hennessey u20s
Louie Hennessey will be getting changed in the away dressing room on Friday night, but it will feel like a home game for him.

That's because his Wales team take on hosts England in round two of the U20 Six Nations. match at Bath Rugby’s Recreation Ground, where Hennessey plays his club rugby.

“I am massively looking forward to the opportunity of playing for Wales at The Rec where I play my club rugby,” the centre said.

“It is a brilliant place to play and it is great rugby area so I am sure there will be a large crowd there to watch and I’ll no doubt know quite a few of them which will be fun.

“Once I am out on the pitch I’ll block all of that out though and just be focused on trying to get a win for Wales.”

It has been quite a 2023/24 season so far for Hennessey already because, off the back of playing for Wales at the U20 World Championship last summer in South Africa, he went on to make his Bath Premiership debut off the bench in the match at Northampton Saints in November.

He then scored his first Premiership try at the end of the year versus Leicester Tigers and he has an exciting future.

For now, his focus is on the U20 Six Nations with Wales and, after a winless campaign last year, they started this season’s tournament last Friday by defeating Scotland 37-29 with a bonus point in Colwyn Bay.

“I think we showed against Scotland that we can really move the ball well if we can get our attack going. We can express ourselves that way and that is important for our identity as a team,” he said.

“We know that our physicality can go up a notch from that game to help us generate a bit more momentum and help us when it comes to turnovers.

“And we know looking ahead to what England will bring this week that we really have to up that physicality in defence straight away because they will test us in that area, but I think things have been going well in training and we’ll be ready for that challenge.

“In attack we also know that we will have to be a bit more clinical and take every chance that comes our way.

“At this level it is about winning and we found a way to get over the line last week.

“Credit to Scotland, they really took things to us, but in the last 10 minutes we found a way to get over for two more tries and starting on a positive note was crucial for us.

“That shows that we have a strong team spirit. There are a lot of fresh faces in the squad this year, but there are a few guys like myself who were involved at this level in 2023, so I think it is a good blend and we are all excited about what we can achieve in this competition.

“Now it is about performing consistently on the pitch.”

Players like captain Harri Ackerman, No.8 Morgan Morse and Hennessey will need to have big games in Bath if Wales are to beat an England side who defeated Italy 36-11 with a bonus point last week.

“Personally, I feel I learnt a lot from playing with the U20s in the Six Nations and the World Championship last year and having recently had a taste of first team rugby with Bath I am keen to kick on now,” Hennessey continued.

“For the next few weeks I want to be a leader in this Wales squad and try and help the group get better and better.”

Kick-off for this game is 7.15pm and it will be shown live on BBC Sport and S4C.

Wales U20 squad to face England: 15 Huw Anderson (Dragons), 14 Harry Rees-Weldon (Dragons RFC), 13 Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby), 12 Harri Ackerman (Dragons RFC (c), 11 Walker Price (Dragons RFC) 10 Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby), 9 Ieuan Davies (Bath Rugby); 1 Freddie Chapman (Ospreys), 2 Harry Thomas (Scarlets), 3 Patrick Nelson (RGC), 4 Jonny Green (Harlequins), 5 Osian Thomas (Leicester Tigers), 6 Lucas de la Rua (Cardiff Rugby), 7 Harry Beddall (Leicester Tigers), 8 Morgan Morse (Ospreys)

Replacements: 16 Evan Wood (Cardiff Met), 17 Jordan Morris (Dragons), 18 Sam Scott (Midlands Central), 19 Nick Thomas (Dragons), 20 Owen Conquer (Ebbw Vale), 21 Rhodri Lewis (Ospreys), 22 Harri Ford (RGC), 23 Macs Page (Scarlets)