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).
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.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.