Nicky Thomas is one of the senior men in this season's Wales Under 20 squad
Nicky Thomas says he is looking forward to playing with some of the new faces in this year's Wales Under 20 squad.
There are expectations that have to be met after the success of last year but we've got to realise that's over now and we need to build our own success this year
Head coach Byron Hayward has named an exciting-looking outfit for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations, with more than two thirds of the squad set to experience their first taste of international rugby at this level.
Thomas is one of the few with previous Wales Under 20 caps to his name and is looking forward to showing his new teammates the ropes.
"The more players you play with, the better it is to help develop your own game and your own strengths and weaknesses," said the Ospreys prop.
"The coaches are looking forward to implementing their philosophies on us but those of us who were here last year need to instil the professionalism and intensity on the boys who maybe haven't experienced it before."
Last season saw the Wales Under 20 side finish as runners-up in both the Six Nations and Junior World Championship, with a number of those who featured in those squads going on to play regional and in some cases, full international rugby this season.
Following that record will be a tough ask but with a Six Nations opener with Italy on the horizon, Thomas is ready to step up as one of the squad's senior men.
"If it's anything like last year, it will be a great experience," he said, looking ahead to the next few months.
"Hopefully I can bring those experiences to the new boys for this year. There are expectations that have to be met after the success of last year but we've got to realise that's over now and we need to build our own success this year.
"Italy are always a hugely physical side but I'm hoping we can power through that and our skill level will out do them.
"We are a team and I don't want to point out any individuals but as a squad, we are looking sharp ahead of our first game."
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Forwards coach Robyn McBryde says tomorrow's RBS 6 Nations clash against Italy gives Wales an opportunity to finish second in the tournament after having the wind knocked from their sails last week against England.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland tells WRU TV that his selection for the final clash of the RBS 6 Nations against Italy is an opportunity for some players to redeem themselves after Saturday's loss to England
Ebbw Vale clinch the Principality Premiership while Wales U20 hold a special training camp in Monmouth, in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Steelmen skipper Damien Hudd, as well as Wales U20 coach and captain, Jason Strange and Tom Phillips, WRU group chief executive Martyn Phillips, Wales wing Hallam Amos, WRU national performance manager Gethin Watts and Wales U20 consultant Dr Rich Neil of Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Mid way through their preparations for the forthcoming World Rugby U20 Championship (Manchester, June 7 - 25), Wales U20 head coach Jason Strange is taking his squad to Monmouth for a three day training camp next week.