Wales Under 20 play Fiji in the fifth place semi-finals tomorrow (Padua, 6pm) where a win would guarantee them fifth or sixth place spot in this year’s IRB Junior World Championship.
A victory over the South Sea Islanders will take the Welsh youngsters into the fifth place final against either Ireland or South Africa on Sunday and that is the sole aim of the Welsh management and squad as they prepare for their fourth game in 13 days.
Wales head coach Richard Webster said, “We will have to produce a structured, disciplined game against the Fijians if we are to come out on top. They will be strong and physical and there’s nothing they like better than a loose, open game so we will have to be intelligent in our tactics tomorrow evening.”
Wales have again rung the changes for this game, with a need to manage the squad’s injuries and game time. There is a new front row, with Rhodri Jones and WillGriff John returning to the starting line-up and Jamie Sollis getting his first start at hooker. Ed Siggery returns on the blindside, with Luke Hamilton moving to the open side flank in place of Thomas Young.
Behind the scrum, Lewis Jones starts at scrum half with Lewis Robling returning to inside centre and Dale Ford joining him in the midfield partnership. The back three and second row are unchanged, while Lloyd Peers (elbow), Kirby Myhill (ribs) and Owen Williams (shoulder) are all ruled out of this game.
Webster added, “Ross Jones did particularly well in his first start at full back against Italy and retains his place, while most of these changes reflect the importance of utilising the full, 26-man squad for a tough, five-game tournament such as this.
“Following the Italy game, we identified a number of areas to improve on if we are to continue to progress during this tournament and we must put those into place against Fiji.”
Wales team v Fiji (Wednesday 22 June, Stadio Plebiscito, Padua, 6pm local time):
Ross Jones (Ospreys / Bridgend); Liam Williams (Llanelli), Dale Ford (Scarlets / Llanelli), Lewis Robling (Dragons / Newport), Eli Walker (Ospreys / Swansea); Matthew Morgan (Ospreys / Swansea), Lewis Jones (Blues / Pontypridd);Rhodri Jones (Scarlets / Llanelli), Jamie Sollis (Dragons / Cross Keys), WillGriff John (Blues / Pontypridd), Macauley Cook (capt, Blues / Cardiff), Cory Hill (Blues / Pontypridd), Edward Siggery (London Irish), Luke Hamilton (Blues / Glamorgan Wanderers), Ben Thomas (Ospreys / Bridgend).
Replacements: Lewis Smout (Blues / Pontypridd), Will Taylor (Ospreys / Swansea), Owen Sheppeard (Blues / Pontypridd), Thomas Young (Blues / Cardiff), Jonathan Evans (Dragons / Newport),Steve Shingler (London Irish), Rheon James (Scarlets / Carmarthen Quins).