Wales Under 20 prepare to face England one month today

Jan 7 • General News, International, Six Nations • 1784 Views • Comments Off on Wales Under 20 prepare to face England one month today

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The WRU International Pathway staff will finalise the Wales Under 20 squad for the Six Nations next week following two, three-day training camps.

The squad will be supported by a group of young coaches – newly appointed WRU international skills coaches Geraint Lewis and Chris Horsman, Ebbw Vale head coach Jason Strange who has also taken up an international skills coach position on a part-time basis and Cardiff Blues academy performance manager Richard Hodges who has been a member of the Wales coaching team for the past two seasons. WRU National Academy coaching manager Allan Lewis will coordinate the coaching of the side, along with that of the rest of the development pathway while Mark Taylor remains as team manager.

Players vying for spots in the Wales Under 20 squad were put through their paces throughout last weekend, undergoing fitness testing, taking part in skills and rugby sessions under the leadership of the new coaching team and played a training game against Wales Students on Sunday. They will be observed again this weekend when the majority of them will turn out for their clubs in SWALEC Cup or Principality Premiership action and they will then reconvene on Monday for another three-day camp.

WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts said, “It’s an exciting time and the new coaching team reflects our desire to also develop players holistically, align ourselves to the longer term needs of the senior national team and make the important link between the grassroots and elite game in Wales. We are delighted that Jason Strange will join full-time international skills coaches Geraint Lewis and Chris Horsman alongside his teaching work at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community and all three will work with Allan Lewis and the National Squad coaches to take the national coaching philosophies and practices to the performance pathway players within the regions – and to the grassroots game via the school-club hubs.”

It is exactly one month until Wales Under 20 face England at Eirias in the opening round of the Under 20 Six Nations (Friday 7 February) and there is no time to lose, says team manager Mark Taylor.

“We had a really productive weekend. Most of the players had already trained with us in workshops and training sessions earlier in the season, including with National Squad coaches so they were well aware of what is required at this level.

“Having the players for three days meant we could assess their fitness, skill levels and game awareness and make vital observations as we prepare to select the Six Nations squad.

“The England match and the rest of the Six Nations is just around the corner and we have a third training camp in a fortnight.

“England are Junior World Championship winners so the opening match will be a real barometer as to where we are as a squad, but a challenge to look forward to as we look to develop another raft of talented young players.

“There is a special relationship between Eirias and everyone involved with the Wales Under 20 squad and we look forward to returning there next month.”

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 rates meaning adult seated tickets are £15 with £10 concession and stand tickets are £10 with £5 concession.

Hospitality is available at £100pp (inc VAT) from Richard Orme: 01492 577914, richard.orme@eirias.org.uk 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 (gates open 6pm) (S4C)

Wales v Ireland Fri 13th March 2015 7.45pm (gates open 6pm) (BBC Wales)

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