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 , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
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Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
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Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
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Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
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ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
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Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
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Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
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Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
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ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411