Wales U20 squad for Six Nations

Date published: January 19 2016

Wales U20 head coach Jason Strange has named a strong 31-man squad for the forthcoming Six Nations tournament.

Twelve players gained Wales U20 caps last season, while five players have featured for their professional regions in the PRO12 and in Europe this season.

Captain Tom Phillips, prop Dillon Lewis, fly-half Dan Jones, Jarrod Evans and Owen Watkin have all featured in the PRO12, while Phillips and Lewis have also featured for their regions in Europe and other squad members have represented their Regional Premiership Select XVs in the British & Irish Cup.

Strange, who was named Wales U20 head coach at the start of the season, said: "We are genuinely enthused by the potential quality in the squad, and excited at the prospect of competing in the U20 Six Nations which is such a competitive tournament and a great opportunity for players to showcase their skills.

"Our targets, primarily are to play a style of rugby which is enjoyable to play and watch, and will benefit player development.

"Secondly, we want to ensure we help players to maximise their potential by creating a high quality environment which embodies the values and behaviours we identify with as a group. We feel if we do that, we will not only produce quality players but rounded individuals. Victories are important, but a bigger agenda is to prepare players for the professional game by exposing them to international rugby. For us, Tom Phillips was an obvious choice as captain, he is someone who leads by example both on and off the pitch."

Wales travel to Dublin to play Ireland at Donnybrook on Friday, February 5, before welcoming Scotland to Eirias on Friday, February 12 and then France on Saturday, February 27.

Strange, whose assistant coaches are Geraint Lewis, Chris Horsman and Richard Hodges, added: "We know playing Ireland away in Round 1 will be a tough challenge, but as a result of teams changing so much from one season to the next at this age, we will be focussing on our own game and ensuring we are well prepared."

"We get a huge boost from the crowd and the welcome we receive at Parc Eirias and we will be looking forward to returning there for the following two games against Scotland and France, and for the final game against Italy after playing England in Bristol.

"We will look to expose as many players as possible to this level of rugby during the Six Nations tournament, with one eye firmly fixed on the World Rugby U20 Championship in England in June. There are a number of players ruled out through injury at the moment who could bolster the squad for that tournament."

Wales Under 20 Six Nations squad:

Forwards: Tom Phillips, Rhys Fawcett, Corey Domachowski, Leon Brown, Kieron Assiratti, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Hughes, Ifan Phillips, Tim Grey, Adam Beard, Bryce Morgan, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Shaun Evans, Harrison Keddie, Morgan Sieniawski.

Backs: Declan Smith, Cameron Davies, Daniel Jones, Billy McBryde, Jarrod Evans, Owen Watkin, Kieran Williams, Joe Thomas, Barney Nightingale, Harri Millard, Elis-Wyn Benham, Tom Williams, George Gasson, Keelan Giles, Rhun Williams, Joe Gage.