DRAGONS scrum-half Dafydd Buckland will make his first Wales Under-20s start against England in Colwyn Bay on Friday night (kick-off 7.05pm), writes Chris Kirwan.

The 18-year-old comes into the XV after impressing with a try-scoring performance off the bench in the 42-12 win against Italy in round two.

Buckland is joined in the starting line-up by fellow Dragons Aneurin Owen, Ed Scragg and Lennon Greggains at inside centre, lock and blindside.

Dan Babos, who featured 13 times for the Rodney Parade seniors last season but is yet to appear in the current campaign, is one of five Dragons on the bench.

Hooker Will Griffiths, prop Tom Devine, lock Max Ayling and wing/centre Deon Smith will look to make an impact against the English in the north.

Head coach Gareth Williams had made three changes to the XV with Buckland in for the injured Jamie Hill, Ospreys wing Dewi Cross getting the nod ahead of Smith and Iestyn Rees of the Scarlets starting at number eight.

He replaces Taine Basham with the hat-trick hero from Italy set to feature for the Dragons at Benetton in the Guinness PRO14.

“Jamie Hill and Harri Morgan’s injuries give Daf Buckland a good opportunity to show what he is capable of,” said Williams.

“He played the majority of the game against Italy in what was a wonderful result, so he is in a good place. It’s also good to see Dan Babos returning too, and the depth in this position is pleasing to see.

“Dewi Cross is very familiar to our environment and it is great to include him in the starting team again. He has worked hard for this opportunity, and will be a great asset to us.

“Max Ayling is part of a very young group of second rows we are currently excited about working with.

“All four we have blooded over the last few weeks are Under-19s, therefore they are getting great exposure which will not only benefit our Under-20s programme for the next 18 months, but for the longer term of Welsh rugby in that position.”

England won 37-12 in Newcastle last year and 37-21 in Colwyn Bay in 2017.

Wales U20: Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), Tomi Lewis (Scarlets), Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues), Aneurin Owen (Dragons), Dewi Cross (Ospreys), Cai Evans (Ospreys), Dafydd Buckland (Dragons), Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Dewi Lake (captain, Ospreys), Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), Ed Scragg (Dragons), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), Lennon Greggains (Dragons), Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets), Iestyn Rees (Scarlets).

Replacements: Will Griffiths (Dragons), Tom Devine (Dragons), Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), Max Ayling (Dragons), Ellis Thomas (Llanelli), Dan Babos (Dragons), Sam Costello (Leicester), Deon Smith (Dragons).