Young Ospreys second row, Rory Thornton, has been named as Wales captain for this year’s U20 Six Nations.
The 19-year old, pictured above (L) alongside regional and national colleague Adam Beard, is one of five Eyasses in the squad with Harrison Walsh, Owen Watkin and Dafydd Howells also named alongside the two second rows.
Having represented Bonymaen RFC, Cefn Hengoed Comprehensive School and Gower College Swansea, Thornton has played Premiership rugby for both Swansea and Bridgend, graduating to the Ospreys’ LV= Cup squad this season, starting in the games against Saracens and the Dragons in November. He also made his PRO12 debut the same month, as a replacement away to Ulster.
England is first up with a home match at Parc Eirias on Saturday 7 February (7.30pm) to kick off Wales' Six Nations campaign.
National Academy coaching manager Allan Lewis, who will coordinate the coaching of the side said:
"We have a young and exciting group of boys with some experienced players from last season.
"Rory (Thornton) was one of our stand-out players at the Junior World Championship last season and his developing maturity and leadership on and off the field means that his selection as captain was a relatively easy one to make.
"England will be a huge challenge, as double world champions, but one that we will relish and embrace.
"We look forward to returning to our home ground in Colwyn Bay. The support the team receives there is outstanding and the players are very grateful for that and the boost it gives them.
"The majority of the squad players have been playing regular Principality Premiership rugby which is a vital part of our development pathway. A number of players have played British & Irish Cup rugby, while some, such as Tyler Morgan, Dafydd Howells, Ryan Elias and Torin Myhill, have represented their regions.”
Supporters are urged to purchase tickets for these games soon to avoid disappointment. Tickets for both matches are on sale now from the official WRU website (wru.co.uk/tickets), from venuecymru.co.uk, by calling 01492872000 or to personal callers at Colwyn Leisure Centre and Venue Cymru, Llandudno.
Prices have been frozen for the second consecutive year meaning seated tickets are £15 and terrace tickets are £10 and £5 for Under 16s and OAPs.
Hospitality is available at £100pp (inc VAT) from Richard Orme: 01492 577914,email@example.com and both matches will be shown live on television, with the England game featuring on S4C and the Ireland game to be shown on BBC Wales.
Wales U20 home Six Nations fixtures:
Wales v England Sat 7th Feb 2015 7.30pm (S4C)
Wales v Ireland Fri 13th March 2015 7.45pm (BBC Wales)
Wales Under 20 Six Nations squad:
Luke Garrett (Dragons), Harrison Walsh (Ospreys), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Alex Jeffries (Dragons), Joe Jones (Blues), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Liam Belcher (Blues), Torin Myhill (Scarlets), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Blues), Tom Phillips (Scarlets), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Harrison Keddie (Dragons), Jordan Viggers (Blues), Rory Bartle (Gloucester)
Tom Williams (Blues), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets), Owen Davies (Dragons), Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Callum Sheedy (Bristol), Garyn Smith (Blues), Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Danny Cross (RGC), Barney Nightingale (Dragons), Joshua Adams (Scarlets), Rhys Williams (Leicester), Elis-Wyn Benham (Blues), James Whittingham (Blues), Dafydd Howells (Ospreys)