Junior World Championship: Osprey Owen Watkin left out of Wales Under-20 squad

Owen Watkin and Keelan Giles of Wales Under-20 celebrate after beating England on the way to the junior Grand Slam
Owen Watkin (left) was part of the Wales Under-20 side that won the junior Grand Slam

Ospreys centre Owen Watkin has been left out of Wales Under-20's squad for the Junior World Championship in June.

The Welsh Rugby Union and Ospreys have agreed Watkin, 19, will rest and partake in a full pre-season in order to be ready for the 2016-17 campaign.

Lock Seb Davies, hooker Liam Belcher, back row Josh Macleod and wing Tom Williams return to the 28-man squad.

Wales, the Six Nations Grand Slam champions, play Ireland, Georgia and New Zealand in Pool A in Manchester.

Watkin, who recently signed his first professional contract with Ospreys, played a leading role as Wales earned their first ever Six Nations Under-20 title and Grand Slam.

But he has made 12 appearances for the Welsh region this season and the decision has been taken to give him some time off after Ospreys' final game of the season against Ulster on Saturday.

Six Nations: Wales celebrate Under-20 Grand Slam win
Date (All times BST)GameLocation
Tues, 7 June (17:30 KO) Wales v Ireland Manchester City Academy Stadium
Sat, 11 June (15:45 KO) Wales v Georgia Manchester City Academy Stadium
Weds, 15 June (17.30 KO)New Zealand v Wales AJ Bell Stadium

Wales Under-20 head coach Jason Strange believes his side have the potential to improve on the performances which brought them silverware earlier this year.

"It's good to get the players back into training and they are confident on the back of a major achievement in winning the Six Nations," Strange said.

"We will certainly need to step up a level in order to compete with the top nations at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

"The exciting part is that the coaches and players all feel we can improve by an extra 20 or 30%, so if we get that right, we have the opportunity to do well, and we will be working hard over the next six weeks to get that right.

"It's a huge honour for the players to represent their country at a global tournament and we want to ensure they do themselves justice and enjoy every moment."

Wales squad for Junior World Championship

Forwards: Tom Phillips (captain, Scarlets), Rhys Fawcett (Scarlets), Corey Domachowski (Blues), Leon Brown (Dragons), Kieron Assiratti (Blues), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Liam Belcher (Blues), Dafydd Hughes (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Blues), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Blues), Shaun Evans (Scarlets), Harrison Keddie (Dragons), Morgan Sieniawski (Blues), Josh Macleod (Scarlets)

Backs: Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys), Declan Smith (Scarlets), Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Billy McBryde (Scarlets), Jarrod Evans (Blues), Kieran Williams (Ospreys), Joe Thomas (Ospreys), Harri Millard (Blues), Tom Williams (Ospreys), George Gasson (Dragons), Keelan Giles (Ospreys), Rhun Williams (RGC 1404), Joe Gage (Ospreys).

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