Wales Under 18 play their first international of the season – against France at Cross Keys on Friday – and five Young Ospreys have been named in the team.
PICTURED ABOVE ARE: Phil Jones (Ospreys), Efan Jones (RGC 1404), Max Williams (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets) and Aled Ward (Cardiff Blues)
Centre Kieran Williams and second row James Ratti, who have both been involved with the Welsh U20 squad during their Six Nations campaign in recent weeks, are joined in the starting line-up by outside half Phil Jones and Will Jones in the back row. Hooker Jordan Liney is named among the replacements.
Blues No 8 Aled Ward will captain the side that will also face England in Aberavon on Sunday 13th March.
Head coach Geraint Lewis said: “We are looking forward to playing France who are always powerful at age grade level and have such a rich rugby heritage.
“With a clean sweep against France last weekend from the seniors, Under 20s and Women, we hope to carry on in the same vein by kicking off our international season with a victory but we are under no illusions that it will be an easy task.
“We performed well in beating Leicester Academy last month, and some of our players have had time with the Wales Under 20 squad, Kieran Williams coming on against France last weekend, so they will have benefitted from that.”
France include the sons of two international rugby legends in their squad – full back Romain Ntamack, son of Emile and prop Daniel Brennan, son of former Ireland lock Trevor who remained in Toulouse after his playing days.
Following Friday’s game, and England a week on Sunday, Wales host an inaugural U18 International Series involving England, Ireland, Scotland and Italy over Easter.
Tickets for Friday’s game are £5 for adults, Under 16s free
Wales U18 team v France (Friday 4 March, 7.15, Pandy Park):
Will Talbot Davies (Dragons / Solihull); Pat Lewis (Dragons/ Pontypool / Lewis School), Owen Lane (Blues / Cardiff/ Cowbridge), Kieran Williams (Ospreys/ Glynneath/ Ystalyfera), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets/ Sir Gar); Phil Jones (Ospreys/ Gowerton/ Gowerton), Efan Jones (Wrexham / Rydal Penrhos); Rhys Carre (Blues/ Cowbridge), Corrie Tarent (Blues/ Pontypridd/ Cymoedd), Christian Coleman (Dragons / Garndiffaith), Rhys Davies (Bath/ Millfield), James Ratti (Ospreys/Gower),Lloyd Pike (Scarlets/ Sir Gar), Will Jones (Ospreys/ Penclawdd/ Gower), Aled Ward (capt, Blues/ Cardiff Harlequins/ Cowbridge)
Jordan Liney (Ospreys/ Hartbury), Eddie Drake (Blues / Cowbridge / Cowbridge), Josh Reynolds (Dragons / NHSOB/ Newport High), Max Williams (Dragons/ Newport High), Joe Thomas (Dragons / Penallta / Gwent), Owain Leonard (Dragons/ Cross Keys / Gwynlliw), Ben Jones (Blues/ Treharris/ Cymoedd), Corey Baldwin (Scarlets/ Llandovery College)