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Wales U20 announce squad to face Italy U20

WALES U20s men have named their squad to face Italy at Stadio Comunale Di Manigo on Friday in the penultimate round of the U20 Six Nations. (KO 7.15pm, S4C).

Head coach Byron Hayward has made five changes to the starting line-up, two in the backs and three in the pack.

Bryn Bradley gets his first start of the campaign in midfield, replacing Harri Ackerman at inside centre while Llien Morgan returns to the wing in place of Oli Andrew.

Up front, Scarlets prop Tomas Pritchard replaces Ellis Fackrell while in the back row Cardiff flanker Lucas De La Rua earns his first start in place of Luca Giannini who starts from the bench while Morgan Morse returns to No. 8, replacing Mackenzie Martin, after missing the defeat to England.

Both teams are searching for their first victory of the campaign with Italy having lost to France, England and Ireland while Wales have endured defeat against Ireland, Scotland and England.

Italy have proven a tough nut to crack at this level in recent times but Wales travel to Treviso having beaten Italy when the two sides last met, in the 2022 U20 Summer Series when Byron Hayward’s young side reached the final.

“Overall, the mood in the camp is good,” said Hayward. “Italy have the strongest scrum in the tournament without a doubt.

“If we can get parity up front and tighten defensively behind, we can beat Italy – I think we can beat any team in this tournament, but we have got to get all our nuts and bolts right,” he said.

“It was obviously disappointing to lose against England, but once again, it was only a one-score game at the 60-minute mark, just like it was against Ireland and Scotland. There are plenty of things we are doing really well and if the boys can tighten the defence, then there is no reason why we can’t come away with a win.”

Wales U20 v Italy U20, Stadio Comunale Di Manigo, Treviso, Friday 10 March, 7.15pm KO (S4C)
15 Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)
14 Harri Houston (Ospreys)
13 Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby)
12 Bryn Bradley (Harlequins)
11 Llien Morgan (Ospreys)
10 Dan Edwards (Ospreys)
9 Archie Hughes (Scarlets);
1 Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths (Dragons)
2 Sam Scarfe (Dragons)
3 Tomas Pritchard (Scarlets)
4 Liam Edwards (Ospreys)
5 Jonny Green (Harlequins)
6 Ryan Woodman (Dragons – Capt)
7 Lucas De La Rua (Cardiff Rugby)
8 Morgan Morse (Ospreys)

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16 Lewis Morgan (Scarlets)
17 Josh Morse (Scarlets)
!8 Louis Fletcher (Ospreys)
19 Luca Giannini (Scarlets)
20 Gwilym Evans (Cardiff Rugby)
21 Che Hope (Dragons)
22 Iwan Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs)
23 Jac Davies (Scarlets)