15th October 2010, 13:29
Wales under 18 release squad
PIC: Chris Davies, in the under 18 squad, lines up for a full cap
Wales under 18 have released their squad for the matches against England Community Lions and Australia in November with both games being played at Caerphilly RFC.
The squad was selected following a trial at Caerphilly with over 70 young hopefuls attending.
Apart from two players from Harlequins in London, which continues the Wales Rugby League's strong bond with them, the team has been selected from professional and community clubs in South Wales and includes four players who won a senior cap against Italy recently.
There are four players from this years Crusaders and Wales under 16 team including captain Courtney Davies and the talented Dominic Franchi while former U18 international Dan Crimmins returns after a 12 month absence from the sport.
The game against England, on Wednesday 17th November, has become an annual event but the Australian tie hasn't been played for four years.
Since the last time that Wales took on the Australian Schoolboys back in 2006, 13 of those 17 Australians have since played professionally in the NRL with Israel Folau, who has played for Queensland and Australia, Mitchell Pearce who has played State of Origin for New South Wales and Joseph Paulo, who played for Samoa in the 2008 World Cup, standing out. The tie against Wales this year on Tuesday 23rd November could see more stars of the future.
Player Development Manager at Wales Rugby League, Dan Clements said: "After a successful trial, we have assembled possibly our strongest under 18 squad to date. We have four full internationals in there supplemented by a lot of experience from the Crusaders academy, Harlequins academy and Wales under 16 sides. I must give credit to everybody that trialled, it really proves there is a desire out there for players to play our sport, and everybody acquitted themselves really well.
"I know that the squad and coaching staff are now getting preparations underway for an exciting two match series against England Community Lions and the best junior side in the world, the Australian Schoolboys."
1. Kyle Blackmore - Crusaders
2. Jean Baptiste Bruzhulier - Cardiff Demons
3. Matthew Crane - Penallta Storm / Crusaders
4. Dan Crimmins - Newport Titans
5. Dafydd Carter - Blackwood Bulldogs / Crusaders
6. Michael Channing - Harlequins
7. Christopher Davies - Valley Cougars / South Wales Scorpions
8. Courtney Davies - NPT Steelers / Crusaders
9. Geraint Edwards - Penallta Storm / Crusaders
10. Dale Evans - Crusaders
11. Rhys Fenton - Newport Titans / Crusaders
12. Dominic Franchi - NPT Steelers / Crusaders
13. Dan Godwin - Crusaders
14. Michael Griffiths - CPC Bears / Crusaders
15. Rhodri Lloyd - Penallta Storm / Crusaders
16. Matthew McGovern - Blackwood Bulldogs / Crusaders
17. Matthew Meek - Harlequins
18. Jacob Morgan - Cardiff Demons / Crusaders
19. Jack Pring - Crusaders
20. Rhys Watkins - Penallta Storm / Crusaders