Wales have named their side to face Scotland in their U18 5 Nations Festival opener.
The 14.30 kick off tomorrow takes lace at St Helens, and is the second game of the inaugural year of the competition, after England beat Ireland 15-12 on Thursday, you can see our report of that game here: England U18 v Ireland U18.
Wales follow this game with a game against Italy on Tuesday, followed by a game against England a week on Wednesday, while Scotland play Ireland on Tuesday and England a week on Saturday.
Wales pick four English based players in their starting fifteen, all of whom are in the pack, Sedbergh’s Jim Botham, Grandson of legendary England cricketer Sir Ian, starts at openside, with Millfield’s Rhys Davies in the second row. Hartpury College contribute two members of the pack, Morgan Morris lines up next to Botham at number 8, with Jordan Liney at hooker.
Speaking to www.wru.co.uk U18 Head Coach Geraint Lewis said:
“Playing three games in 12 days is a fantastic opportunity to give a new batch of players exposure to international rugby, and it also gives those who have been involved before a further chance to express themselves at this level.”
“International rugby isn’t easy but the level of effort, preparation and concentration needed in a short space of time will only benefit them in the long term. It’s tough but it’s what we wanted to expose the players to.”
“Every player will get a start during the course of the series, which will help their development and also lessen the physical demands of playing three games in close succession.”
“It’s a mix of new players and boys who have been involved over the past two seasons. We know Scotland will offer a stern challenge and we are hoping that keeping some of the tried and tested combinations will bring some familiarity, help integrate the new players and help produce a good performance in the first game.”
“There is a good pitch at Swansea but we will have the same intentions to play fast, attacking rugby whatever the weather, and we have also been working hard on our defensive play.”
Wales U18 XV
15 Leon Randell (Coleg Sir Gar)
14 Joe Goodchild (Coleg Gwent)
13 Corey Baldwin (Llandovery College)
12 Ben Thomas (Cardiff & Vale College)
11 Ryan Conbeer (Coleg Sir Gar)
10 Ben Jones (Coleg y Cymoedd)
9 Dane Blacker (Coleg y Cymoedd)
1 Rhys Carre (captain, Cowbridge Comprehensive)
2 Jordan Liney (Hartpury College)
3 Harri Dobbs (Cowbridge Comprehensive )
4 Rhys Davies (Millfield)
5 Will Griffiths (Gowerton Comprehensive)
6 Lloyd Pike (Coleg Sir Gar)
7 Jim Botham (Sedbergh)
8 Morgan Morris (Hartpury College)
Replacements: 16 Iestyn Harris (Ysgol y Cymer) 17 Josh Reynolds (Newport High School) 18 Christian Coleman (Newport High School) 19 Ben Sier (Coleg y Cymoedd) 20 Will Jones (Gower College) 21 Charlie Davies (Gowerton Comprehensive) 21 Connor Tantum (Porthcawl) 22 Callum Carson (Gower College) 23 Gethin Gibby (Coleg Sir Gar).
U18 5 Nations Festival Schedule:
England 15-12 Ireland
Wales v Scotland – St Helen’s, 25th March, 14.30
Ireland v Scotland – Caerphilly, 29th March, 17.15
Wales v Italy – Caerphilly, 29th March, 19.30
Italy v Ireland – Caerphilly, 2nd April, 11.00
England v Scotland – Caerphilly, 2nd April, 13.30
England A v Italy – St Helen’s, 6th April, 17.15
Wales v England – St Helen’s, 6th April, 19.30