Wales Under 21 have lost Cardiff outside half Nicky Robinson to the senior Wales replacements bench at Twickenham following the injury to Stephen Jones.
And with the IRB Young Player of the Year, Swansea's Gavin Henson, ruled out with an injury, it means Newport's Michael Hook will win his first Under 21 cap in the No 10 jersey against England Under 21 at Newbury tonight (kick-off 7.30pm).
Wales will be seeking their fourth successive victory over England in the Six Nations Under 21 Championship. They also beat them in Argentina in an eight-team tournament in 2000.
England's only victory against Wales was in their first meeting in 1998 at
Worcester, winning 46-7.
In their Championship clashes, Wales won 36-21 at Neath in 1999, 15-12 at New Brighton in 2000 and 27-12 at Pontypridd last year.
After winning in Ireland and losing at home to France, Wales defeated Italy at Bridgend by 65-12. They have made a number of changes from that game, including bringing in Wales A No 8 Andrew Powell.
ENGLAND UNDER 21 (v Wales Under 21)
Jon Goodridge (Gloucester); Anthony Elliott (Sale Sharks), Adam Billig (Leicester Tigers), Alex Crockett (Bath), Tom Voyce (Bath); Oliver Barkley (Bath), Ian Vass (Northampton Saints); Michael Holford (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Roddam (NEC Harlequins), Mark Irish (Gloucester),
Stuart Hooper (Saracens), Martin Purdy (London Wasps), Chris Morgan (Bristol Shoguns), James Scaysbrook (Bath), Mark Soden (Northampton Saints, Captain)
Replacements: Alex Page (London Wasps),
Andy Higgins (Bristol Shoguns), Nick Cox (Gloucester), James Buckland (Northampton Saints), Alistair McKenzie (London Wasps), James Hamilton (Leicester Tigers), Ian Clarke (Leeds Tykes)
WALES UNDER 21
Gareth Swales (Swansea); James Strong (London Welsh), Hal Luscombe (Newport), Matthew Brayley (Swansea, capt), Liam Roberts (Cardiff); Michael Hook (Newport), Michael Phillips (Llanelli);
Paul James (Neath), Adam Matthews (Neath), Adam Jones (Neath), Luke
Tait (Cardiff), Ryan Jones (UWIC), Rhys Williams (Ebbw Vale), Gareth Williams (Llanelli), Andrew Powell (Newport).
Replacements: Matthew Miles (Northampton Saints), Phil John (Llanelli), Ceiron Jones (Llanelli), Nathan Brew (Newport), Rhys Jones
(Newport), Chris Miller (Cardiff), Dafydd Lewis (London Wasps).
Wales Sevens are looking to re-group after a disappointing tournament last time out in South Africa. The next double leg in New Zealand and Las Vegas offers Gareth Williams a chance to redeem themselves.
Wales Women's head coach Rhys Edwards was at Llandovery to see the conclusion of an entertaining Women's Regional championship where any one of three teams were in contention for title glory on the last day of action.
Christmas has come early at Glynneath rugby club, one of a number around Wales who have received an array of merchandise and equipment this December courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union's £750,000 participation points scheme.
The WRU have been delivering on the scheme - which gives individual clubs access to up to £5,000 worth of supplies and equipment each for the 2014/2015 season - over the last two weeks and today (Friday) were received by a special guest in Glynneath, club president and pitch marker Max Boyce.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.