Nine Cardiff Blues have been named in the Wales Under-20s team to face England at Parc Eirias on Friday night.
Jason Strange’s young guns kicked off their Six Nations defence with a 27-5 victory over Italy in Rome last week with eight players from Wales’ Capital Region involved.
They all hold onto their place in the match-day squad and are joined by former Wales Under-18s captain Callum Bradbury, who comes into the second-row alongside Pontypridd’s Sean Moore.
“For us to be able to introduce two players of their quality to the team is a real boost,” says Strange.
“Sean has been playing well for Pontypridd and has impressed in training with us, while Callum, who has returned from injury, was one of our outstanding players at U18 level.”
The opening victory against Italy pleased the head coach, but he says he’s now concentrating fully on what this Friday will bring at Parc Eirias.
“It will be a memorable moment for our players running out in front of a sell-out crowd, but as coaches we want to see how they react to that pressure against a strong England side,” says Strange.
“The decisions they make and how they perform is key to their development, which will make it a very intriguing game for us.”
Despite missing several of his players due to unavailability and injury, Strange sees the positives in the situation: “It’s of long-term benefit for us to give new players opportunities and widen our player base, because we want to have an experienced squad going into the World Rugby U20 Championships in Georgia this summer.”
Wales U20 have won their last eight matches in the U20 Six Nations, whilst England U20 are on a six-match winning streak in all competitions – all of which points towards an engrossing encounter in North Wales.
Wales Under-20s: Will Talbot-Davies; Jared Rosser, Ioan Nicholas, Keiran Williams, Ryan Conbeer; Ben Jones, Dane Blacker; Rhys Carre, Ellis Shipp, Kieron Assiratti, Callum Bradbury, Sean Moore, Morgan Sieniawski, Will Jones (capt), Morgan Morris.
Replacements: Corrie Tarrant, Steff Thomas, Chris Coleman, Alex Dombrandt, Aled Ward, Declan Smith, Phil Jones, Cameron Lewis