WALES Under-20s will take to the pitch at Cardiff Arms Park this evening inspired by those who have rapidly risen into Test players at Principality Stadium next door.

The Welsh youngsters take on their French counterparts in the capital (kick-off 7.15pm) with the aim of adding to their opening round win against Scotland in Colwyn Bay.

Richard Whiffin’s side, who have suffered away defeats to England and Ireland, will need to be at their best against a France team wounded by a shock defeat to Italy last time out.

Six Dragons players will feature with starts for full-back Harry Anderson, wings Harry Rees-Weldon and Walker Price, captain and centre Harri Ackerman and lock Nick Thomas with loosehead Jordan Morris coming off the bench.

There is plenty of talent in the Welsh 23, notably returning Ospreys back rower Morgan Morse, and they have an opportunity for rapid progress.

Ackerman has featured for the Dragons this season while Anderson made his debut off the bench at Ulster last weekend.

Blindside Ryan Woodman, who would have been captain were it not for injury, is already on the radar of Warren Gatland.

The senior coach is at the start of the next World Cup cycle and his 23 to face Les Bleus at Principality Stadium on Sunday will feature full-back Cameron Winnett and back rowers Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin, three players who are at the start of their club careers at pro level.

South Wales Argus: PROMISING: Cardiff and Wales full-back Cameron WinnettPROMISING: Cardiff and Wales full-back Cameron Winnett (Image: PA)

"Someone has trodden that path and the players think, 'If they can do it so can I'," said Under-20s boss Whiffin. "The players are seeing they're not that far away."

"You only have to look at what Cam Winnett has done in the last 18 months. He had a very good 20s season, backed that up at Cardiff and took to international rugby outstandingly well.

"It's something the boys can see, their friends are doing it.

"The players see that if they perform at this level, Gats and [assistant coach Rob] Howley are watching and conversations are happening."

Wales Under-20s: Huw Anderson (Dragons); Harry Rees-Weldon (Dragons), Macs Page (Scarlets), Harri Ackerman (Dragons, capt); Walker Price (Dragons); Harri Ford (RGC), Ieuan Davies (Bath); Josh Morse (Scarlets), Harry Thomas (Scarlets), Kian Hire (Ospreys), Nick Thomas (Dragons), Osian Thomas (Leicester Tigers), Lucas de la Rua (Cardiff), Luca Giannini (Scarlets), Morgan Morse (Ospreys).

Replacements: Will Austin (Sales Sharks), Jordan Morris (Dragons), Sam Scott (Midlands Central), Tom Golder (Harlequins), Will Plessis (Scarlets), Rhodri Lewis (Ospreys), Ellis Price (Scarlets), Aidan Boschoff (Bristol Bears).