BRIGHT Dragons prospect Taine Basham scored a Six Nations hat-trick as Wales Under-20s romped to a 42-12 bonus-point win in Italy, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 19-year-old back row forward from Talywain crossed three times in a typically aggressive display, the first two powerful finish and the third from a five-metre scrum.

Two more Dragons were on the try sheet for the Welsh youngsters with lock Ed Scragg going over in the first half and replacement scrum-half Daf Buckland getting a reward for a sharp display after the break.

Cardiff Blues full-back Ioan Davies ensured it wasn't just Rodney Parade prospects that crossed for the visitors with a late five-pointer.

Basham is the latest bright back rower out of the Dragons academy and has already featured in eight senior games, plus was an unused replacement against Munster at the end of last month.

It must be tempting to involve him again against Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Friday, although the rapid turnaround may mean he has to wait until later on in the PRO14 run-in.

But Basham, like Ollie Griffiths and Harri Keddie before him in recent seasons, is making a big impression in under-20 rugby.

Wales headed into the game encouraged by their battling display in defeat to world champions France on opening weekend.

But while performance was important in Mantua, revenge for last year's loss in Colwyn Bay was essential in order to keep the heat on pace-setters Ireland.

Head coach Gareth Williams, the former sevens supremo, in charge for his first Six Nations, largely kept faith with those that took to the field in Vannes.

Dragons blindside Lennon Greggains came into the XV after a hamstring injury to join regional teammates Basham, Scragg, Aneurin Owen and Deon Smith at number eight, lock, inside centre and wing respectively.

Rodney Parade prospects Buckland, Will Griffiths and Tom Devine – scrum-half, hooker and prop – would come off the bench.

It was Basham that struck first for Wales with a superb finish after powering away from the back of a scrum on 13 minutes.

He repeated the trick on 21 when he cut a lovely line before racing past some admittedly weak defence.

Wales were carrying hard but the Italians were defending strongly until the third try came on the stroke of half-time, once again through a Dragon with a patient passage of play ending with Scragg finishing down the left. Cai Evans added his third conversion superbly from the touchline for a 21-0 lead at the break.

The bonus point was in the bag early in the second half when the Welsh pack put the power on from a five-metre scrum for Basham to finish rather more simply.

Italy were on the scoreboard approaching the hour when the pack shoved Wales off their own ball and scrum-half Gianmarco Piva put wing Michael Mba over.

Wales responded when Buckland raced over, followed by a cracker by Italy full-back Jacopo Trulla only for Davies to have the final say when cantering over after a fine break by Leicester fly-half Sam Costelow.