Wales U20 head coach Ioan Cunningham has opted for an inexperienced look to his forward pack as he names his team to face Italy U20 in the first round of the U20 Six Nations, 8pm kick-off.
There’s a strong Cardiff presence in the front row as Efan Daniel and Nathan Evans get the nod at hooker and tighthead, while former Cardiff player Garyn Phillips, now at the Ospreys, is in at loosehead.
Joe Peard and Dafydd Jenkins form an all-new second row partnership, with Christ Tshiunza not involved in the matchday squad at all, while Cardiff’s Alex Mann captains the side from the blindside flank alongside Harri Deaves and the much talked about Carwyn Tuipulotu in the back row.
There’s more experience in the back line where fly-half Sam Costelow, inside centre Joe Hawkins, winger Dan John and Cardiff full-back Jacob Beetham are all starting their second U20 Six Nations campaigns.
They are joined by Harri Williams at scrum-half, Carrick McDonough on the wing and soon-to-be Cardiff player Ioan Evans at outside centre.
On the bench there are some familiar forward options as second years Theo Bevacqua of Cardiff and James Fender cover loosehead and lock, respectively. Other Blue and Black representation comes in the form of Evan Lloyd covering the back row and Ethan Lloyd covering scrum-half.
Wales U20: Jacob Beetham, Dan John, Ioan Evans, Joe Hawkins, Carrick McDonough, Sam Costelow, Harri Williams; Garyn Phillips, Efan Daniel, Nathan Evans, Joe Peard, Dafydd Jenkins, Alex Mann (c), Harri Deaves, Carwyn Tuipulotu
Replacements: Oliver Burrows, Theo Bevacqua, Lewys Jones, James Fender, Tristan Davies, Ethan Lloyd, Will Reed, Tom Florence, Morgan Richards, Eddie James, Evan Lloyd