U18 6 Nations Festival: Preview – Wales to host exciting U18 Series

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Coach Logic

The 2018 U18 6 Nations Festival begins this Saturday as England, Scotland, France, Ireland, and Italy all travel to Wales for the tournament.


Each side will play three fixtures, with matchdays taking place on Saturday 31st March, Wednesday 4th April, and Sunday 8th April. Ystrad Mynach, the Welsh Centre of Sporting Excellence, will host the first matchday, with Cardiff Arms Park hosting the final two rounds.


The format is the same across all three matchdays, with the first game kicking off at 12pm, the second game (which always features Wales) at 2.30pm, and the final game at 5pm.


Matchday one kicks off with Scotland v England. The two sides met just a couple of weeks ago, with England having a bit of a party of a stunning 64-0 win at BT Murrayfield. You can be sure though that Scotland will have learned a lot from that, so hopefully that should be a strong game to kick off the Championship.


Wales then meet France in the second game of the opening day. These are the only two sides in the tournament that when their fixtures are combined with games prior to the start of the competition will actually have played all five other teams. Wales meet France, Ireland, and Italy in the competition and have previously beaten Scotland and lost to England, while France face Wales, Scotland, and England, and have they beat Ireland last week and previously fielded a ‘B’ side, which lost to Italy. France will be favourites heading into this having beaten both Ireland and England prior to the U18 6 Nations, but Wales are a strong side too with a win over Scotland and a decent performance against England.


The final game of the day will be Ireland v Italy, with Ireland looking to bounce back from that pre-tournament defeat to France. They will be boosted by the return of the Blackrock College and Belvedere College players to the squad, they were unavailable for the France game as it took place on the same day as the Leinster Schools Senior Cup final – a fantastic schoolboy tournament, should you ever have the opportunity to take it in.


Matchday two takes place at Cardiff Arms Park on Wednesday 4th April, and kicks off with Italy v England. Ireland then take on the hosts, Wales, before France and Scotland take part in the final game of the day.


Sunday 8th April sees the final matchday take place, again it is at Cardiff Arms Park and this time it kicks off with Ireland v Scotland. Italy v Wales follows that, with France v England rounding off the tournament. That should be one of the games of the tournament, between the two pre-Festival favourites. France have already beaten England this season, 27-5 in Dignes-les-Bains at the start of the month, so except England to field their strongest possible side here as the aim to make it 1-1 between the two sides.


Of course the main aim of this U18 Six Nations festival is player development, and fortunately that often goes hand in hand with exciting rugby as players are encouraged to broaden their skillset and to try things out, so except to see plenty of ball-handling forwards and perhaps even the odd kick from unusual suspects.


It should make for a fantastic week of U18 Internatonal rugby!


News is yet to emerge of live coverage but it is highly likely that the matchdays will be live stream and updates will be provided as soon as details emerge.


U18 6 Nations Festival Schedule: Saturday 31st March to Sunday 8th April


Matchday 1 – Saturday 31st March, Ystrad Mynach (Centre of Sporting Excellence)


Scotland U18 v England U18 – 12pm

Wales U18 v France U18 – 2.30pm

Ireland U18 v Italy U18 – 5pm


Matchday 2 – Wednesday 4th April, Cardiff Arms Park


Italy U18 v England U18 – 12pm

Ireland U18 v Wales U18 – 2.30pm

France U18 v Scotland U18 – 5pm


Matchday 3 – Sunday 8th April, Cardiff Arms Park


Ireland U18 v Scotland U18 – 12pm

Italy U18 v Wales U18 – 2.30pm

France U18 v England U18 – 5pm


Previous U18 results this season:


Scotland 30-32 Wales

Scotland 0-64 England

Wales 14-42 England

France 27-5 England

Ireland 20-39 France

Italy 18-5 France ‘B’

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