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Nine Cardiff Blues to start for Wales U20s

9th March 2017

Nine Cardiff Blues products have been named in Wales U20's starting side to face Ireland at Parc Eirias on Saturday (KO 6.30pm)

Head coach Jason Strange has made one change to the side that beat Scotland 65-34 a fortnight ago, as Shane Lewis-Hughes returns to the starting line-up, after recovering from injury, to replace fellow Cardiff Blues back row James Botham, who is named on the bench.

Lewis-Hughes, who started every game in Wales' Grand Slam-winning campaign last year, is named on the blindside and will team up with captain Will Jones and Cardiff Blues' Aled Ward in the back row. 

Dane Blacker and Ben Jones continue their partnership at half back, while Rhun Williams and Cameron Lewis are also named in the starting backline.

Cardiff Blues trio Rhys Carre, Corrie Tarrant and Keiron Assiratti are named in the front row.

Cardiff Blues players contributed to four of Wales' eight tries against Scotland, and head coach Strange is confident his side can pick up momentum heading into the crucial match against Ireland.

"The most pleasing aspect of that game in Scotland was our style of play, which is our biggest focus as a team,

"We're starting to realise the way we want to play and the qualities we have as a side, so that's something else I want to come to the fore at Parc Eirias on Saturday.

"As well as we played in Scotland, we also have a few things to correct, which we'll be looking to do this weekend. Our rate of progress from game one to game three has been excellent, though, which is mainly down to the players' desire to get better.

"After the atmosphere they created in our last home game, the team can't wait to get back to Colwyn Bay. Playing against a quality side like Ireland is also another opportunity for us to get better as we build towards the U20 World Rugby Championship in the summer."

Wales U20: Rhun Williams (Cardiff Blues); Corey Baldwin (Scarlets), Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Keiran Williams (Ospreys), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets); Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues), Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues); Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), Corrie Tarrant (Cardiff Blues), Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Blues), Alex Dombrandt (Cardiff Met), Sean Moore (Pontypridd), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues), Will Jones (c) (Ospreys), Aled Ward (Cardiff Blues)

Replacement: Owen Hughes (Newport Gwent Dragons), Steff Thomas (Scarlets), Chris Coleman (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jack Pope (Bridgend), James Botham (Cardiff Blues), Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys), Phil Jones (Ospreys), Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets)