Match Preview


Wales U20
France U20 will head to the Cardiff Arms Park to take on Wales in a fixture where both sides are looking to bounce back from defeat.

Wales suffered a second successive loss when they were beaten 43-8 away to Ireland, while France were beaten on home soil for the second time, losing to Italy in the U20 Six Nations for the first time, 23-20 in Béziers.

Both teams have one win from three games in this year’s Championship, but will be looking to make amends in the Welsh capital as they try to finish the campaign on a high.

France have had the better of meetings between the sides in recent years, including wins in last year’s Six Nations and at the World Rugby Under-20s Championship, which they won in South Africa.

But Wales beat Scotland in their only previous home game this campaign and will be looking to record a first win over the French since 2020 at this level.

Where to watch

The game will kick off at 7.45pm UK time on Thursday evening, with fans able to watch the encounter on BBC Sport via iPlayer, the red button and the website. The game is also available with Welsh language commentary on S4C and S4C online, while in France it will be shown on La chaine L’Equipe.

Team news

Wales have made five changes from the side that was beaten in Ireland with two injury-enforced changes in the backline. Macs Page comes in for Louie Hennessey at outside centre, while Harri Ford replaces Harri Wilde at fly-half.

In the pack, Kian Hire gets the nod at tighthead prop, while Osian Thomas shifts from blindside flanker to second row. Lucas de la Rua shifts across to replace Thomas in the back row allowing Morgan Morse to come in at No.8, with Luca Giannini joining that duo.

As has been the case for much of the campaign, France have also made a host of changes, with Mathys Belaubre, Nathan Bollengier and Thomas Souverbie each coming into the backline, at inside centre, wing and scrum-half respectively.

It is all change in the pack. Zinedine Aouad shifts back to loosehead prop as Zaccharie Affane returns on the tighthead, with Mathys Lotrian getting a first run-out at hooker. Hugo Descube joins skipper Corentin Mézou in the second row, with Geoffrey Malaterre, Joé Quere Karaba and Loan Lavergne forming the back row.

What they said

Wales U20 head coach Richard Whiffin said: “We’re pumped about getting back to Cardiff where we hope to get some good energy in the stadium over the next two games. Hopefully we can play a brand of rugby to get the fans excited.

“In loose play they are outstanding – they have some big strong carriers that will try and get them go forward and they possess good offloading skills throughout the team. If we kick poorly they will be a threat but we have a game plan where we think we can challenge them aerially and on the ground.”

France U20 head coach Sébastien Calvet said: “This game against Wales will help the spine of the team for this tournament to grow and to build the experience of our first year players.”


Wales U20: 15 Huw Anderson, 14 Harry Rees-Weldon, 13 Macs Page, 12 Harri Ackerman, 11 Walker Price, 10 Harri Ford, 9 Ieuan Davies, 1 Josh Morse, 2 Harry Thomas, 3 Kian Hire, 4 Nick Thomas, 5 Osian Thomas, 6 Lucas de la Rua, 7 Luca Giannini , 8 Morgan Morse

Replacements: 16 Will Austin, 17 Jordan Morris, 18 Sam Scott, 19 Tom Golder, 20 Will Plessis, 21 Rhodri Lewis, 22 Ellis Price, 23 Aidan Boschoff

France U20: 15 Xan Mousques, 14 Maxence Biasotto, 13 Fabien Brau-Boirie, 12 Mathys Belaubre, 11 Nathan Bollengier, 10 Jean Cotarmanac’h, 9 Thomas Souverbie; 1 Zinedine Aouad, 2 Mathys Lotrian, 3 Zaccharie Affane, 4 Corentin Mézou (c), 5 Hugo Descube, 6 Geoffrey Malaterre, 7 Joe Queré Karaba, 8 Loan Lavergne

Replacements: 16 Léo Chauvin, 17 Léo Ametlla, 18 Thomas Duchêne, 19 Simon Huchet, 20 Sialevailea Tolofua, 21 Kléo Labarbe, 22 Oliver Cowie, 23 Robin Taccola