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).
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.