Road to the Principality - Swansea Valley Schools

Next up, it’s the fourth Ospreys team competing in the WRU Schools Finals day, Swansea Valley Schools.

Swansea Valley Schools compete in the Welsh Schools National Dewar Shield, which is the oldest school boy’s competition in World rugby. The young side have earned themselves a place in the Morgan Griffiths Plate on Thursday 2nd May in the Principality Stadium, where they take on Carmarthen Schools.

Speaking ahead of the game, Head Coach, Craig Jones said:  “It’s a very proud achievement for the squad! We set the goal for the boys to reach the semi-finals so it’s huge to be able to reach those goals we’ve been working so hard for all season. We’re all very proud of the boys, to reach the final and have the opportunity to play at the Principality Stadium is just a great honour and fantastic achievement.”

Over the course of the season, the young side have picked up five wins and two losses which earned them a top of the table spot, joint with Carmarthen, RGC West and Islwyn.

Included in those victories, was an emphatic 57-19 win away to RGC East in the opening week, and a 15-3 semi-final win over the North Walians, which booked them a place in the final.

We started off the season very strong, we had a little bit of a blip around the Christmas and January period, but the boys pulled through that well. We’ve finished off quite strongly and in a very good place going into the final where we hope we can put in a winning performance.”

Joining Jones in the coaching setup is fellow Head Coach, Steve Price the father of Ospreys fly-half Luke Price. Dai Jones who has been involved with the Ospreys for a number of years also helps out and Ospreys U16s West team manager, Linda Daniel provides the first aid.

Chairman of Swansea Valley Schools, is Gwynfor Davies, who has been involved with the schools setup for over 50 years. He is also the president of Welsh Schools Rugby.

Last but not least is Ystradgynlais legend, Adrian Lock. Locky, capped 500 times for the Blues side, manages the young team.  

Jones went on to praise his young side: “For an U16s rugby team to reach what is the pinnacle of Welsh rugby at that age-group sums it all up really. Reaching the highest level they can play at this age just shows how hard the boys have worked and is a huge achievement for them all.”

Heading into the finals, the Swansea Valley side face Carmarthen Schools who the Osprey side have already clinched a 19-0 victory over this season. Nevertheless, Jones isn’t underestimating their opponents:

“The game is going to be a very tough ask. We may have already beaten Carmarthen once this season, but it was one of the toughest games we’ve had. The fact we did manage to beat them once earlier in the season doesn’t really mean anything. If anything, it might give them more of an advantage, fire them up a little more to get one back on us. There’s no doubt about it, it’ll be a very tough game, but one we are all looking forward to.”

Catch the squad in action on Thursday 2nd May in the Morgan Griffiths Plate Final, K.O 2:45pm.