Wales Under 18 head coach Simon King has named an experienced 26 man squad ahead of his side’s international against Australia Schools XV at Colwyn Bay on December 5 (Parc Eirias, 6pm).
The majority of the selected players were involved in the side last season with only four players, Cory Hill, Joseff Griffin, Callum Thomas and Harry Robinson (all Blues academy) hoping to get their first cap at this level.
King said, “It’s a great opportunity for all of us to be able to play against a national southern hemisphere side.
“As with the senior side, the more regular contact we have with these teams, the better. When these players come up against the same players at a later stage, they will be more confident having already met them.
“We are looking forward to playing at Parc Eirias. A number of players have come through our side from north Wales in recent years, such as James King and Joel Galley and it is important other young players from the region are able to watch top quality rugby and aspire to follow in those players’ footsteps. George North and Rhodri Jones played well for us last season having come through the North Wales Under 16 set-up. They have shown a great deal of commitment so far in their rugby careers in travelling to training and moving to Llandovery College and I’m sure they will relish the chance to play in front of a north Wales crowd. Their development shows the good work being done in north Wales.”
King believes Wales have every chance against the touring side.
“It’s a great one-off challenge. We competed well with an outstanding England side that put 40 points on South Africa last season and the Premiership experience gained by the majority of our players this season will have prepared them well for this game.”
The game will be the Australians’ third match of a seven-match tour of the UK and Ireland which kicks-off in Dublin on Friday (27 November) against Irish Schools and ends with a Test against England Under 18 on Saturday, 19 December.
An Australian Schools side, together with all three Ella brothers, played a North Wales side in Llandudno in 1977, winning 66-0.
King will name his team next Thursday before travelling to Colwyn Bay.
Wales Under 18 training squad:
Tom Prydie (Ospreys/ Swansea), Dale Ford (Scarlets / Llanelli), Harry Robinson (Blues academy), Ben John (Ospreys / Aberavon), Jack Gadd (Exiles / Bristol), Eli Walker (Ospreys academy), George North (Scarlets academy), Lewis Robling (Dragons / Newbridge), Joseff Griffin (Blues academy), Aled Davies (Scarlets / Llanelli), Daniel Davies (Ospreys / Aberavon)
Rhodri Jones (Scarlets / Llandovery), Rowan Jenkins (Scarlets / Llanelli), Trystan Davies (Scarlets academy), Lewis Smout (Blues / Pontypridd), Ieuan Davies (Blues / Glamorgan Wanderers), Gareth Harvey (Ospreys / Aberavon), Macauley Cook (Blues / Pontypridd), Lloyd Peers (Ospreys / Bridgend), Cory Hill (Blues academy), Luke Hamilton (Scarlets academy), Edward Siggery (Scarlets / Llandovery), Thomas Young (Blues academy), Callum Thomas (Blues academy), Dan Baker (Ospreys academy), Ben Thomas (Ospreys / Aberavon)
Tickets for Wales U18 v Australia Schools XV are £7 for adults and £2 for Under 16s in the Grandstand and £5 for adults and free entry for Under 16s in the Terrace. Tickets are on sale at Colwyn Bay Leisure Centre and through Venue Cymru – www.venuecymru.co.uk and by calling 01492 872000.