Archie Hughes named in Wales side for U20s opener

Rob LloydNews

Scrum-half Archie Hughes has been named in the Wales U20s side for Saturday’s World Championship opener against New Zealand.

The Tenby product is joined in the match-day squad by Scarlets Academy prop Josh Morse, who is selected on the bench.

Wales head coach Mark Jones has named an exciting side to face the Baby Blacks in their opening Pool A encounter in Paarl Gymnasium (KO 3pm)

“It’s an exciting side which I think has a lot of potential,” said Jones. “It’s a case of if that team can click and we can get the cohesion we want, it is a good-looking team.

“The attitude of the boys has been excellent; they have really committed to the stuff we’ve been working on and they have shown quality a lot of the time but we know we have ground to make up.”

Having come bottom of the Six Nations table, Jones concedes his side enter the championship behind the eight ball but has been impressed with what his young side have shown him in the short time he has been with the squad.

“We have to be underdogs based on where we finished last time in the Six Nations and we’ve had no warm up games so you are only as good as your last game. We are just focussed on our own performance.

“I’m expecting a pretty high-speed ball carrying game against New Zealand, particularly through their forwards and their wings who are very prominent in their carry game. So, we are very aware of that so the challenge is trying to match that so we can get some control of the gain line.

“Performance is the most important thing for us. You get confidence from what you do.

“If we perform well and we see aspects of our game which we’ve spent time on coming through and giving us growth in our game clearly it is going to lend itself to the boys kicking on later on in the tournament when things get difficult around schedule, players having to play every five games in 25 days for example.

“The big focus is on ourselves – we’re just looking to be the best that we can be and then obviously take it from there.”

Wales U20 v New Zealand U20, Paarl Gymnasium, Sat 24 June, KO 3pm (S4C)

15 Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby); 14 Llien Morgan (Ospreys), 13 Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby), 12 Bryn Bradley (Harlequins), 11 Harri Houston (Ospreys); 10 Dan Edwards (Ospreys), 9 Archie Hughes (Scarlets); 1 Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths (Dragons), 2 Lewis Lloyd (Ospreys), 3 Ellis Fackrell (Ospreys), 4 Liam Edwards (Ospreys), 5 Jonny Green (Harlequins), 6 Ryan Woodman (Dragons – Capt), 7 Lucas De La Rua (Cardiff Rugby), 8 Morgan Morse (Ospreys)

Replacements: 16 Sam Scarfe (Dragons), 17 Josh Morse (Scarlets), 18 Louis Fletcher (Ospreys), 19 Evan Hill (Ospreys), 20 Seb Driscoll (Harlequins), 21 Tom Florence (Ospreys), 22 Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby), 23 Harri Williams.