Phil Davies and his coaching team will be casting a watchful eye over all of the Under 20s action over the next month.
Wales Under 20 head coach Phil Davies will begin his Wales Under 20 selection process this week when the WRU Regional Under 20 Championship kicks off this week.
Former Scarlets director of rugby Davies, and his Under 20 management team of Gareth Baber and Rob Hoadley (assistant coaches), fitness coach Wayne Proctor and team manager Tony Clement will, between them, watch every game in the three rounds of Under 20 games, where the Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets will play each other once over the coming month.
All four sides will be in action for the first time on Wednesday evening - Davies and fellow former Wales international Proctor will be at Waterton Cross, Bridgend to see the Ospreys take on the Scarlets, while Blues skills coach Baber and former Wales full back Clement will be at Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale for the clash between the Dragons and last year's champions, the Blues (both matches 7.15pm).
Davies said, "These games will enable us as a coaching team to have a really good look at the probables and possibles as they compete against players of their own age. We will be able to observe the style of the players, individual skills such as in the line-out and some combinations such as at half back and in the back three. Along with performances at premiership and regional level, these matches will allow us to assess the quality and potential of the players available to us."
Davies and his coaching team have begun a series of sessions with each of the regional U20 squads, with a view to preparing players for the step-up to the international environment. The team has already worked on core skills and game understanding with the Dragons squad.
He said, "It's all about pushing boundaries and increasing the intensity of training which is sometimes about changing players' mindset. I was really impressed with the attitude and ability of the Dragons U20s last week and we hope these sessions will bear fruit when it comes to training as a national squad, which will hopefully in turn help us to be competitive not only in the Six Nations but against the southern hemisphere sides at the Junior World Championship in June.
"Once the Regional Under 20 matches are complete, we will select a training squad at the end of November before narrowing that down to a Six Nations squad in the New Year."
WRU Regional Under 20 Championship fixtures (all 7.15pm)
Wednesday 29 October
Dragons v Blues - Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale
Ospreys v Scarlets - South Wales Police RFC (Waterton Cross)
Wednesday 5 November
Scarlets v Dragons - Narberth RFC
Blues v Ospreys - Cardiff Arms Park
Wednesday 19 November
Dragons v Ospreys - Rodney Parade, Newport
Blues v Scarlets - Glamorgan Wanderers RFC (The Memorial Ground)
Wales U20 duo Leon Brown and Lloyd Lewis face a busy couple of weeks ahead. Not only will they have a Junior World Championship to take part in, they are both sitting A Level exams during the competition.
Wales U20 face a tough group in the Junior World Championship with France, England and Japan lying in wait but Attack coach Jason Strange and back rower Tom Phillips are looking forward to the campaign ahead.
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Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.