Allan Lewis' Wales Under 18 side face France and England later this month
Wales Under 18 warmed up for their internationals with France and England this month with a game against Leicester Tigers.
The game with Leicester Tigers was an excellent run out - they are one of the most professional academies in England and always provide us with a stern test
Allan Lewis' side face France in Chartres on March 15 before a home tie with England at The Gnoll eight days later. The games form an important part of the squad's international season, along with the FIRA-AER tournament at Easter and the summer tour to South Africa.
Against the Tigers, Wales went down to a 28-17 defeat in a match where head coach Lewis ran the rule over a number of options both in the pack and behind the scrum.
Lock Seb Davies and replacement wing Shaun Pearce were Wales' try scorers at Welford Road, fly half Daniel Jones converting both scores and adding a penalty. It wasn't enough to earn victory for Wales but the game was a more than useful exercise with the forthcoming internationals in mind.
Lewis said: "The game with Leicester Tigers was an excellent run out - they are one of the most professional academies in England and always provide us with a stern test.
"It was an opportunity to look at a number of players within our squad in a number of different positions and assess whether we had made any progress from training.
"I was pleased with how things went and it was a game of high intensity which should stand us in good stead moving forwards."
Looking ahead to the upcoming clashes with France and England, Lewis has trimmed his squad with those games in mind.
"From Sunday we've selected a group of 26 players in preparation for the games against France and England," Lewis confirmed.
Wales Under 18 squad to play France (Chartres, Saturday 15 March) and England (The Gnoll, Sunday 23 March, 1.45pm):
Kieron Assirratti (Blues/ Coleg y Cymoedd/ Wattstown), Keagan Bale (Dragons/ Coleg Gwent / Caerleon), Robert Lewis (Blues/ St Peters / Coleg y Cymoedd), Leon Brown (Dragons/ Newport High), Harrison Walsh (Ospreys / Bishopgore / Mumbles), Liam Belcher (Blues/ Coleg y Cymoedd / Pontypridd), Dafydd Hughes (Scarlets / Llandovery College / Llandovery), Matthew Dodd (Ospreys / Olchfa / Dunvant), Seb Davies (Blues / Coleg y Cymoedd / Pentyrch), Calum Haggett (Blues / Coleg y Cymoedd / Gilfach Goch), Josh Middleton (Scarlets / Coleg Sir Gar / Kidwelly), Tom Phillips (Scarlets / Coleg Sir Gar / Llangennech), Jon Fox (Ospreys/ Gower College / Swansea), Harrison Keddie (Dragons / Coleg Gwent / Caerleon), Josh Cole (Ospreys / Neath Port Talbot College / Tonmawr)
Michael Hale (Blues / Glantaf / St Josephs), Owen Davies (Dragons / Monmouth Boys School / Oakdale), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets / Coleg Sir Gar / Pontyberem), Thomas Williams (RGC 1404 / Rydal Penrhos / Newtown), Dan Jones (Scarlets / Coleg Sir Gar / Carmarthen Quins), Owen Watkin (Ospreys / Bridgend College / Bryncethin), James Whittingham (Blues / Cowbridge), Morgan Williams (RGC 1404/ Coleg Llandrillo / Caernarfon), Rhys Gealy (Ospreys / YG Gwyr / Pontarddulais ), Lloyd Lewis (Dragons / Ysgol Gwynllyw), Shaun Pearce (Scarlets / Glan Y Mor / Bury Port)
Defence coach Shaun Edwards believes Saturday's clash against England - the 'form team in world rugby' - poses a huge challenge for his side but he is confident, with Wales beginning to show the defensive qualities displayed in the last two World Cups,
At the official launch of this season's RBS 6 Nations at a noisy location in London this morning, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones reveals he is personally proud to be in the Wales team and is already looking forward to the opening clash against Italy which is a 'tough ask'.
It was a double celebration for Wales and Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb when he called at the home of Welsh rugby to help commemorate the first anniversary of Principality Stadium and his return to fitness this weekend ahead of the RBS 6 Nations.
One of the major success stories of the year: More passing, less kicking, more offloads, more turnovers, more line-breaks and consecutive phases, less scrums and lineouts - and increased distribution to the backs from both.