The young Dragons scored a screamer on the opening night of the U20 Six Nations
One Wales U20 try on the opening night of the 2023 Six Nations certainly got tongues wagging after some outrageous offloads helped put Llien Morgan away for a stunning score against Ireland.
The young Dragons lost 53-5 in the corresponding U20 Six Nations fixture last year but showed no signs of any fear as they set about playing an expansive brand of rugby in Round 1 of this year’s junior championship.
Inside centre Harri Ackerman timed his pass perfectly to his onrushing midfield partner Louie Hennessey who stormed through the middle of the Irish defence.
Hennessey then let a Sonny Bill Williams-esque out-the-back offload go which found full-back Cameron Winnett, one of the few Welsh players who featured in their run to the U20 Summer Series final where they lost to South Africa last year.
Winnett followed suit by flicking another ball out the back door for his fly-half Dan Edwards to collect on the run.
Read more: Wales Six Nations squad
Edwards showed plenty of composure to set his wing Morgan away in the right-hand corner, much to delight of those that had gathered for the match in Colwyn Bay.
Byron Hayward’s side showed what they can do in attack and with new captain Ryan Woodman, another of those who shone in the Summer Series in Italy, leading the side by example – there is plenty of optimism for those in red.
And why not when when their captain from the summer, Joe Hawkins, will be lining up for his senior Six Nations debut on Saturday in the No 12 shirt against the world’s number one side Ireland.
Hawkins is just 20 years old but has impressed both Wayne Pivac and returning coach Warren Gatland in a short space of time at the Ospreys.
However, there was one area of contention for junior Welsh rugby fans on the night as Josh Hathaway, who represented the U20 side last year, made his debut for England after the Gloucester man switched allegiance ahead of this campaign.
Hathaway showed exactly what he can do with an incredible 14-minute hat-trick as Alan Dickens’s young side made early headway down the left-hand side against Scotland at the Stoop.
Could he be the one that got away? Wales fans will hope not.
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