World U20s 2015: Wales make two changes for England test

Jarrod Evans and Liam Belcher to start in must-win game against the defending champions at the Stadio San Michele

By Gareth Llewellyn

Wales have made two changes to their U20 squad to face rivals England in the World Rugby U20 Championship in Calvisano.

With games four days apart, coach co-ordinator Allan Lewis has chosen to rotate players in two key positions following an error-strewn performance in a 19-10 defeat to France last Tuesday.

England have a powerful pack, we know their strengths and weaknesses and although they are champions at this level, teams change every year at this age and we beat them in the Six Nations, so we know we can win if we perform as we did in Colwyn Bay.

Allan Lewis

Pontypridd and Cardiff Blues outside-half Jarrod Evans is preferred to the Scarlets’ Daniel Jones, who drops to the bench, while Ponty and Blues hooker Liam Belcher comes into the pack for the Scarlets’ Ryan Elias, who also starts on the bench.

To have any hope of qualifying for the semi-finals as one of the top four seeds, Wales need to defeat defending champions England and Japan.

And coach co-cordinator Allan Lewis believes that if Wales can repeat their performance in the 21-12 win over England during the RBS U20 6 Nations in February they can defeat the Red Rose again.

“We have strength in depth in these positions which gives us a chance to give these players a start in what is another huge game,” Lewis said.

“It is obvious that we made too many fundamental errors against France which you can’t afford to do at this level.

“Even though we got back into the game, we weren’t able to build any continuity to our performance and that cost us.

“England have a powerful pack, we know their strengths and weaknesses and although they are champions at this level, teams change every year at this age and we beat them in the Six Nations, so we know we can win if we perform as we did in Colwyn Bay.

“We have trained well, but our priority is to play as we’ve trained. If we do that, and are accurate and clinical, as we know we can be from some of our Six Nations performances, then the result will take care of itself.”

England U20: Aaron Morris (Saracens); George Perkins (Saracens), Nick Tompkins (Saracens), Max Clark (Bath Rugby), Howard Packman (Northampton Saints); Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby), Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs); Sebastian Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins), Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie), Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie), Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, captain), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Will Owen (Leicester Tigers), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs).

Replacements: Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs), Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby), Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks), Will Witty (Newcastle Falcons), Josh Bainbridge (Yorkshire Carnegie); James Mitchell (Sale Sharks), Lloyd Evans (Gloucester), Piers O’Conor (Wasps).

Wales U20: Dafydd Howells (Ospreys); Lloyd Lewis (Newport Gwent Dragons), Garyn Smith (Cardiff Blues), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Joshua Adams (Scarlets); Jarrod Evans (Blues), Tomos Williams (Blues); Luke Garrett (Dragons), Liam Belcher (Blues), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Rory Thornton (Ospreys, captain), Tom Phillips (Scarlets), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Harrison Keddie (Dragons).

Replacements: Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Keagan Bale (Dragons), Joe Jones (Blues), Jon Fox (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Blues), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets), Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Barney Nightingale (Dragons).

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