Cross Keys and Wales Under 20 flanker Scott Matthews has won the final Principality Premiership Player of the Month award of the season. Matthews played a key role in his side's successful run this season, helping them reach both the SWALEC Cup and Principality Premiership final.
Keys had a busy end to the season, beating Bedwas and Newport in the League and Llandovery in the SWALEC Cup semi-finals, and losing league fixtures to Carmarthen Quins and Bridgend. They went on to beat Carmarthen Quins 31-20 in the Principality Play-Off semi-final before losing to Pontypridd in both Cup and Principality Premiership finals.
Matthews said, "It was a massive achievement for our squad to reach both the SWALEC Cup and Principality Premiership final this season, especially after losing some players at the end of last season. It was disappointing not to win some silverware for our efforts but we have a young squad that will have gained from the experience and will go into next season with a lot of confidence.
"My aim at the start of the season was just to get into the Cross Keys side and get as many games as possible so I'm really pleased with the number games I've played - and to get some game time with the Dragons in the Amlin Challenge Cup and the LV= Cup was a real bonus. I've also worked hard to get into the Wales Under 20 side and we are really looking forward to the Junior World Championship which starts next week in New Zealand."
Cross Keys head coach Greg Woods added, "Scott has been outstanding in what has been his first real season of senior rugby. He has been key to our good form, winning some games on his own. He is quick, excellent at the break down and generally has all the qualities of a top openside flanker."
Lisa Dyer, Principality Building Society's Blackwood branch manager, said: "Scott has had a fantastic season with Cross Keys and he rightly deserves our April Principality Premiership Player of the Month award. We wish him the best of luck with Wales Under 20 in the Junior World Championship and for next season."
Scott Matthews factfile: Born: 8.2.94, Cardiff Club: Cross Keys Junior club: Penallta Most admired player: Martyn Williams Biggest influence in career: Parents and brother Josh Education: Rhymney Comprehensive
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.