Hayward makes three changes for second France test
14 June 2014 00:51am
By Liz Jones
Wales Under 20 captain Steffan Hughes leads his side against France on Sunday
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward has made three changes to the starting line-up for his side's second Junior World Championship match against France in a week.
Lock Scott Andrews replaces fellow Dragon Joe Davies, Scott Matthews comes in on the openside for Will Boyde, and Ashley Evans returns to the starting XV in place of left wing Joshua Adams. In addition, Ben Leung comes onto the bench for Callum Lewis who picked up an ankle injury in the 13-3 victory on Tuesday.
Although Wales beat Grand Slam winners France in their final Pool match, it wasn't enough to overturn their defeat to Ireland and make it through to the top four, so Wales face France again in the 6th place semi-final.
Hayward said, "Scott Andrews and Scott Matthews will be fresher having not played as much rugby as Joe (Davies) and Will Boyde in this tournament. As far as Ashley is concerned, we feel he can add an extra dimension in his more usual position of wing."
The former Wales outside half is confident in the ability of the Welsh youngsters to rise to the French challenge again on Sunday.
"We managed to win on Tuesday without much territory or possession, so if we can improve on those fronts, and play to our strengths, there's no reason we can't repeat the feat.
"France are excellent at the line-out, that is an area we must target in order to both deprive France of good quality ball and to increase our own attacking opportunities. We have to be more accurate in everything we do."
The conditions in Auckland have improved since Tuesday's match, and Hayward is hoping that will work in Wales' favour.
"The weather dictated that we had to play a direct game on Tuesday, but the conditions are much better now and we will look to play a more expansive game with the ball in hand."
A win against France would see Wales play the winner of Australia v Samoa at Eden Park for 5th place.
"It's a huge incentive to try and get to Eden Park for Finals Day," added Hayward.
"It's a very prestigious ground and to be part of Finals Day there would be fantastic."
Wales Under 20 v France (ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe, Sunday 15 June, 6.35am UK time, shown as live at 10pm on S4C):
Dafydd Howells (Ospreys); Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Steffan Hughes (capt, Scarlets), Jack Dixon (Dragons), Ashley Evans (Ospreys); Angus O'Brien (Dragons), Tom Williams (Blues); Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys), Scott Andrews (Dragons), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Olly Cracknell (RGC), Scott Matthews (Dragons), James Benjamin (Dragons)
Replacements; Scott Otten (Ospreys), Luke Garrett (Dragons), Ben Leung (Scarlets), Ben Roach (Blues), Will Boyde (Carmarthen), Luc Jones (Dragons), Ethan Davies (Dragons), Harri Evans (RGC)
Wales Women head coach Rowland Phillips tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie his side go into tomorrow's clash against England as underdogs, but he's confident the world champions won't have everything their own way at BT Sports Cardiff Arms Park.
Defence coach Shaun Edwards believes Saturday's clash against England - the 'form team in world rugby' - poses a huge challenge for his side but he is confident, with Wales beginning to show the defensive qualities displayed in the last two World Cups,
The start of the Six Nations on this week's Princpiality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Coach and captain Rob Howley and Alun Wyn Jones look forward to the Italy game with Jake Ball and Jonathan Davies. Coach Rowland Phillips, outside half Elinor Snowsill and full back Dyddgu Hywel talk about Wales Women, while coach Jason Strange and centre Ioan Nicholas preview the U20 game. And find out why Snowsill had to hide her skills - or most of them!
At the official launch of this season's RBS 6 Nations at a noisy location in London this morning, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones reveals he is personally proud to be in the Wales team and is already looking forward to the opening clash against Italy which is a 'tough ask'.
It was a double celebration for Wales and Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb when he called at the home of Welsh rugby to help commemorate the first anniversary of Principality Stadium and his return to fitness this weekend ahead of the RBS 6 Nations.
Head coach Rowland Phillips and key front rower Carys Phillips look ahead to games against Spain and Ireland as Wales Women ramp up their preparations for the forthcoming Six Nations. The two warm-up games are a 'massive opportunity to refine the squad' according to the Welsh camp.
After bouncing back on Day Two in Wellington with a good win against Papua New Guinea, Wales Sevens were stopped in the Challenge Trophy semi-final by Australia. Head coach Gareth Williams gives his assessment of the day.
Wales may have seen their eight match unbeaten run in the Under 20 Six Nations ended by reigning world junior champions England, but head coach Jason Strange reckons his young side will be all the better if they can learn the lessons from their defeat.
One of the major success stories of the year: More passing, less kicking, more offloads, more turnovers, more line-breaks and consecutive phases, less scrums and lineouts - and increased distribution to the backs from both.
The introduction of girls-only, summer rugby has been so successful that 15 new teams have been set up at under 15, under 18 and senior level around Wales for the traditional season. The Pontypool-based Arrows are one of these, as WRU TV finds out.