U18s Six Nations kicks off at Ystrad

The Six Nations is back, but not as we know it. The next eight days will feature three rounds of matches between the six teams in the inaugural Under 18 Six Nations Festival here in Wales.

The big kick-off at Ystrad Mynach today will see Wales face up to a mighty challenge from France, while the young Scots will be seeking to repeat the sensational result pulled off by their seniors against England. The final game sees Irish Schools tackle Italy.

U18 Six Nations Festival
Saturday 31 March, Centre for Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach
12 noon: Scotland U18 v England U18
2.30pm: Wales U18 v France U18
5.00pm: Ireland Schools U18 v Italy U18

The players are all Under 18 on 1 January, 2018, which means a large number of the players that played in the pre-tournament matches between a number of the nations are ineligible. Wales, for instance, were beaten 42-14 by England at Sardis Road last weekend and Iestyn Rees’ side to face the French have only 10 members of last that squad available today.

"We couldn't ask for a bigger and more exciting challenge than France first up, and it's definitely a fixture that will catch the interest of fans. These players are at the start of their rugby careers, so how they perform and react over the coming week or so will be crucial to their development in this sport,” said Wales head coach, Chris Horsman.

The French have picked two squads to play internationals during this period and it is their top team that has headed to Wales. They will come into the Festival as the standard bearers having already seen many lf last year’s Under 18s graduate into an Under 20 side that scooped the Six Nations title with victory over Wales in Colwyn Bay.

“We have prepared well for this Festival with victories over Ireland and England in our preparation matches. It is the beginning of a story for these players, who have been labelled ‘Generation 2023’. It is up to them to build their French international history as individuals and as a team,” said France Under 18 coach, Sébastien Calvet. 

The Festival will give them the chance to calibrate where they are against the best in Europe in their age group. This is a great challenge for them with the first lot what could be many international meetings over the years. "

MATCH 2: Wales U18 v France U18
Wales U18: Harri Doel (Coleg Sir Gar / Scarlets Academy / Scarlets); Louis Rees-Zammit (Hartpury College / Gloucester Academy / Exiles), Osian Knott (Coleg Sir Gar / Carmarthen Quins / Scarlets), Aneurin Owen (Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw / NHSOB / Dragons), Frankie Jones (Neath Port Talbot College /Cwmafan / Ospreys); Evan Lloyd (Coleg Gwent / Dragons Academy / Dragons), Dafydd Buckland (Newport HS / Rhymney / Dragons); Will Sanderson (Coleg Llandrillo / Wrexham / RGC), Will Griffiths (Coleg Gwent / Cross Keys / Dragons), Luke Yendle (Newport HS / Senghenydd / Dragons), Ben Carter (Newport HS / Caldicot / Dragons),Teddy Williams (Ysgol Glantaf / Cardiff Harlequins / Cardiff Blues), Rob Brookson (Coleg Gwent / Pontypool United / Dragons), Jac Morgan (Coleg Sir Gar / Carmarthen Athletic / Scarlets), Carwyn Tuipulotu (Sedbergh School / Exiles)
Reps: Cameron Lewis (Coleg Sir Gar / Swansea Uplands / Ospreys), Callum Williams (Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth / Tumble / Scarlets), Archie Griffin (Marlborough College / Exiles), Jac Price (Coleg Sir Gar / Carmarthen Quins / Scarlets), Olly White (Llandovery College / Llandovery / RGC), Ellis Bevan (Bryanston / Ampthill / Exiles), Sam Costelow (Oakham School / Leicester Tigers / Exiles), Joe Roberts (Coleg Sir Gar / Burry Port / Scarlets), Ioan Davies (Coleg y Cymoedd / Merthyr / Cardiff Blues), Josh Thomas (Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr / Pontarddulais / Ospreys)
Ioan Lloyd (Clifton College / Exiles)

France U18: Remi Brosset (Agen); Erwan Dridi (Toulon), Maxime Espeut (Beziers), Yoram Falatea Moefana (Colomiers), Romain Fusier (Grenoble); Thomas Dolhagaray (Bayonne), Hugo Zabalza (Bayonne); Eli Eglaine (Grenoble), Pierre Jutge (Colomiers), Regis Montagne (Grenoble), Adrien Warion (Provence), Florent Vanverberghe (Toulon), Thibault Hamonou (Toulouse), Yan Peysson (Colomiers), Jordan Joseph (Massy)
Reps: Theo Lachaud (Toulon), Enzo Baggiani (Tarbes), Gauthier Maravat (Agen), Wael May (Toulon),  Kevin Viallard (Brive), Theo Costosseque (Bayonne), Malcom Bertschy (La Rochelle), Hugo Ndiaye (Provence)
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