Wales U18 set for SA

Thu, 04 Aug 2016 15:29
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales Under-18 coach Geraint Lewis has selected 27 players who represent the country in the Under-18 International Series in South Africa.

Wales leave for South Africa on Monday and kick-off the series with a tough challenge against South Africa Schools on Friday, August 12. They then play Italy on Tuesday, August 16 and South Africa Schools A on Saturday, August 20.

The majority of the squad represented Wales U18 last season and could go on to push for Wales U20 honours next season with the tour very much seen as a way to bridge the gap between the two age groups.

There are five players who haven’t yet played for Wales U18 – centres Dylan Moss and Cameron Lewis, props Tom Mably and Connor Lewis, along with full back Jared Rosser but he was capped by Wales U20 at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Manchester.

Lewis said: "The boys been working very hard to get ready for this tour and they are very much looking forward to it. We are making some strides individually and as a team so hopefully by the time we get out there we’ll be ready to take on South Africa.

"At age grade level, this Series is a great opportunity to experience different styles of rugby, and different cultures too. The focus of the tour is to get players ready for U20 International rugby next season, the players will hopefully learn a huge amount that they can take forward to the next level.

"South Africa is a great rugby playing nation, and their schools rugby is as strong as any nation in the world. They have only ever lost one game in this tournament and that was to a strong England side so we will need to be at our best to compete next Friday,"

Five players based outside Wales are included in the squad – Jordan Liney, Jim Botham, Morgan Morris, Dylan Moss and Will Talbot-Davies.

"It is pleasing to see the Welsh qualified players from outside Wales in our group. They are very proud to represent Wales, they add strength in depth to our squad and with a number of U18 aged players having already played for Wales U20, exposing more players to international rugby at this level can only help Welsh rugby in the long term," he added

Wales U18 squad:

Forwards: Rhys Carre, Connor Lewis, Harri Dobbs, Tom Mably, Jordan Liney, Corrie Tarrant, Christian Coleman, Callum Bradbury, Will Griffiths, James Ratti, Max Williams, Will Jones, James Botham, Joe Thomas, Morgan Morris.
Backs: Jared Rosser, Will Talbot Davies, Corey Baldwin, Joe Goodchild, Ryan Conbeer, Ben Thomas, Dylan Moss, Cameron Lewis, Ben Jones, Phil Jones, Owain Leonard, Dane Blacker.

Revised Under-18 International fixtures are as follows:

Friday, August 12 at City Park Stadium, Cape Town
12.00: England vs France
13.30: SA Schools A vs Italy
15.00: SA Schools vs Wales
Tuesday, August 16 at Bishops
13.00: Wales vs Italy
14.30: SA Schools A vs England
16.00: SA Schools vs France
Saturday, August 20 at Paarl Boys' High
11.15: France vs Italy                  
12.45: SA Schools A vs Wales
14.15: SA Schools vs England