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 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.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.