brive. Prop Hugh Gustafson retains the captaincy.
Rees commented: "This campaign has understandably been a steep learning curve for our players, particularly the heavy defeat to France two weeks ago. However, the group is improving with each game which is all you can ask. Results would be great, and we were unlucky in our opening game against Ireland, but they are not the be-all and end-all.
"The boys have set themselves high standards for our next match in Italy so hopefully they can show what they are made of on Friday. Our backs suffered the brunt of the French back line last time out but there were also a lot of good points to our game, especially from our forwards who have been solid throughout this tournament.
"The Italians will be tough up front but I am confident we can match anyone in that area and we will look to put some width to our game."
U21 Six Nations
Wales U20 v Italy U21
Friday March 9th 2007, Piacenza
(6.30pm local time)
Wales U20: Martyn Thomas (Dragons); Alec Jenkins (Llanelli/Scarlets), James Lewis (Bedwas/Dragons), Gareth Maule (Newport/Dragons), Marcus Johnstone (Cross Keys/Dragons); Rhys Jones (Sale Sharks); Robert Lewis (Neath/Ospreys); Hugh Gustafson (captain; Llanelli/Scarlets), Marc Jones (Sale Sharks), Jamie Corsi (Newport/Dragons), Bradley Davies (Blues), James Down (Cardiff/Blues), Danny Lydiate (Ebbw Vale/Dragons), James Harris (Bedwas/Dragons), Lewis Evans (Newport/Dragons)
Replacements: Ben Flower (Bedwas/Dragons), Nick Eaves (Pontypridd/Blues), Adam Brown (Bedwas/Dragons), Matthew Larsen (Cardiff/Blues), Darren Allinson (Cardiff/Blues), Luke Ford (Wanderers/Blues), Jimmy Norris (Bedwas/Dragons)
Italy U21: Team selection not available at present