With the new age-grade season kicking off this weekend, U18s Head Coach Kevin James is looking for his team to make a positive start to their championship defence.
"After a successful, championship winning 2016-17 RAG campaign, where many players progressed and gained senior development contracts, there is a feel of confidence, and determination around the new group as we look ahead to the new RAG season” said James.
Last season saw the Ospreys U18’s crowned WRU regional age-grade champions, finishing their season unbeaten and defeating the Dragons 16-10 in the final. James continued:
“There are some familiarities with players however as usual there are also some exciting new changes with players and coaches. On the coaching front we welcomed in two new coaches Gavin Evans (Backs Coach), Chris Davies (Forwards) who need little introduction and have immediately added, in a positive way, to the RAG environment.
“Furthermore we have continued to work closely and benefitted massively from the support of the Ospreys seniors by having Tom Habberfield, Nicky Smith, Duncan Jones and Andrew Bishop on board with the RAG.
“The format for the RAG campaign 2017-18 has changed slightly resulting in less preparation time than usual building into the first game against RGC, however the boys have not used this as excuse, instead realising they need to work hard in all sessions in preparation for the RGC game. Additionally we have tried as coaches to facilitate a fun learning environment for players where they feel confident to develop and learn.
“Looking immediately ahead with three games within a short period of time, we as a group are challenging each other to work hard, enjoy the environment and also allowing the players the licence to express themselves in all games. The aim is to give all players an opportunity where possible in these first three games where hopefully boys will put there hands up for selection for our fourth game of the campaign against the Blues South.”
With their first game of the season this weekend, the side are focusing their efforts on their North Wales opponents, James adding:
“As a group we’re not looking too far ahead, particularly focussing on our first game against RGC. Every year RGC continue to improve and we certainly will be respecting them coming down this Sunday. However we are at home and the coaching staff will expect our group of players selected to work hard for each other and express themselves on the pitch.
“We are all excited to get the 2017-18 season going and very much look forward to welcoming RGC to the Brewery field this Sunday where hopefully the local community will come out and support future Ospreylians!"
The Ospreys U18’s welcome RGC to the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field on Sunday 6th August, K.O 2:30pm.