Wales Under 20 head coach Phil Davies has named an unchanged backline but includes four changes and one positional amongst the forwards ahead of his side's final match of the Under 20 Six Nations, against Italy on Friday evening (8.05pm, Cardiff Arms Park).
Lock Lloyd Peers and prop Simon Gardiner were concussed during Wales' defeat to Ireland last weekend and are replaced by James Thomas and Tonmawr's Joe Rees respectively. Dan Watchurst is returning from a slight rib injury and takes a place on the bench but it replaced in the starting line-up by Scarlets prop Trystan Davies.
Toby Faletau has been released by the Wales Under 20 management to the Dragons ahead of the Region's clash against Connacht tomorrow night, which gives Edward Siggery a chance to start the game on the blindside, while Morgan Allen returns to his preferred position at no 8, and Aberavon and Ospreys back row Ben Thomas is included in the 22 for the first time. Davies will name his captain for the Italian Test tomorrow (Wednesday).
Davies said, "This will be the last opportunity for 15 of the starting 22 to play in an Under 20 Six Nations game which will no doubt add to the desire of everyone involved to end the campaign on a positive note.
"Looking back at the tournament, we played well in the first half at Kingsholm and showed some fantastic all round rugby ability against Scotland and France. Despite going down 17-0 in the opening 20 minutes of last week's game against Ireland, we scored 17 points in the last quarter to give the game a different slant, so despite being disappointed to lose a couple of games, we have shown tremendous character and spirit which sums up this group of players."
Wales Under 20 team v Italy (Friday 19 March, 8.05pm, Cardiff Arms Park)
Dan Fish (Blues); James Loxton (Blues), Ben John (Ospreys), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Kristian Phillips (Ospreys); Matthew Jarvis (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Trystan Davies (Scarlets) Rhys Williams (Blues), Joe Rees (Tonmawr / Ospreys academy), James Thomas (Dragons), Macauley Cook (Blues), Edward Siggery (Llandovery), Josh Navidi (Blues), Morgan Allen (Pontypool).
Replacements: Ieuan Davies (Glamorgan Wanderers), Dan Watchurst (Dragons),Rhys Jenkins (Dragons), Ben Thomas (Ospreys), Rhys Downes (Blues), Steve Shingler (Scarlets), Dean Gunter (Blues)
Tickets for the final Wales Under 20 home Test match of the season are available at £5 for Under 16s, £10 and £12 for adults.
Tickets are on sale at the Cardiff Arms cafe / store, no 8 Westgate Street, online via www.wru.co.uk /tickets and from Ticketweb on tel 08444 771000.
Tickets are also on sale at Cardiff Arms Park shop 10am - 3pm and on matchday from the ticket office, Cardiff Arms Park Angel entrance.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.