Eight Eyasses head to Poland

26 man Wales squad for FIRA-AER Under 18 tournament includes eight young Ospreys.

Coach Shaun Connor believes his squad will have benefitted from their recent experiences when they begin their campaign against Scotland in Poznan, Poland on Friday (2pm).


The squad contains 16 players who were involved in the Tests against France and England last month along with players who have previously trained with the group this season and others who are new to the group.


Connor, who heads up the coaching team for this tournament, assisted by forwards coach Euros Evans and defence coach James Chapron, is looking forward to the challenge.


"We have had five quality training sessions with this group of players and we feel we've prepared well for Scotland on Friday," said Connor.


"We have increased the intensity of our training sessions since our defeat to England just over two weeks ago and hope that will show in our games. There are some 16 year olds in the squad but there are also some 'old heads' who have been with us for a year who have the experience of playing in this tournament last season and also the wins over Australian Schools in December and last month's games against France and England.”


Wales Under 18 lost to Scotland in this same fixture last year. "We played well in the first half last year but we didn't take all our chances and Scotland came back strong in the second half,” added Connor. Hopefully the squad will have learned the lessons from that loss and we will produce a more complete performance on Friday.”


Former Ospreys outside half Connor, who is now WRU Skills Coach with the region, is looking forward to stepping up to the head coach role. "It is a massive opportunity for me personally and I'm sure it will help me develop as a coach.”


Depending on the result of Friday's match, Wales will play either England or Portugal on Tuesday.


Wales Under 18 squad for FIRA-AER Under 18 European Championships:



Kieron Assirratti (Blues/ Coleg y Cymoedd/ Wattstown), Robert Lewis (Blues/ St Peters / Coleg y Cymoedd), Harrison Walsh (Ospreys / Bishopgore / Mumbles), Liam Belcher (Blues/ Coleg y Cymoedd / Pontypridd), Dafydd Hughes (Scarlets / Llandovery College / Llandovery), Sam Matthews (Ospreys/ Pencoed College), Matthew Dodd (Ospreys / Olchfa / Dunvant), Seb Davies (Blues / Coleg y Cymoedd / Pentyrch), Calum Haggett (Blues / Coleg y Cymoedd / Gilfach Goch), Tom Phillips (Scarlets / Coleg Sir Gar / Llangennech), Harrison Keddie (Dragons / Coleg Gwent / Caerleon), Lloyd Phillips (Scarlets/ Coleg Sir Gar/ Felinfoel), Shaun Evans (Scarlets/ Coleg Sir Gar/ Felinfoel), Ben Davies (Ospreys/ Pontarddulais Comp/ Pontarddulais), Josh Cole (Ospreys / Neath Port Talbot College  / Tonmawr)


Backs: Matthew Aubrey (Ospreys/ Gower College/ Pontarddulais), Carl Lewis (Blues North/ Coleg y Cymoedd/ Treorchy), Jarrod Evans (Blues North/ Coleg y Cymoedd/ Pontypridd), Dan Jones (Scarlets / Coleg Sir Gar / Carmarthen Quins), Barney Nightingale (Newport High), Owen Watkin (Ospreys / Bridgend College / Bryncethin), Joe Gage (Ospreys/ Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera / Abercrave), Matthew Pearce (Ysgol y Strade / Llanelli Wanderers), Shaun Pearce (Scarlets / Glan y Mor / Bury Port), Rhys Gealy (Ospreys / YG Gwyr / Pontarddulais), Elis-Wyn Benham (Coleg y Cymoedd / St Joseph's)