15th Oct 2019

Wales u/20 Announce Side For Season Opener


Wales U20 head coach Gareth Williams has named his side for the Six Nations opener against France at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes on Sunday 3 February.

Leicester Tigers back row Tommy Reffell captains the side which includes a total of eight players getting their first taste of Six Nations action with backs Ioan Davies, Tom Hoppe, Aneurin Owen and Deon Smith joining forwards Ben Warren, Teddy Williams, Jac Price and Jac Morgan as debutants.

"We're very excited about our first competitive game of the season, and it doesn't get much bigger than against the current world champions," said Williams.

"The occasion will be superb and it will be a true test for us a group. We have ambitions to emulate them in the coming years, so it will be a good start.

"We're delighted with how we've trained, and that has been a credit to players who have missed out on selection. Their intensity in training has pushed the starting team brilliantly this week.

"We're also very grateful to Cardiff RFC for helping us. Steve Law and his team were brilliant in an opposed training session we had at Cardiff Arms Park. With the form they are in, and quality in their squad, it was a good 45-minute challenge for our boys' processes and approach."

Williams is aware his side face a daunting challenge on Sunday as the hosts can boast players who have amassed nearly 200 matches in the Top 14 where some of the world's best players compete in France's domestic league, while his own squad have just a handful of appearances in the Guinness Pro 14.

"This match represents a great opportunity. An opportunity for us as a new squad of players and coaches, but also an opportunity for individuals against a French squad with a high level of Top 14 exposure.

"If our players can prove themselves against that type of experience, it will hold us in good stead for the fixture, but also for their individual progression with our Regions," concluded Williams.

Wales U20s v France U20s.

15 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), 14 Tomi Lewis (Scarlets), 13 Tom Hoppe (Dragons), 12 Aneurin Owen (Dragons), 11 Deon Smith (Dragons), 10 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 9. Harri Morgan (Ospreys), 8. Taine Basham (Dragons), 7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester - CAPTAIN), 6. Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets), 5. Jac Price (Scarlets), 4 Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), 3. Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), 2. Dewi Lake (Ospreys), 1. Rhys Davies (Ospreys).

Replacements: 16 Will Griffiths (Dragons) 17 Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets) 18 Nick English (Bristol Bears) 19 Ed Scragg (Dragons) 20 Ellis Thomas (Llanelli) 21 Jamie Hill (Cardiff Blues) 22 Sam Costelow (Leicester) 23 Joe Roberts (Scarlets)

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