Wales youngsters prepare for test

The Wales under 18 side are preparing for their big matches against England Community Lions and Australia in the next fortnight with both games being played at Caerphilly RFC.

The game against England takes place on Wednesday 17th November with the Australian clash six days later on the 23rd. Both games kick off at 7.30pm.

The England clash has become an annual event but the Australian tie hasn’t been played for four years.

Since the last time that Wales took on the Australian Schoolboys back in 2006, 13 of those 17 Australians have since played professionally in the NRL with Israel Folau, who has played for Queensland and Australia, Mitchell Pearce who has played State of Origin for New South Wales and Joseph Paulo, who played for Samoa in the 2008 World Cup, standing out. The tie against Wales this year on Tuesday 23rd November could see more stars of the future.

The Wales squad was selected following a trial at Caerphilly with over 70 young hopefuls attending.

Apart from two players from Harlequins in London, which continues the Wales Rugby League’s strong bond with them, the team has been selected from professional and community clubs in South Wales and includes four players who won a senior cap against Italy recently.

There are four players from this years Crusaders and Wales under 16 team including captain Courtney Davies and the talented Dominic Franchi while former under 18 international Dan Crimmins returns after a 12 month absence from the sport.

Player Development Manager at Wales Rugby League, Dan Clements said: “After a successful trial, we have assembled possibly our strongest under 18 squad to date. We have four full internationals in there supplemented by a lot of experience from the Crusaders academy, Harlequins academy and Wales under 16 sides. I must give credit to everybody that trialled, it really proves there is a desire out there for players to play our sport, and everybody acquitted themselves really well.

“I know that the squad and coaching staff are now getting preparations underway for an exciting two match series against England Community Lions and the best junior side in the world, the Australian Schoolboys.”

WALES SQUAD

Kyle Blackmore – Crusaders
Jean Baptiste Bruzhulier – Cardiff Demons
Matthew Crane – Penallta Storm / Crusaders
Dafydd CarterBlackwood Bulldogs / Crusaders
Michael Channing – Harlequins
Dan Crimmins – Newport Titans
Christopher Davies – Valley Cougars / South Wales Scorpions
Courtney Davies – NPT Steelers / Crusaders
Geraint Edwards – Penallta Storm / Crusaders
Dale Evans – Crusaders
Rhys Fenton – Newport Titans / Crusaders
James Griffiths – CPC Bears / Crusaders
Michael Griffiths – CPC Bears / Crusaders
Dan Godwin – Crusaders
Rhodri Lloyd – Penallta Storm / Crusaders
Matthew McGovern – Blackwood Bulldogs / Crusaders
Matthew Meek – Harlequins
Jacob Morgan – Cardiff Demons / Crusaders
Jack Pring – Crusaders
Rhys Watkins – Penallta Storm / Crusaders

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