Wales Under 20 squad captain, Scott Andrews will make his first start of the IRB Junior World Championship in the match against Ireland in the 5th place semi-final, tomorrow (Fukuoka, 9am UK time).
Wales lost to Australia (38-5) in their final Pool D game on Saturday after beating Tonga (51-5) and Canada (51-15) in their other Pool games. The defeat to Australia kept Wales out of the last four, but a win over Ireland tomorrow would place Wales in the top six in the final rankings.
Wales will play either France or Samoa in their final game on Sunday.
Glamorgan Wanderers and Blues academy prop Andrews replaces Simon Gardiner on the tight head, while there is a juggling of the back row with Ebbw Vale's Rhys Jenkins returning after a hamstring twinge on the open side, and Justin Tipuric, who has captained the side so far in the competition, moving to the blindside. Ebbw Vale's James Thomas retains his place in the back row but moves to no 8, with Rory Pitman starting on the bench.
Behind the scrum, Carmarthen Quins' Jason Harries replaces Scott Williams in the centre and Rhys Downes starts on the wing with Nick Reynolds sustaining an injury against Australia, and with Jamie Davies ruled out of the tournament.
Wales head coach Phil Davies said, "This is a fantastic challenge for the players. We want to finish the tournament as strongly as possible, and this is the type of challenge the players will relish. The stadium is superb, one of the best venues I have seen during my career, and the conditions will certainly suit a running style of rugby.
"It is great to have Scott back in the starting line -up as captain. He has worked extremely hard to regain full fitness and great credit goes to the medical and conditioning staff. Simon Gardiner has done a very good job at tight head throughout the tournament to date and deserves to keep his place in our match 22.
"James Leadbeater has also worked very hard to get back to fitness and takes up a place in the 22 for the first time tomorrow.
Behind the scrum, we have included James Led beater for the first time since we arrived in Japan, alongside Scott, he has worked very hard to regain full fitness.
"We are pleased Rhys Downes has accepted the challenge of playing out of position due to injuries. We are hoping Nick Reynolds will be fit for our final game on Sunday."
Wales team v Ireland (Wednesday, 9am UK time):
Daniel Newton (Scarlets academy/ Llanelli); Jamie Loxton (Blues academy / Glamorgan Wanderers), Jason Harries (Carmarthen Quins), Ashley Beck (vice-captain, Ospreys academy / Aberavon), Rhys Downes (Blues academy / Pontypridd); Matthew Jarvis (Ospreys academy / Neath), Lloyd Williams (Blues academy / Glamorgan Wanderers); Aaron Coundley (Dragons academy /Ebbw Vale), Rhys Williams (Blues academy / Pontypridd), Scott Andrews (capt, Blues Academy / Glamorgan Wanderers), James King (Ospreys academy / Aberavon), Ashley Sweet (Dragons academy / Cross Keys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys academy / Aberavon), Rhys Jenkins (Dragons academy / Ebbw Vale), James Thomas (Dragons academy / Ebbw Vale)
Replacements: Craig Attwell (Dragons academy/ Newbridge), Simon Gardiner (Scarlets academy / Llanelli), Rory Pitman (Ospreys academy / Bridgend / Taranaki), Josh Navidi (Blues academy / Glamorgan Wanderers), James Leadbeater (Cross Keys), Dai Langdon (Dragons academy / Ebbw Vale), Scott Williams (Scarlets academy / Llanelli)
Wales Pool D fixtures (all at Best Amenity Stadium, Saga):
Wales 51-5 Tonga Friday 5 June
Wales 51-15 Canada, Tuesday 9 June
Wales 5 v 38 Australia, Saturday 13 June
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.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event