Planet Rugby

JWC Preview: Wales v England

22nd June 2013 09:41

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Sam Davies and Jack Clifford

Key to Wales: Sam Davies

The first ever all-northern hemisphere IRB Junior World Championship Final takes place on Sunday as Wales face England in a changing of the guard.

Since the competition's inception in 2008, the Baby Blacks and Baby Boks have dominated, winning the title four times and once respectively.

But after seasons playing second fiddle to their neighbours south of the equator, the tide is finally about to turn ahead of this Anglo-Welsh finale.

Wales and England deserve their spot in the final after defeating South Africa and New Zealand in the semis of what's been an entertaining JWC.

Both the finalists have a player nominated for the Player of the Tournament gong - Welsh fly-half Sam Davies and England number eight Jack Clifford - while New Zealand captain and flanker Ardie Savea completes the trio of players who have shone. Savea is arguably the favourite.

England meanwhile are favourites this Sunday but Wales scrum-half Rhodri Williams says his side have developed a mental toughness that will help them at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes.

"It's a brilliant achievement to reach the final but we are already very focussed on that next challenge which is to win on Sunday," he told wru.co.uk ahead of the showpiece.

"We are not carried away with our progress to date. We had one day of recovery and then we were straight back into our analysis and preparation for the final. We are not over-confident - England beat us convincingly in the Six Nations so we won't be getting ahead of ourselves.

"However, we have shown in this tournament that we have the determination to dig in right to the end and win matches. We are going to need at least the same amount of commitment.

"When we lost to England in the Six Nations, we were distraught and as Ellis (captain Ellis Jenkins) has said throughout this campaign, we don't want to feel like that again. That thought will give us even more motivation to win on Sunday."

Meanwhile, England coaches Nick Walshe and Ian Peel have made two changes from the side that beat New Zealand 33-21 in the semi-final, with Leicester's Tom Price coming in for the injured Elliott Stooke and Wasps prop Alec Hepburn replacing Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi.

Walshe says that Sunday's meeting will be a completely different beast though.

"Wales are an excellent side - as they have shown throughout this competition and we're fully aware that it's going to be a tough game. We did well in the Six Nations to win at their place, but that game will have no bearing on the result," he said.

"We have prepared well, we have recovered well after the New Zealand game - and we're ready for what promises to be an excellent final."

The teams:

Wales: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Ashley Evans, 13 Steffan Hughes, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Ieuan Jones, 7 Ellis Jenkins (capt), 6 Jack Jones, 5 Rhodri Hughes, 4 Carwyn Jones, 3 Nicky Thomas, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Dan Suter, 19 James Benjamin, 20 Daniel Thomas, 21 Joshua Davies, 22 Owen Jenkins, 23 Thomas Pascoe.

England: 15 Jack Nowell, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Harry Sloan, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ben Howard, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Alex Day, 8 Jack Clifford (c), 7 Matt Hankin, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Dominic Barrow, 4 Tom Price, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Scott Spurling, 17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 18 Tom Smallbone, 19 Harry Wells, 20 David Sisi, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Henry Purdy.

Date: Sunday, June 23
Kick-off: 18:45 local (17:45 BST, 16:45 GMT)
Venue: Stade de la Rabine, Vannes

Other play-off fixtures:

11th Place Play-Off
17:15 - Fiji v USA at Stade Pascal Laporte, Nantes

9th Place Play-Off
15:00 - Samoa v Scotland at Stade Pascal Laporte, Nantes

7th Place Play-Off
15:00 - Australia v Ireland at Stade Henri Desgrange, La Roche-sur-Yon

5th Place Play-Off
17:15 - Argentina v France at Stade Henri Desgrange, La Roche-sur-Yon

3rd Place Play-Off
15:15 - South Africa v New Zealand at Stade de la Rabine, Vannes

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821