Wales’ hopes to make it three U18 wins from 3 in South Africa ended on Saturday when they lost 31-19 to France.
The young Welsh stars had enjoyed narrow victories over South Africa Schools and England, but the men in blue were just a step too far for them, in what will still be remembered as an enormously successful tour.
The French got off to a flying start, scoring three tries in the first 17 minutes, through Mathieu Rodor, Florent Vanverberghe, and Matthis Lebel,with fly half Louis Carbonel converting for a 21-0 lead, leaving Wales in real trouble before they had even really begun.
Wales managed to get themselves back into the game though, and were awarded a penalty try following a collapsed driving maul, with Thomas Lavault heading to the sin bin as a result and Cai Evans adding the extras for Wales, leaving the scores at 21-7 in France’s favour heading into the half time break.
Wales narrowed the gap further when the second half got underway, with Dewi Cross scoring a superb try and Evans landing an equally impressive conversion for 21-14.
France hit back well though, as Lucas Porison scored a try and Carbonel added the extras before landing a penalty to stretch things back out to 31-14.
Still Wales fought on though, and their efforts were rewarded with a late try for Scarlets flanker Dan Davis.
It was ultimately not enough to give them the chance of the win, but this tour will still go down as one of Wales’ best at this level with those important wins over England and South Africa.
Wales U18 19-31 France U18
Wales U18 XV:
15 Dylan Moss (Ospreys)
14 Tomi Lewis (Scarlets)
13 Tom Hoppe (Dragons)
12 Scott Lloyd (Scarlets)
11 Dewi Cross (Ospreys)
10 Cai Evans (Ospreys)
9 Harri Morgan (Ospreys)
1 Joshua Reynolds (Dragons)
2 Will Griffiths (Dragons)
3 Ben Warren (Blues)
4 Joe Miles (Blues)
5 Lewis Ellis-Jones (Scarlets)
6 Lennon Greggains (Dragons, captain)
7 Dan Davis (Scarlets)
8 Taine Basham (Dragons)
Replacements: 16 Morgan Nelson (Gloucester), 17 Jordan Walters (Ospreys), 18 Rhys Davies (Scarlets), 19 Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets), 20 Morgan Jones (Scarlets), 21 Ben Fry (Hartpury College), 22 Tom Reffell (Leicester Tigers), 23 Callum Morris (Scarlets), 24 Ben Thomas (Blues), 25 Callum Carson (Ospreys), 26 Joe Roberts (Scarlets), 27 Tom Rogers (Scarlets)
U19 International Series Fixtures & Results:
Friday 11th August: Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
13:15 France 8-24 England
15:00 SA Schools 28-30 Wales
Tuesday 15th August: Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl
13:15 England 12-14 Wales
15:00 SA Schools 8-13 France
Saturday 19th August: City Park, Athlone
11:15 France 31-19 Wales
13:00 SA Schools 22-52 England