A magnificent seven Scarlets have been named in the Wales Under-19s squad to take on England at Bridgend’s Brewery Field on Sunday (2pm).
Centre Joe Roberts leads a team that includes fellow backs Harri Doel, Osian Knott and scrum-half Harry Land, while Dom Booth, Adam Thomas and Dean James are named among the replacements.
Wales Under-19s head coach Geraint Lewis has made four changes to the pack which started the second game against Japan High Schools last week while there is one newcomer in the backline with a positional switch as well.
In the engine room, prop Garyn Phillips and hooker Cameron Lewis replace Dylan Bartlett and Dom Booth respectively, while Olly White comes in for Max Ayling in the second row and Ioan R Davies starts on the flank in place of Benji Hope.
Wales Sevens youngster Jay Jones starts on the wing; Harri Doel switches to full-back with Dean James dropping to the bench.
“The selection for England reflects the performances from the two games against Japan High Schools, where we recorded two high scoring victories,” explained Lewis.
“The boys showed plenty of effort and endeavour against Japan who posed unique threats, especially defensively. It’s always difficult to gauge, but to get two wins, when we changed the squads around a lot, was heartening but we know England will pose an entirely different proposition.”
Wales showed resilience and flair to brush aside Japan High Schools 36-24 at Ystrad Mynach and 31-29 at Cardiff Arms Park but Lewis is fully aware his side will need to raise their game to get a similar result against England.
“There are a number of players who are potentially knocking at the door for U20 selection so the game against England is a good carrot for the boys,” added Lewis.
“Whenever you play against England you have to be able to impose yourself to get a foothold in the game and Sunday will not be any different. Hopefully the more senior boys will step forward and lead the way.”
Wales U19 v England U19 - Bridgend RFC, Sunday 7th April, KO 2pm (Live on S4C)
15 Harri Doel (Scarlets)
14 Leo Gilliland (Exiles)
13 Joe Roberts (Scarlets - Capt)
12 Osian Knott (Scarlets)
11 Jay Jones (Wales 7s)
10 Josh Thomas (Ospreys)
9 Dafydd Land (Scarlets);
1 Garyn Phillips (Cardiff Blues)
2 Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues)
3 Luke Yendle (Dragons)
4 Olly White (Exiles)
5 James Fender (Ospreys)
6 Ioan R Davies (Cardiff Blues)
7 Gwilym Bradley (Exiles)
8 Morgan Strong (Ospreys)
Replacements: 16 Dom Booth (Scarlets), 17 Dylan Bartlett (Dragons), 18 Adam Thomas (Scarlets), 19 Max Ayling (Dragons), 20 Benji Hoppe (Dragons), 21 Ellis Bevan (Exiles), 22 Evan Lloyd (Dragons), 23 Dean James (Scarlets).