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Seven changes for Wales as they aim to stop Ireland Grand Slam

Seven changes for Wales as they aim to stop Ireland Grand Slam
  • Wales are all that stands in the way of Ireland winning the Under-20s Grand Slam
  • Sam Costelow making his first start for Wales at Under-20s level after cameo in Round Four
  • The fly-half is one of seven changes made by head coach Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams has made seven changes to his Wales side as they face Ireland, looking to stop their surge for an Under-20 Six Nations Grand Slam.

The Wales Under-20 head coach shuffles his backline including Sam Costelow making his first start at this level.

He has been called up to start at fly-half after a bright cameo in the 27-20 loss to Scotland in Round Four.

Cai Evans moves from No.10 to full-back, with Ioan Davies moving from the No.15 jersey to the wing for the match at Zipworld Stadium.

Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler gets the nod out outside centre, with Max Llewellyn dropping to the bench, while Tomi Lewis returns on the wing in place of Alex Morgan.

Up front, Rhys Davies and Ed Scragg return to the front row and second row respectively.

A win for Wales could see them jump up the table, where they currently sit fourth with 10 points, narrowly behind England and France.

“It was a big aim of ours to win the championship but that is obviously off the table after our disappointing defeat to Scotland last time out but Friday is still a Test match at international level, against a traditional rival in Ireland, so I’m sure it will be a fantastic occasion,” said Williams.

“Ireland will be very driven to finish the job off after claiming the championship with one round to go but if we show the quality and passion from the England game, then we should be able to give a good account of ourselves.”

Williams has rotated his team throughout the Championship and this one is no different, with Costelow earning his first start at Under-20 level.

“It’s a reward for how he has been performing throughout the Six Nations, especially for that 15-20 minutes against Scotland,” he said.

“Cai Evans has been retained in the team because he has been quality throughout the competition and is yet to miss a kick at goal.

“Dragons second row Ed Scragg gets another start, also as a reward for his performances and he continued his good form against Scotland as a second half replacement.

“We know Ireland are seeking a Grand Slam but we are focused on ourselves. We’re appreciative of how well they have done this campaign and they are a real threat and possess leadership across the park.

“But the boys are determined to finish the campaign off on a high note in front of a big home crowd.”

 

Wales U20 v Ireland, Zipworld Stadium, Fri March 15, KO 7.05pm (Live on S4C)

15 Cai Evans (Ospreys) 
14 Tomi Lewis (Scarlets) 
13 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys) 
12 Aneurin Owen (Dragons) 
11 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues) 
10 Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers) 
9 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons)

1 Rhys Davies (Ospreys) 
2 Dewi Lake (c)(Ospreys) 
3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues) 
4 Ed Scragg (Dragons) 
5 Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues) 
6 Ellis Thomas (Llanelli) 
7 Jac Morgan (Aberarvon/Scarlets) 
8 Iestyn Rees (Scarlets)

Replacements

16 Will Griffiths (Dragons) 
17 Tom Devine (Dragons) 
18 Nick English (Bristol Bears) 
19 Jac Price (Scarlets) 
20 Ioan Rhys Davies (Cardiff Blues) 
21 Dan Babos (Dragons) 
22 Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues) 
23 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets)