Ieuan Jones scores for Wales U20 at the recent Junior World Championship
Newport Gwent Dragons' Wales Under 20 starlets have been backed to shine at Rodney Parade.
The Gwent region contributed five players to the Wales Under 20 side that lost to England in the Junior World Championship final.
Three of those young guns are already established members of the Dragons first team squad, Hallam Amos, Jack Dixon and Ieuan Jones, while Elliot Dee and James Benjamin are expected to make the step up this year.
And former Dragons skills coach Byron Hayward, who has been promoted to become Wales Under 20's new head coach reckons they will impress on the regional stage.
"Those boys will have gained an awful lot from the Junior World Championship and I don't see why they can't be key figures for the Dragons next season," said Hayward.
"They competed against the best players of their age from around the world and in more cases than not came out on top.
"Their confidence will be sky high and given the opportunity, which I fully expect Lyn (Jones) will give based on his history, they will make a massive impact for the region."
It is a view shared by team manager Mark Taylor and he reckons the rookies will flourish under the guidance of Jones to form the core of the Dragons side in the future.
"It's great for me as a Gwent man to see these outstanding players coming through," said the former Wales centre.
"It's a clean slate with Lyn coming in and it's important that the Under-20s boys work hard in pre-season to make an impression on him. They are quality players and I hope that they make an impact.
"It would be nice to see those boys being the core of the Dragons side and for them to help the region compete at the top end because Wales needs that when you look at the history and legacy of clubs in Gwent.
"We've had success in the Six Nations and the Junior World Championship and hopefully a lot of those players have shown they are ready to make the next step up into the professional game.
"That's the whole point of the Under-20s and those boys are knocking on the door of the regional sides after being exposed to high quality rugby.
"How they dealt with the pressure of a semi-final and final says a lot about their temperament.
"A lot of those players have got a pat on the back, they've crossed that big hurdle and now it's whether or not they get an opportunity at the regions.
"Hopefully they'll get the chance in the early part of the season to make an impact and go on from there."
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
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