Head coach Danny Wilson is convinced he has picked his strongest available side for Wales Under 20's RBS 6 Nations opener against Ireland on Friday.
The Welsh side that welcome Mike Ruddock’s men to Colwyn Bay include five starters who won bronze at last summer’s Junior World Championship, with three more on the bench.
Full-back Dion Jones will start in front of his home town crowd at Parc Eirias, while Ospreys outside half Sam Davies retains the No.10 jersey he wore at the Junior World Championships.
Rhodri Williams, who was part of the side that finished in fourth-place in last year’s RBS 6 Nations, has been named at scrum-half.
Wilson revealed some of his squad members will appear for their regions this weekend, while others have been rested. But he is sure he has picked his best available starting XV.
“On the basis of our training sessions so far I would say this is our strongest available side, although we will learn more about the players from the matches themselves,” he said.
“Those playing on Friday are playing for a chance to hold onto their place against France next week.
“As we said last season, this is the starting point of our journey towards the Junior World Championship, but we are very keen to start well on Friday.
“Some of our squad are playing for their Regions this weekend, while others may be rested if they’ve played a lot of rugby recently, or are carrying knocks.”
Wilson is preparing for a tough test against an Ireland side that lost just once during last season’s RBS 6 Nations only to finish behind England and France in the final reckoning, beating Wales 11-6 along the way.
“Ireland are a good side, they had a strong Six Nations and Junior World Championship last season, beating hosts South Africa and were unfortunate not to make the semi-finals,” he said.
“They are clearly well coached by Mike Ruddock and his team so we are well aware of the challenge they present but we are well prepared and will be going all out to start this tournament well.”
15 Dion Jones (Scarlets)
14 Ashley Evans (Ospreys)
13 Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues)
12 Steffan Hughes (Scarlets)
11 Ashton Hewitt (Newport Dragons)
10 Sam Davies (Ospreys)
9 Rhodri Williams (Scarlets)
1 Nicky Smith (Ospreys)
2 Elliot Dee (Bedwas)
3 Nicky Thomas (Ospreys)
4 Carwyn Jones (Scarlets)
5 Rhodri Hughes (Ospreys)
6 Sion Bennett (Scarlets)
7 Daniel Thomas (Scarlets)
8 Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues) captain
16 Ethan Lewis (Cardiff Blues)
17 Gareth Thomas (Scarlets)
18 Dan Suter (Ospreys)
19 Jack Jones (Ospreys)
20 James Benjamin (Bedwas)
21 Joshua Davies (Newport Dragons)
22 Ethan Davies (Bedwas)
23 Thomas Pascoe (Cardiff Blues)