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Wales Online
Wales Online
Simon Thomas

Wales U20s squad for Six Nations named as Welsh international's little brother called up

New Wales U20s head coach Byron Hayward has named his 38-man squad for the upcoming Six Nations campaign.

It includes 11 players who figured in last summer’s rescheduled championship at Cardiff Arms Park.

Cardiff flanker Alex Mann retains the captaincy after leading Wales to victory over Italy and Scotland in that tournament.

He is joined by fellow forwards Connor Chapman, Efan Daniel, Nathan Evans, Cameron Jones, Dafydd Jenkins and Joe Peard in returning for a second campaign, along with backs Harri Williams, Joe Hawkins, Eddie James and Tom Florence.

Among the new faces are Jac Lloyd, the younger brother of gifted Welsh international Ioan Lloyd. Like his sibling, fly-half Jac is on the books at Bristol.

There is also a call-up for full-back Cameron Winnett, who scored a try for Cardiff against Harlequins in the Champions Cup in December.

Another youngster who stepped up to the plate for the Arms Park outfit in Europe is on board in the shape of Cardiff Met loosehead Joe Cowell.

In addition to Bristol’s Lloyd and Exeter flanker Dafydd Jenkins, there are further England-based players in Harlequins wing Bryn Bradley, Ealing hooker Morgan Veness and Bath back-row Tom Cowan.

Wales will open their campaign against Ireland at Cork’s Musgrave Park on Friday, February 4.

Commenting on the challenge ahead, Hayward said: “We’ve managed to have hit outs against two Premiership sides (Swansea and Ebbw Vale), so in terms of preparation it has been going really well.

“You’ll never be entirely happy and satisfied as a coach as you always want more time but I think we’re in a decent place going into Ireland next week.”

The former Wales defence coach, who is back for a second spell with the U20s, feels the experience of the returning group will play a major role in his plans.

“That second year is massive, not just from a playing point of view, but from a maturity point of view as well,” he said.

“There’s quite a big allocation coming back and we’ll be looking to those boys to step up which they already have done, in fairness.

“I’m really excited and enthusiastic about our backs – if we can provide enough possession for our backs we’ll do some serious damage.

“Our strength will be playing a game that is not structured, counter-attack and turnover ball and keeping the tempo of the game very high.”

Hayward, who was appointed in December, is looking for Wales to improve on their fourth place finish last summer.

“Our expectations are to go out and win every game we play, and I cannot see any reason why we can’t do that with the talent we have,” he said.

Wales U20 Six Nations squad:

Forwards: Rhys Barratt (Cardiff Rugby), Cameron Jones (Ospreys), Joe Cowell (Cardiff Met), Connor Chapman (Dragons), Efan Daniel (Cardiff Rugby), Morgan Veness (Ealing Trailfinders), Lewis Morgan (Scarlets), Nathan Evans (Cardiff Rugby), Ellis Fackrell (Ospreys), Adam Williams (Dragons), Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs), Alexander Ashton (Cardiff University), Joe Peard (Dragons), Lewis Jones (Ospreys), Benji Williams (Ospreys), Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby, capt), Ryan Woodman (Dragons), Tom Cowan (Bath), Ethan Fackrell (Cardiff Rugby), Morgan Morse (Ospreys), Ben Moa (Dragons).

Backs: Harri Williams (Scarlets), Morgan Lloyd (Dragons), Harvey Nash (Ospreys), Jac Lloyd (Bristol Bears), Daniel Edwards (Ospreys), Josh Phillips (Scarlets), Joe Hawkins (Ospreys), Eddie James (Scarlets), Bryn Bradley (Harlequins), Callum Dodd (Ospreys), Tom Florence (Ospreys), Oli Andrew (Dragons), Joshua Hathaway (Scarlets), Harri Houston (Ospreys), Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby), Iestyn Hopkins (Ospreys), Joe Westwood (Dragons).

Wales U20 Six Nations fixtures:

Friday, February 4 – Ireland U20 v Wales U20, Musgrave Park – 8pm

Friday, February 11 – Wales U20 v Scotland U20 – Parc Eirias – 8pm

Friday, February 25 – England U20 v Wales U20 – Castle Park – 7pm

Thursday, March 10 – Wales U20 v France U20 – Parc Eirias – 8pm

Sunday, March 20 – Wales U20 v Italy U20 – Parc Eirias – 2pm

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