Wales Under-19s name European Championship squad

Drew Darbyshire

Wales Under-19s coach Anthony Walker has selected his 21-man squad that will compete in the European Championships in Serbia this August.

The Welsh side recently held an extensive two-day camp at Wales Rugby League’s official training base at Deeside Leisure Centre where the final squad was confirmed from a 30-man training squad.

Walker said: “The training camp was really successful. All the boys come with a great attitude and they were a pleasure to work with.

“We tried to make the camp something that they may have not experienced before and making it as professional as possible. Phil Joseph had a real big emphasis on prehab and recovery, he arranged for masseurs to come to the hotel on the evening and brought in supplementation.

“Picking the squad was hard, I’d love to take everyone who trained but we couldn’t and the way the tournament is set out there are no easy games, they get tougher and tougher as we go on, so we have to take the right balance of players.

“The guys we have selected to be captain and vice captains oozed quality and respect from the rest of the team. They may not be the loudest and biggest talkers but when they did speak everyone listened and they play with leadership.”

The 2018 Under-19s European Championship will be contested in Belgrade, Serbia between the August 5-11, with Wales taking on Russia in the first round of the eight-team knockout tournament.

If Wales beat Russia then they are likely to face England in the semi-finals and ten of the Wales squad have recent experience of beating the old enemy. Billy Glover, Finn Swift, Lewis Hall, Adam Young and Matthew Jones starred for Wales Under-16s when they beat England last year, while captain Cobi Green, Macauley Harris and vice-captain Aneurin Walker starred in the win over England in the Commonwealth Championships in Australia in February.

Wales won this trophy when it was last contested as Under-18s competition in 2008, beating Czech Republic, England and France and a number of those Wales players went on to win full Wales caps.

Wales Under-19s 21-man squad: Adam Young (Aber Valley Wolves), Cobi Green (Bradford Bulls), James Bartlett, Morgan Rowlands (Cardiff Blue Dragons), Will Lynch (Leigh Miners Rangers), Cai Ellis, James McGurk (Newcastle Thunder), Jacob Hitchcox (North Wales Crusaders A), William Mills (North Wales Crusaders A & Salford Red Devils), Finn Swift (Pilkington Recs & St Helens), Elliot Jenkins (St Helens), Matthew Jones (Salford Red Devils), Jake Cannon (South Wales Rabbitohs), Ben Hunter (unattached), Lewis Hall (Warrington Wolves), Macauley Harris, Ellis Simon, James Smith, Fraser Stroud, Aneurin Walker (West Wales Raiders), Billy Glover (Widnes Vikings).