DRAGONS backs Tom Hoppe, Aneurin Owen and Deon Smith will make their Wales Under-20s debut in Sunday's Six Nations opener against France (kick-off 2pm), writes Chris Kirwan.

The trio are in the XV for the clash against Les Bleuets in Vannes along with back row forward Taine Basham, who caught the eye in last year's tournament.

Hoppe and Owen join forces in midfield with Smith, a try scorer for the Dragons against Russia in the autumn, on the left wing.

Dragons forwards Will Griffiths and Ed Scragg, a hooker and lock respectively, are on the bench along with Caldicot's Nick English, a prop who is on the books of Bristol.

Former sevens supremo Gareth Williams has taken over as head coach and his first assignment is a daunting one against a powerful French side.

"We're very excited about our first competitive game of the season, and it doesn't get much bigger than against the current world champions," said Williams, who has named Leicester openside Tommy Reffell as his captain.

"The occasion will be superb and it will be a true test for us a group. We have ambitions to emulate them in the coming years, so it will be a good start.

"We're delighted with how we've trained, and that has been a credit to players who have missed out on selection. Their intensity in training has pushed the starting team brilliantly this week."

France won last year's tournament before becoming world champions on home soil.

"This match represents a great opportunity. An opportunity for us as a new squad of players and coaches, but also an opportunity for individuals against a French squad with a high level of Top 14 exposure," said Williams.

"If our players can prove themselves against that type of experience, it will hold us in good stead for the fixture, but also for their individual progression with our regions."

Wales U20s: Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), Tomi Lewis (Scarlets), Tom Hoppe (Dragons), Aneurin Owen (Dragons), Deon Smith (Dragons), Cai Evans (Ospreys), Harri Morgan (Ospreys); Rhys Davies (Ospreys), Dewi Lake (Ospreys), Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), Teddy Williams (Cardiff Blues), Jac Price (Scarlets), Tommy Reffell (Leicester, captain) Jac Morgan (Aberavon/Scarlets), Taine Basham (Dragons).

Replacements: Will Griffiths (Dragons), Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), Nick English (Bristol Bears), Ed Scragg (Dragons), Ellis Thomas (Llanelli), Jamie Hill (Cardiff Blues), Sam Costelow (Leicester), Joe Roberts (Scarlets).