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Minis to Millennium: Welsh Exiles

Welsh Exiles

The Welsh Exiles programme was established by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) in 1990 with the objective of identifying, recruiting and developing Welsh qualified players who are based outside Wales.

The late Brigadier Rolph James was appointed as the first Exiles Chairman and former Welsh International and British Lion Terry Cobner, the first Exiles coach.

The initial fixtures played by the Welsh Exiles involved senior Welsh qualified players who were playing for English clubs. Since its inception many players from the 'Exiles' have won Welsh Age Grade caps and full International honours for the Senior Men's and Women's teams.

In more recent years the Exiles programme has focussed on identifying young talented Welsh men and women qualified players who are based outside Wales (not just in England). Numerous players have been capped at under 16, under 18, under 20, Senior Men's and Women's and also at Welsh Student level. Many have progressed to have very successful professional and semi-professional playing careers.

With the support of the WRU, the Welsh Exiles provides a programme whereby Welsh qualified male players (from age 12), and female players (from Under 18) students, and 'elite' (National Leagues) adult players living outside the principality can play regional rugby in Wales and potentially gain international representative honours.

There are strong links with the leading schools, universities, clubs and Regions in Wales and for elite level players Assessment Sessions take place at the WRU National Centre of Excellence near Cardiff.

To be eligible for the WRU Exiles programme the player must meet at least one of the following criteria:
• Player born in Wales;
• One parent of the player must be born in Wales;
• One grand-parent of the player must be born in Wales.

To enhance their existing successful structure the Exiles would like to recruit:
• Welsh male qualified players aged 12 to 18 and Welsh female players aged U18;
• Regional volunteer 'Welsh Exiles Liaison Officers' based outside Wales to assist with player identification, recruitment and development and to raise the profile of the 'Welsh Exiles' programme in your area.
• Welsh qualified adult male and female players playing at, or with the potential to play at, 'elite' level in Wales.

Go to https://www.wrucoachinglocker.co.uk/exiles.aspx for the latest Welsh Exiles news.

In the first instance players are asked to register with the WRU at:

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