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)
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales U20 head coach Byron Hayward and back row Will Boyde believe defence will be the key when they face Ireland tomorrow in the second pool game of the Junior World Championship being held in New Zealand.
Tension was palpable as players waited to hear the announcment of the Wales touring squad of South Africa. Matthew Morgan was one of four uncapped players named in the squad after impressing in the Wales Senior Trial.
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Possibles coach Robin McBryde has given his team a licence to thrill in Friday's Wales Senior Trial match. He tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie that his side will be determined to ruffle a few feathers against the favourites, the Probables.
We look at the squads for the Wales trial, European finals weekend and Wales U20 on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Warren Gatland and Rob Howley on the trial, full back Hallam Amos on his summer hopes, Wales legend Ieuan Evans welcomes European rugby finals weekend to Cardiff and Wales U20 hooker Ethan Lewis looks ahead to the Junior World Championships.
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward says last night's 31-19 win over Scotland was a crucial building block as the Junior World Cup rapidly approaches. WRU TV's Liz Jones gets his post match reaction.
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards relives London Wasps triumphs in the Amlin and Heineken Cups in 2003 and 2004 and looks ahead to this year's Heineken and Amlin finals in Cardiff, as well as the Wales trial match.
The Ospreys have rewarded Wales Under-20 hooker Scott Otten with his first professional contract. The promising front-rower, who turns 20 this month, has put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal after impressing at the Liberty Stadium towards the end of last season.
Wales in South Africa and reaction back home in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Ken Owens and Jonathan Davies in South Africa, Sam Warburton back in Wales. We speak to Wales U20 and also hear about the special Millennium Stadium which is 15 this week.