Wales eight honour their community clubs

Following their selection in the Welsh squad to visit Japan next month, the Ospreys eight strong summer international contingent came together in club colours this week to recognise the contribution t

Dan Baker (Ystradgynlais), Scott Baldwin (Bridgend Athletic), AshleyBeck (Skewen), Ryan Bevington (Porthcawl), Dan Biggar (Gorseinon), Dafydd Howells (Abercrave), James King (Mold), and Jonathan Spratt (Neath Athletic), came together for a special photograph where they donned their club shirt, in front of a backdrop of the iconic Ospreylian coastline.

For Baker, 20, Baldwin, 24 and Howells, 18, it is a first ever call-up to the senior national squad, while 22-year old King is still awaiting his first cap after he was selected for the recent Six Nations campaign but did not feature.

Reflecting on the selection of the Ospreys eight, Chief Operations Officer Andrew Hore paid tribute both to the players and the clubs where they grew up playing the game:

"To be selected for your country is every young rugby player's dream and these boys are all to be congratulated on reaching the squad for this tour" said Hore.

"Every one of them fell in love with the game at their local club, where an army of volunteers put in hours of unpaid work for the benefit of their local community. They are the lifeblood of the game in Wales, and everybody involved at the eight clubs where these players came through the ranks will share our enormous pride in the part they've played in developing a member of the Wales squad.

"Without these clubs there would be no players coming through the development pathway, from community club to regional age grade, and then Premiership club and region, before the very select few reach international level. As a region we have increased our investment in development by 600 per cent, an investment which will allow even more players to follow in their footsteps over the coming seasons, stepping up from their community clubs to enhance our proud record of producing more players for the national cause than any other region."