Wales Schools Under 16s got their Wellington Festival campaign off to a flying start with a comfortable 33-13 victory over USA Under 17s at Wellington College yesterday.
Against a big physical American side, the young Welsh boys scored five tries while restricting USA to just two. Wales looked dangerous whenever they spread the ball wide although on occasions they got bogged down driving too many lineouts.
Tighthead prop Keagan Bale caught the eye, carrying the ball with real purpose while captain Todd James set the perfect example from No 8 with a high work rate in defence.
Winger Martyn Davies bumped off players seemingly at will en route to the try-line for his try while his fellow winger James Whittingham set Wales on their way to victory in just the second minute when he touched down.
Harri Millard then got in on the act, scoring Wales's third try which Jarrod Evans added the extras to give Wales a handy 17-3 lead at the break after USA's Sam Cowley hand slotted an earlier penalty in reply.
After the break USA jumped out of the blocks with winger Stratton Brown scoring in the first minute after the re-start. But Wales regrouped to see Bale score a well deserved try while Whittingham secured his second try of the game.
Evans added another penalty to put clear daylight between the two sides but the Americans had the last word with hard running centre Fitou Fisiiahi scoring a try.
Wales will now play France Under 16s tomorrow before completing their programme against England Under 16s on Wednesday and England South U16 on Friday.
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series