Wilson reckons Wales Under-20's stars can make a real impact
Danny Wilson has urged Wales' under-20 starlets to take the next step into senior regional rugby.
The Scarlets forwards coach stepped down from his role in charge of Wales Under-20 following their second-place finish at the Junior World Championship.
But he is confident a host of the impressive youngsters can make a major impression on the regional stage at Parc y Scarlets.
"Obviously Jordan has been spoken about a lot, he is quite a talent, but there are a number of players from that squad who can come through," said Wilson.
"I was really impressed by Steff Hughes at centre. We lost Corey Allen before the tournament and we thought that was going to be a huge boots to fill, but Steff stepped up and did an excellent job.
"Scrum-half Rhodri Williams had a superb World Cup. He is a player who is mature beyond his years and it feels like you are dealing with a seasoned 25 or 26-year-old pro not a 20-year-old kid. He also has the experience of playing Heineken Cup two seasons ago.
"Up front you have got the likes of Carwyn Jones in the second row, Gareth Thomas in the front row, guys who played a lot of rugby during that tournament and the Six Nations and who I am sure will come through for the Scarlets in the next couple of years."
Wilson admits the rookies will face serious competition for places but he is confident they will reap the rewards of the selection battles.
"It will be tough for them to make the breakthrough, but that is how it should be," added Wilson.
"They are going to be putting themselves against some good players and will have to earn their opportunity, but because in Wales we are reliant on these boys coming through they will get that opportunity."
Robin McBryde and son Billy are set to represent Wales on either side of the globe over the coming weeks with Robin travelling to New Zealand as Wales assistant coach and Billy competing at the World Rugby U20 Championship (Manchester, June 7-25). WRU TV caught up with the pair and captured a unique perspective into the factors that produce such a high-achieving rugby family.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Wales Under 20 made history as they delivered a first junior Six Nations Grand Slam since 2005 as they overcame a nervous first-half to finally put Italy to the sword at Parc Eirias and emerge with a 35-6 victory.