A 28 man combined Ospreys U16 squad has been confirmed for a new end of season round robin regional tournament being played during April.
It follows the conclusion of the WRU Regional Age-Grade U16 Championship earlier this month, which saw the Ospreys East squad win six of the eight fixtures, only to suffer a 12-0 defeat to their regional rivals from the West in the final round of fixtures. For their part, the West bounced back from three straight defeats in the opening three rounds, to win three and draw one from the final five fixtures.
In a new initiative, Ospreys development staff have now identified the best 28 from the two squads, in order to represent the region in fixtures against combined teams from the Blues, Dragons and Scarlets, with double header fixtures at three different venues.
According to Elite Youth Development Manager, Dan Griffiths, selection for the combined Ospreys U16 team is the next step in the young hopefuls progression.
“This competition gives us, as development staff and coaches, a good opportunity to have a closer look at some of the talent we’ve got coming through at U16 level” said Griffiths.
“We’ve deliberately widened the pool to have an East and a West side, to allow more players the opportunity to excel, and we’ve seen some real growth and development in this year’s squad, which has been really pleasing.
“It’s going to be really interesting to see how these boys come together as one squad, where there will be tough competition for places and games against combined teams where the standard will understandably be higher due to the concentration of talent into single squads.
“We’ll be watching how the boys go over the coming weeks, in terms of training and match days, to assist with the selection process for next season’s U18s.You have to keep pushing hard to ensure you keep developing.
"Likewise, any player who may have missed out has to understand that the door remains open, as it does for every young player in the region. Our scouting and talent ID network is bigger than ever before and the door is never closed on anyone. If you have the talent and are working hard at your club, school or college, you can work yourself into consideration. Our pathway is well established with a long and proven track record of delivering young talent for the senior regional team and the national side, with players who have come from a wide variety of backgrounds.”
COMBINED OSPREYS U16 SQUAD
Iwan Richards (West), Caine Wooloton (East), Sean Collins (West), Joe Patterson (East), Dewi Cross (East), Ben Cambriani (West), Llyr Gealy (West), Frankie Jones (East), Tian Thomas-Wheeler (East), Josh Thomas (West), Luke Scully (East), Sam Cambriani (West), Harri Morgan (East)
Will Barraclough (East), Evan Budge (West), Joe Grabham (East), Jack Walker (East), Iwan Shenton (West), Kieran Morris (West), Rhys Laugharne (West), Matthew Biggs (East), Cameron Lewis (West), Garin Lloyd (East), Ollie Quick (West), Ethan Longley (East), Jake Woodward (East), Rhys Williams (East), Chris Crumpton (East)
Friday 1st April – Blues v Scarlets & Dragons v Ospreys, (CCB Centre of Excellence, Ystrad Mynach)
Tuesday 5th April – Ospreys v Blues, Dragons v Scarlets (St Helens, Swansea)
Sunday 10th April – Scarlets v Ospreys, Blues v Dragons (Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli)