Welsh Rugby
Davies names strong Wales U20 squad
Scrum.com
January 6, 2009
Wales U20 coach and former Wales skipper Phil Davies during his time as Leeds coach, January 22 2006
Wales U20 boss Phil Davies has been able to name a strong side for the Six Nations © Getty Images
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Wales Under 20 boss Phil Davies has named a competitive 27-man squad for the 2009 U20 Six Nations.

Davies has selected four players with preofessional experience in the Magners League, Newport Gwent Dragons fullback Jason Tovey, Dragons Prop Aaron Coundley and Ospreys duo Kristian Phillips and Ashley Beck have all made the step-up to regional rugby in recent months.

Tovey has been particularly impressive this season, putting in assured performances during the Dragons' hectic festive period after being named as the Principality Premiership's Best Newcomer last term.

Davies has named a list of 10 reserve players to cover injury or a loss of form and nine further standby players, and all players will be assessed over the course of the season with a view to the U20 World Championships, being held in Japan in June.

"Age group rugby is all about developing players so that they fully understand what international rugby is all about," said Davies. "Leigh Halfpenny and has already made the step-up into professional regional, and international rugby from last year's Under 20 squad and Dan Biggar, Jason Tovey and Jonathan Davies are all now playing regularly for their professional regions.

"Having said that, we have talked about being ambitious and making sure we compete with intensity and efficiency in every game and tournament we enter into. Every match is there to be won and that is what we will try to achieve, starting with Scotland at McDiarmid Park, Perth on February 6th.

Wales Under 20 Six Nations squad:

Backs: James Loxton (Blues academy /Glamorgan Wanderers), Dai Langdon (Dragons academy / Ebbw Vale), Kristian Phillips (Ospreys / Neath), Ryan Healy (Glamorgan Wanderers), Ashley Beck (Ospreys/Aberavon), Nick Reynolds (Llanelli), Adam Hughes (Dragons academy / Bedwas), Matthew Pewtner (Dragons academy / Cross Keys), Rhys Downes (Blues academy / Pontypridd), Gareth Davies (Scarlets academy / Llanelli), James Leadbeater (Cross Keys), Jason Tovey (Dragons), Matthew Jarvis (Ospreys academy / Neath)

Forwards: Aaron Coundley (Dragons academy/ Ebbw Vale), Scott Andrews (Blues academy/ Glamorgan Wanderers), Dan Watchurst (Dragons academy / Bedwas), Simon Gardener (Scarlets Academy / Llanelli), Rhys Williams (Blues academy / Pontypridd), Craig Attwell (Dragons academy / Newbridge), James King (Ospreys academy/ Aberavon), Ashley Sweet (Dragons academy/ Cross Keys), Sam Pailor (Pontypool), Dan Partridge (Beddau), Jake Thomas (Cardiff), Josh Navidi (Blues academy Glamorgan Wanderers), Rory Pitman (Ospreys academy/Bridgend), James Thomas (Dragons academy /Ebbw Vale).

Reserve players:

Backs: Jamie Murphy (Bridgend), Luke Plummer (Dragons academy, Bedwas), Daniel Newton (Llanelli), Tavis Knoyle (Neath), Scott Williams (Scarlets academy / Llanelli)

Forwards: Owen Evans (Llandovery / Cardigan), Craig Fillier (Ebbw Vale), Lee Bray (Newbridge), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys academy/ Aberavon), Rhys Ruddock (Millfield / Ospreys)

Stand-by players:

Backs: Ryan Bayliss (Ospreys academy/ Tonmawr), Daniel Etteridge (Llandovery), Lloyd Williams (Blues academy, Wanderers), Dean Gunter (Abercynon)

Forwards: Stewart Maguire (Dragons academy/ Pontypool), Ricky Guest (Scarlets academy/ Llanelli), Rhys Jenkins (Dragons academy/ Ebbw Vale), Kristian Dacey (Pontypridd), Morgan Allen (Bedwas)

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