Wales U20s braced for physical test

Wales Under 20 head coach Phil Davies is expecting a tough, physical challenge from all three Pool A opponents over the next eight days – starting with Samoa this evening (8pm UK time).

Following tonight’s opening clash at the Club Atletico Estudiantes, Parana, the side, led by Dragons prop Dan Watchurst, face Fiji on Wednesday at the same venue and New Zealand next Sunday in Santa Fe.

Davies said, “All the Pools are difficult, but ours is certainly going to be an especially physical challenge with the two Pacific Island sides and New Zealand.

“However, we enjoy the physical side of the game and if we are to progress to the semi-finals we are going to have to meet that challenge right from the off.

“Playing these teams provides a fantastic opportunity for our players and you only have to look at the likes of Sam Warburton, Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny – who represented Wales Under 20 two years ago and are now playing for the senior Wales side – to realise what an important stepping stone this tournament is for the development of players.

“Last year in Japan we reached sixth place and we are certainly aiming to beat that this time around.”

Wales Under 20 team v Samoa: Dan Fish; Kristian Phillips; Owen Williams, Ashley Beck, Adam Hughes; Matthew Jarvis, Rhys Downes (vice-capt); Dan Watchurst (capt), Rhys Williams, Rhodri Jones, James Thomas, Lloyd Peers, James King, Rhys Jenkins, Toby Faletau.

Replacements: Ieuan Davies, Joe Rees, Morgan Allen, Josh Navidi, Gareth Davies,

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