Byron Hayward delighted with Wales U20s' grunt up front

3:07pm Thursday 15th May 2014

WALES Under-20s boss Byron Hayward will be looking for his tight five to put the squeeze on Fiji in their Junior World Championship opener next month, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Welsh youngsters prepared for the tournament in New Zealand with a 31-19 victory against their Scottish counterparts in Bridgend on Wednesday evening.

Flanker Scott Matthews, wing Dafydd Howells, loosehead Luke Garrett and centre Harri Evans crossed for tries in a win that was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

They bossed the Scots up front, particularly when Ospreys props Nicky Smith and Nicky Thomas combined with Newport Gwent Dragons hooker Elliot Dee in the first half hour.

"We got a lot out of this game, particularly in regard to the type of game we want to play against Fiji in our first match," said head coach Hayward.

"If you want to compete with the best in the world you need to have variety which means having a good driving game but also the ability to play expansively.

"We didn't really play a lot of open stuff against Scotland but that was probably because we disrupted the game as coaches by making so many changes.

"They were a lot stronger than they were in the Six Nations (when Wales triumphed 43-15 in Colwyn Bay) but we coped well against their physicality.

"It was a good workout, some rusty players got some action and we didn't suffer any injuries so we are delighted."

Wales, who finished third in 2012 and second in 2013, take on the Fijians on June 2 before clashes against Ireland and Grand Slam-winning France. The three group winners and the best-placed runner-up qualify for the semi-finals.

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