The under-21 side have a magnificent record in matches played in the
Northern Hemisphere, having won 35 and lost only ten since their
opening fixture against Scotland at Wrexham in 1987.
Their win by 38-36 against Ireland at Donnybrook a fortnight ago was
their fourth successive away match, of which three have been won. It
will be the ninth match against France at this level with Wales leading
5-3 on victories.
Scrum half Michael Phillips and lock Luke Tait come into the side and
another scrum half Chris Miller, currently on loan to Rumney, joins the
replacements bench. Fly half Gavin Henson is the second-highest scorer
for Wales in under-21 matches with 56, following Stephen Jones
(Llanelli), who totalled 71.
Team: 15 Gareth Swales (Swansea); 14 Liam Roberts (Cardiff), 13 Hal
Luscombe (Newport), 12 Matthew Brayley (Swansea, capt), 11 Nicky Jones
(UWIC); 10 Gavin Henson (Swansea), 9 Michael Phillips (Llanelli);
1 Paul James (Neath), 2 Adam Matthews (Neath), 3 Adam Jones (Neath),
4 Luke Tait (Cardiff), 5 Bryn Griffiths (Llanelli), 6 Rhys Williams
(Ebbw Vale), 7 Gareth Williams (Llanelli), 8 Rhys Jones (UWIC).
Replacements: 16 Matthew Miles (Northampton), 17 Phil John (Llanelli),
18 Ceiron Jones (Llanelli), 19 Damian Hudd (Ebbw Vale), 20 Aled
Gravelle (Llanelli), 21 Chris Miller (Cardiff), 22 Nicky Robinson
The under-19 side has had three close calls this season, but lost to Australia at Swansea, New Zealand at the South Wales Police ground and
England at Twickenham. They face more tough opposition in France at
Stradey Park, Llanelli.
Matthew Nuthall switches from wing to full back, Richard Payne moves
to wing and Gavin Evans returns at centre, while Nick MacLeod, who
finished the match at Twickenham will now start at fly half.
In the pack, Richard Pugh returns as flanker and Ioan Ohlssen, who was
also a replacement against England, continues as tight-head prop.
Team: 15 Matthew Nuthall (Pontypridd); 14 David Tame (Cardiff), 13
Gavin Evans (Llanelli), 12 Lee Thomas (Cardiff), 11 Richard Payne
(Newport); 10 Nick MacLeod (Cardiff), 9 Rhodri Wells (Christ College);
1 Ian George (Newport), 2 Huw Bennett (Swansea), 3 Ioan Ohlssen
(Swansea), 4 Jonathan Mills (Colstons School), 5 Luke Charteris
(Newport), 6 Ioan Cunningham (capt, LLanelli), 7 Richard Pugh
(Swansea), 8 James Malpas (Cardiff).
Replacements: 16 Adam Yelland (Llanelli), 17 David Maddocks (Llanelli),
18 Nathan Williams (Llandovery College), 19 David Tovey (Newport),
20 Richard Morgan (Aberavon), 21 Matthew Jones (Maesteg), 22 Mark
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event