Wales Youngsters Face Big Test Against Georgia As Warm-Up Clash For Seniors At World Cup

Wales will bid to earn a shot at fifth place at the World Rugby U20 Championships on Sunday, when they face Georgia in Paarl, South Africa.

Having lost to New Zealand, beaten Japan, and then lost to France, the best Mark Jones’ team can hope for at the tournament is fifth place.

But first they must beat Georgia in their semi-final, with the winners of that game facing either New Zealand or Australia in the 5th place final.

“We’ve shown that we are a very capable team when we get things right, but we need to be more consistent around our set-piece and our skill set,” said head coach Jones.

The game will be a fascinating pre-cursor to the battle between the respective senior sides of the two countries at the World Cup in France later this summer, when Warren Gatland’s team will be seeking revenge for defeat at the Principality Stadium last year.

Wales beat Georgia 30-24 in the 2022 Six Nations U20 Summer Series in Italy last year in a game in which the lead changed hands four times and both sides scored three tries.

They also beat them 10-9 at the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championships.

The Georgians won two of their U20 pool matches this year, beating Argentina 20-0 and Italy 30-17, and only went down to host nation South Africa 33-23.

As the Wales senior squad continue their own World Cup preparations in Switzerland, one Welsh Premiership player is off on tour with Canada.

The Canadians failed to make the World Cup this year, but are proving useful warm-up opposition for a number of nations who will be in France this September.

In the Canucks’ squad will be Pontypridd openside flanker Sion Parry, who qualifies via his Ontario-born mother.

The Ponty player enjoyed a stellar season in the Indigo Premiership at Sardis Road last winter and his reward has been a surprise offer from Canadian head coach Kingsley Jones to join the two Test tour to Tonga.

He is one of five uncapped players drafted into the 32-strong tour party that will meet the World Cup bound Tongans at Teufaiva Stadium in Nukuʻalofa on 10 and 15 August.

“The club are over the moon for Sion. It’s a fantastic achievement to be called up to any national squad,” said Pontypridd team manager, Dan Godfrey.

“His strong performances have stood out in the Premiership and the two Welsh Canadian coaches Kingsley Jones and Rob Howley have recognised this.”