Dylan James and Kyle Harris in Wales u18s squad to face Scotland

A capped u18 men’s international returns to Welsh soil for the first time in nearly five years on Sunday when Wales host Scotland at St Helen’s (KO 1pm).

Wales last played a capped game on home soil against Italy at Cardiff Arms Park in 2018 when the home side recorded a 27-18 victory. Head coach Richie Pugh has named a 23-strong squad which includes five players who were capped last year.

Second row Nick Thomas, flankers Kenzie Jenkins and Harry Beddall along with fly half Harry Wilde and winger Ioan Duggan return for a second year of action.

“This is the first international on home soil for a while, it’s the first time a lot of these boys will have played in a capped game and the first time they are representing their country,” said Pugh, before adding the players will be “getting the opportunity to wear the red jersey as part of their journey.”

Pugh has one eye on Easter’s U18 Six Nations Festival in Dublin as he prepares his side for two games against Scotland and England. Following the schools and colleges league and the Regional Age Grade programme, he is eager to see his young side display their wares.

“Our challenge as coaches is in a short period how do we get all this talent playing together so they can really express themselves in such a short preparation time? It’s exciting with the talent coming through. You don’t know until you go up against the best of other countries and this is what this opportunity is about,” said Pugh.

“We’ve got two internationals now against Scotland and England before we go to the Six Nations Festival. We don’t know where we are at really, but this is a great part of their development.

“We see this as a Test match where we want to perform. We want to expose the boys to the next level of rugby as part of their rugby progression. There is one eye on the 26 that is going to the Six Nations Festival, but these players have a huge honour of being the first selected team to play at U18s this year and we’re looking forward to seeing how they go.”

Cardiff’s Beddall has the honour of captaining Wales for the clash against Scotland.

“He has been with Cardiff Rugby and been a consistent performer,” said Pugh. “He won the RFU Academy, Colleges and Education (ACE) league with Hartpury College. He is pretty level-headed and leads from the front in terms of how he displays on the field with his work ethic and how competitive he is.”

Wales U18 men v Scotland U18 men, Swansea RFC, Sunday 19 March, 1pm
15 Tom Bowen (Cardiff Rugby, Clifton College)
14 Harry Rees-Weldon (Dragons, Coleg Gwent)
13 Osian Roberts (Sale Sharks, Kirkham Grammar School)
12 Steffan Emanuel (Cardiff Rugby, Millfield School)
11 Oli Woodman (Dragons RFC, Monmouth School for Boys)
10 Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby, Ysgol Glantaf)
9 Max Fergusson (Exeter Chiefs, Exeter College)
1 Dylan James (Ospreys, Bridgend College)
2 Harry Thomas (Scarlets, Coleg Sir Gar)
3 Sam Scott (Midlands Central (Wasps), City of Oxford College)
4 Luke Evans (Cardiff Rugby, Y Pant Comprehensive)
5 Nick Thomas (Dragons RFC, Hartpury College)
6 Kenzie Jenkins (Bristol Bears, Coleg y Cymoedd)
7 Harry Beddall (Captain - Cardiff Rugby, Hartpury College)
8 Kane James (Newcastle Falcons, Sedburgh School)

16 Evan Wood (Cardiff Rugby, Coleg y Cymoedd)
17 Max Bignell (Cardiff Rugby, Whitchurch High School)
18 Owain James (Cardiff Rugby, Cardiff & Vale College)
19 Kyle Harris (Ospreys, Coleg y Cymoedd)
20 Keanu Evans (Scarlets, Ysgol y Strade)
21 Owain Paskell (Cardiff Rugby, Whitchurch High School)
22 Jack Woods (Dragons RFC, Monmouth School for Boys)
23 Ioan Duggan (Dragons RFC, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni)

Wales U18 men's fixtures

Sun 19 March - Wales U18s men vs Scotland U18s – KO 1pm at Swansea RFC (St. Helen’s ground)
Sun 26 March - Wales U18s men vs England U18s – KO 1pm at Swansea RFC (St. Helen’s ground)