Scarlets centre Steffan Hughes named Wales Under-20 captain

Steffan Hughes and Byron Hayward

Scarlets centre Steffan Hughes has been selected as Wales captain for the Under-20 Six Nations.

Head coach Byron Hayward has named a 31-man squad for tournament, which begins against Italy on 31 January.

Only eight of the 31 players in this season's squad have been capped by Wales Under 20 previously.

Also included in the squad is wing Dafydd Howells, who won two senior caps on Wales' tour to Japan last summer.

"We are starting from scratch to a certain extent but we are all looking forward to the challenge," Hayward said.

"We have to be bold with our selection policy and expose all these players to international rugby."

Hayward will be in charge of Wales Under-20 for the first time having succeeded Danny Wilson last July.

Under Wilson Wales finished last year's tournament as runners-up to England and lost to the same opponents in the final of the IRB Junior World Championship in France.

Wales will once again play their home matches at Colwyn Bay's Parc Eirias, starting with the visit of Italy.

Wales Under-20 squad

Forwards: Nicky Smith, Nicky Thomas (both Ospreys), Leon Crump, Callum Lewis, (both Blues), Benjamin Leung (Scarlets), Ethan Lewis (Blues), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Scott Otten (Swansea), James Sheekey (Blues), Shaun O'Rourke (Ospreys), Joshua Helps (Scarlets), Joe Davies (Dragons), Will Boyde (Carmarthen), Rob Dudley-Jones (Swansea), Scott Matthews, Ollie Griffiths, James Benjamin (all Dragons)

Backs: Tom Williams (Blues), Luc Jones (Dragons), Connor Lloyd (Scarlets), Luke Price (Ospreys), Ethan Davies (Dragons), Steffan Hughes (Scarlets), Garyn Smith (Blues), Harri Evans (RGC), Aled Summerhill (Blues), Joshua Adams (Scarlets), Dafydd Howells (Ospreys), Ashton Hewitt (Dragons), Steffan Evans (Scarlets), Afon Bagshaw (RGC)