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Tigers cubs set for U20s semi-finals

Leicester Tigers back-rower Tommy Reffell is set to start his fourth match in a row for Wales at the World Under-20s Championship on Monday.

Reffell’s side face New Zealand in the first of two fifth-place semi-finals in Rosario this Monday, June 17, with kick off scheduled for 2.30pm UK time.

The 20-year-old once again lines up in the No7 shirt, while club mate Sam Costelow drops to the bench as Wales U20s head coach Gareth Williams rotates his backs.

“We’ve always emphasised how important the squad of 28 is, and this is getting more and more evident the longer we go in to this competition,” said Williams.

“Playing New Zealand is a great test for us, and a great fixture to be preparing for. They are rightly regarded as one of the best teams in the world at this age group.

“We don’t always get the opportunity to play southern hemisphere teams so this is a big challenge for us but one we have prepared well for.”

Wales Under-20s (v New Zealand): 15 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), 14 Deon Smith (Dragons), 13 Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues), 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), 11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), 10 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 9 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons); 1 Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets) 2 Dewi Lake (Ospreys) (c), 3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), 4 Morgan Jones (Scarlets), 5 Jac Price (Scarlets), 6 Lennon Greggains (Dragons), 7 Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers), 8 Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets).

Reserves: Garin Lloyd (Ospreys), Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Nick English (Bristol Bears), Ed Scragg (Dragons), Iestyn Rees (Scarlets), Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Rio Dyer (Dragons), Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), Tom Devine (Dragons)
Ioan R Davies (Cardiff Blues), Will Griffiths (Dragons), Tomi Lewis (Scarlets).

Meanwhile, Tigers tighthead Joe Heyes will start in the other fifth-place semi-final as England take on Ireland, with kick off to come at 7.30pm UK time.

England U20s head coach Steve Bates makes just two changes to the side that defeated Australia in the final pool fixture, with loosehead Kai Owen joining Heyes in the front row and Alex Coles starting at lock.

“We felt it was important to give the majority of the side that played against Australia another go as it was by far our best performance of the tournament" said Bates. "The challenge for our squad now is to back up that performance with one that is better.

“We cannot approach it with any degree of complacency or lack of acknowledgment that it took a lot of hard work, commitment and team work to perform at that standard against Australia. We’ve got to keep moving forward as a team and continue to develop.

“This will be the third time we’ve played Ireland this season and in both games discipline has let us down, so we’ve got to learn the lessons from those two fixtures.”

Live coverage of both matches is available across World Rugby channels.

England Under-20s (v Ireland): 15 Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby), 14 Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), 13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints) (c), 12 Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), 11 Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons), 10 Manu Vunipola (Saracens), 9 Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs); 1 Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), 2 Will Capon (Bristol Bears), 3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens), 5 Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), 6 Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), 7 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), 8 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors).

Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks), 17 Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby), 18 James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs), 19 Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby), 20 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs), 21 Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie), 22 Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks), 23 Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby), 24 Luke James (Sale Sharks), 25 Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish).