Four Scarlets named for U20s clash with Italy

Rob LloydNews

Four Scarlets have been named in the Wales squad to face Italy at Cardiff Arms Park for the final round match in the 2024 Under 20 men’s Six Nations on Friday (KO 7.30pm, S4C).

Macs Page and Josh Morse, both try-scorers in the defeat to France last time out,  are again named in the starting XV, while versatile back Elis Price and hooker Harry Thomas are included on the bench. Page switches from outside to inside centre,

“We’ve come to the end of the campaign, and we’ve got quite a few boys banged up,” said head coach Richard Whiffin. “This game is also an opportunity to see some other players in a pressure situation. It’s a chance for those selected to put their hands up for selection in the World Cup later this year.”

Whiffin has been left frustrated from a campaign which has seen his side show glimpses of their true potential.

“We’ve shown elements of strong attack, strong defence and strong set piece and decent collision throughout the tournament but only sporadically and not simultaneously so that has been the message this week to the boys. We have shown good aspects to our game, but we have to be able to deliver all those elements together consistently.”

Italy will be boosted after thumping Scotland last week and Whiffin is aware of the challenge that his young side face as they look to claim their second scalp of the campaign.

“They are a big team with a strong pack of forwards which gives them an in to the game around their set-piece,” he said. “We expect them to come full of confidence after their result last weekend but from our end there are opportunities we have targeted. We need to try and put all the pieces together this week and put a proper performance on the field.”

Wales U20s v Italy U20s – Cardiff Arms Park, Friday 15 March, KO 7.30pm (S4C)
15 *Matty Young (Cardiff Rugby); 14 Huw Anderson (Dragons). 13 *Elijah Evans (Cardiff Rugby), 12 Macs Page (Scarlets), 11 Aidan Boschoff (Bristol Bears); 10 Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby), 9 Rhodri Lewis (Ospreys); 1 Josh Morse (Scarlets). 2 Evan Wood (Cardiff Met), 3 Kian Hire (Ospreys), 4 Jonny Green (Harlequins). 5 Nick Thomas (Dragons). 6 Lucas de la Rua (Cardiff Rugby), 7 Harry Beddall (Leicester – Capt), 8 Morgan Morse (Ospreys).

Replacements: 16 Harry Thomas (Scarlets), 17 Jordan Morris (Dragons), 18 Sam Scott (Midlands Central), 19 *Gethyn Cannon (Cardiff Met), 20 Osian Thomas (Leicester Tigers). 21 Ieuan Davies (Bath Rugby), 22 Elis Price (Scarlets), 23 *Kodi Stone (Cardiff Rugby).