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Six Blues named by Wales Under-20s

17th March 2015

Wales Under-20 have put faith in the team that beat Ireland 19-12 at Parc Eirias last weekend for the trip to Italy - and named six Cardiff Blues in the match day squad.

Garyn Smith, Jarrod Evans and Dillon Lewis start the game while Liam Belcher, Joe Jones and Jordan Viggers are named among the replacements.

The only change in the side is at scrum half where Kieran Hardy starts in place of Tomos Williams who has been released for Sevens duty for the Hong Kong and Japan legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Wales Under 20 defence coach Richard Hodges said, “The selection meeting was a short one as we all felt the players deserve to keep hold of their jerseys after producing an impressive performance against Ireland.

“It’s an opportunity for Kieran to start a match in the Under 20 Six Nations – and also another opportunity for Tomos to develop on the World Rugby Sevens circuit.”

While Wales Under 20 have notched home wins over England and Ireland, Hodges emphasised the importance of producing the goods further afield.

“We need to back up our home wins with a good performance on the road. We won’t be back at Parc Eirias now this season – in fact we will be in northern Italy for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship – so it is key that we show we can produce the goods away from our home comforts.

“Italy are no mugs. They have a strong mauling game and good variety in their attacking kicking game. If we finish well, we can end the Six Nations as second placed team which would be a reasonable outcome to the tournament.”

Wales Under 20 team: Joe Gage (Ospreys); Joshua Adams (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Garyn Smith (Blues), Rhys Williams (Leicester Tigers); Jarrod Evans (Blues), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets); Luke Garrett (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (capt, Ospreys), Harrison Keddie (Dragons) Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Jon Fox (Ospreys)

Replacements: Liam Belcher (Blues), Keagan Bale (Dragons), Joe Jones (Blues), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Jordan Viggers (Blues), Owen Davies (Dragons), Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Barney Nightingale (Dragons).