Wales Under 20 Play An Ospreys Xv At Aberavon

Wales Under 20 will play an Ospreys XV at Aberavon on Monday night (7.15pm) in the first step on their journey towards the inaugural IRB Junior World Championship, which will be hosted by Wales in June.

The match has been organised to give the side some tough match preparation ahead of the inaugural Under 20 Six Nations Championship, which kicks off for Wales against England at Gloucester on Friday, 1 February.

Wales Under 20 head coach Patrick Horgan has announced a 30-man Six Nations squad which includes upcoming regional rookies Jonathan Davies of the Scarlets and Ospreys outside half Gareth Owen, who have made 18 regional appearances between them so far this season.

Former Queensland academy player, Luke Evans who joined the Blues academy at the start of the season, is also included as are Principality Premiership stars like Sam Warburton, Daniel Evans, Haydn Pugh and Leigh Halfpenny and a handful of outstanding players from last season's Wales Under 18 squad - Dan Biggar, Jason Tovey, Scott Andrews, Ashley Sweet, Rory Pitman and Justin Tipuric.

Patrick Horgan said: "It was very difficult to cut the squad to 30 but it was a necessary move in order to increase the intensity of training as we move into the Six Nations campaign.

"After a period of training, it will be important for us to see the players in a match situation on Monday evening.

"We have a few injury concerns at this stage with Sam Warburton suffering from a recurring hamstring problem and Josh Turnbull has just returned to training after an ankle injury while Dan Franks has a shoulder problem and Rhys Webb has yet to play a game since a knee reconstruction operation. However, they all have a good chance of returning to full fitness in time for the Six Nations and they produced such good performances last season that they deserve to be included in the squad.

"I am convinced that some of the players that have been left out will use this selection as a motivating factor and that we will see them again later on in the season."

Wales Under 20 fixtures 2008
Monday 14 January - 7.15pm - Wales Under 20 v Ospreys XV - Aberavon RFC

Under 20 Six Nations Championship
Friday 1 February - England v Wales - Kingsholm, Gloucester
Friday 8 February (7.10pm) - Wales v Scotland - Rodney Parade, Newport
Friday 22 February (7.10pm) - Wales v Italy - Rodney Parade, Newport
Friday 7 March - Ireland v Wales - Dubarry Park, Athlone
Friday 14 March (7.10pm) - Wales v France - Rodney Parade, Newport

Wales Under 20 Six Nations Championship ticket prices:
Individual Matches
Hazell Stand - Adult £15; Senior / Student £8; Under 16 £8
Terraces & Family Stand - Adult £12; Senior / Student £6; Under 16 £1

Three Game Ticket (which will be on sale until 5.30pm on Thursday, 7 February)
Hazell Stand - Adult £35; Senior / Student £18; Under 16 £18
Terraces & Family Stand - Adult £28; Senior / Student £14; Under 16 £3

Tickets are available now from the Rodney Parade Ticket Office, by telephoning 01633 674990 and via

Wales Under 18 management looking for leaders

Wales Under 18 head coach Simon King has named a 36-man training squad ahead of the forthcoming Under 18 international season.

The side will play two training matches against the English and French Academies and two international matches against England and Scotland over the next two months before the Under 18 Six Nations festival takes place in Cork at Easter where Wales will play Ireland, France and Italy.

King said: "Thanks to a very competitive Reebok Regional competition, we have some welcome selection headaches before we announce a final squad ahead of our first training game against an English Academies side at Pontypridd (Sunday, 27 January).

"One of our main objectives is to prepare players to make the next step in their rugby development and so it is hugely encouraging to see so many players from last season's Under 18 squad in the Wales Under 20 Six Nations squad announced today. It is indicative of the work being done."

The Wales Under 18 training squad will now train together twice weekly throughout January and Wales Under 18 team manager Terry Cobner said: "We have a lot of strength in depth in the squad this season, but you can never be certain how teams will gel until they take the field.

"We are not only looking for playing talent over the next month, but leadership qualities as we will be looking for players to put their hands up for the captaincy."

Wales Under 18 fixtures 2008
Sunday 27 January - Pontypridd - Wales XV v English Academies
Sunday 24 February - Ebbw Vale -Wales XV v French Academies
Sunday 2 March - Worcester - England v Wales
Sunday 16 March - Ebbw Vale - Wales v Scotland
March 26 / April 2 - Cork - Under 18 Six Nations Festival

Baber hoping for Seventh Heaven

Gareth Baber will take on the role of Wales Sevens head coach at the next two IRB Sevens World Series tournaments at San Diego and Wellington at the end of the month.

Baber, currently Cardiff RFC and Blues academy skills coach, has been Wales Sevens assistant coach for the past year and coached the side to a Plate victory at last season's Hong Kong Sevens while former head coach Dai Rees was unavailable due to regional commitments.

He said: "It's an honour to be given the chance to take charge of the squad at these two tournaments. It's also a challenge but I will be concentrating on continuing the work myself, Dai Rees and the players have done over the past two years. We haven't been to these two tournaments before but we are looking to take a strong squad and we will be aiming to reach at least the Cup quarter-finals at both events."

Meanwhile, Dragons head coach Paul Turner will also travel to San Diego and Wellington in an observing role and in order to get a first hand insight into the modern day Sevens circuit.

He said: "I played Sevens in the amateur era but I have wanted to get a first hand insight into modern day international Sevens for some time. I have been given this opportunity as part of my WRU elite coach development.

"It will be great to gain an informed view on why we as regional coaches release our players to the Sevens circuit and what they gain in their development from the experience.

"I hope to learn a lot from the experience and will be happy to share my findings with other coaches and everyone involved in elite rugby development in Wales."

Wales Under 20 Six Nations squad
Full back:
Daniel Evans (Scarlets)
Jimmy Norris (Dragons), Leigh Halfpenny, Nathan Rees (both Blues)
Jonathan Davies, Rhys Williams (both Scarlets), Luke Ford (Blues)
Outside Halves:
Gareth Owen, Dan Biggar (both Ospreys), Jason Tovey (Dragons)
Scrum Halves:
Luke Evans (Blues), Gareth Williams, Rhys Webb (both Ospreys)
Scott Andrews, Patrick Palmer, Sam Hobbs (all Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys)
Ben Roberts (Dragons), Rhys Lawrence (Ospreys), Ryan Prosser (Bristol Academy)
Haydn Pugh (Scarlets), Jevon Groves (Blues), Ashley Sweet (Dragons)
Josh Turnbull, Nicholas Cudd (both Scarlets), Justin Tipurick (Ospreys), Dan Franks (Blues)
No 8s:
Sam Warburton (Blues), Rory Pitman (Ospreys), Lloyd Phillips (Scarlets)

Wales Under 18 training squad
Full backs:
Chris Lewis (Ospreys), James Loxton (Blues)
Wings: Ryan Bayliss, Liam Powell (both Ospreys), Adam Hughes, Ieuan Coombes (both Dragons)
Kristian Phillips, Ashley Beck (both Ospreys), Scott Williams, Daniel Etteridge (both Scarlets), Rhys Howells (Dragons / Exiles)
Outside halves:
Ian Smerdon (Blues), Matthew Jarvis (Ospreys), Chris Lewis-Pratt (Dragons / Exiles)
Scrum halves:
Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Downes (Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Ospreys)
Props: Stewart Maguire (Dragons), Dan Watchurst (Dragons / Exiles), Gareth Jenkins, Joe Rees (both Ospreys), Simon Gardiner, Trystan Davies (both Scarlets)
Hookers: Ceri Davies (Ospreys), Rhys Williams (Blues), Craig Attwell (Dragons)
Joel Galley, James King, Henry Boot (all Scarlets), Tom Crandon (Dragons), Lloyd Peers (Ospreys)
Rhys Ruddock, Ben Howe (both Ospreys), Morgan Allan, Rhys Jenkins (both Dragons)
No 8s:
James Thomas (Dragons), David Francis (Dragons / Exiles)