Nicky Thomas is one of the senior men in this season's Wales Under 20 squad
Nicky Thomas says he is looking forward to playing with some of the new faces in this year's Wales Under 20 squad.
There are expectations that have to be met after the success of last year but we've got to realise that's over now and we need to build our own success this year
Head coach Byron Hayward has named an exciting-looking outfit for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations, with more than two thirds of the squad set to experience their first taste of international rugby at this level.
Thomas is one of the few with previous Wales Under 20 caps to his name and is looking forward to showing his new teammates the ropes.
"The more players you play with, the better it is to help develop your own game and your own strengths and weaknesses," said the Ospreys prop.
"The coaches are looking forward to implementing their philosophies on us but those of us who were here last year need to instil the professionalism and intensity on the boys who maybe haven't experienced it before."
Last season saw the Wales Under 20 side finish as runners-up in both the Six Nations and Junior World Championship, with a number of those who featured in those squads going on to play regional and in some cases, full international rugby this season.
Following that record will be a tough ask but with a Six Nations opener with Italy on the horizon, Thomas is ready to step up as one of the squad's senior men.
"If it's anything like last year, it will be a great experience," he said, looking ahead to the next few months.
"Hopefully I can bring those experiences to the new boys for this year. There are expectations that have to be met after the success of last year but we've got to realise that's over now and we need to build our own success this year.
"Italy are always a hugely physical side but I'm hoping we can power through that and our skill level will out do them.
"We are a team and I don't want to point out any individuals but as a squad, we are looking sharp ahead of our first game."
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
We look back on the victory over Fiji that makes it three from three for Wales in this World Cup, in a special extra Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Wales coach Warren Gatland, captain Sam Warburton, plus Gethin Jenkins, Tomas Francis, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Matthew Morgan and Tyler Morgan, as well as defence coach Shaun Edwards and getting the Fijian perspective from coach John McKee.
Birthday boy Hallam Amos gets the perfect present with his selection on the wing for Wales ahead of Alex Cuthbert as Warren Gatland's men prepare to face England at Twickenham tomorrow in a crucial pool game of the World Cup
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
Captain Sam Warburton admits he is devastated for Rhys Webb and Leigh Halfpenny who will both miss the World Cup due to injury but he is confident Wales' strength in depth will see his side bounce back and mount a serious challenge.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul 'Bobby' Stridgeon addressed the media on Wednesday morning and as well as detailing the squad's preparations and training regime during the RWC, he also outlined what the support staff are doing to help the players with the supposed paranormal presence in the team hotel.
Following the success of the inaugural All Schools Touch Championships (ASTC) held in July 2015, a new partnership has been announced with the Wales Touch Association to ensure that pupils throughout Wales are able to play in high-quality Touch events.
A combative Wales Girls team were unable to maintain momentum on the second day of action in the 7s Grand Prix Series in Liege, but head coach Rhys Edwards still left Belgium in a positive frame of mind.
Pupils from Ysgol Castell Nedd and Ysgol y Dderwen will be the first to compete for Welsh Schools titles at the Millennium Stadium this season when they run onto the hallowed turf of the Millennium Stadium tomorrow (Wednesday).