Scarlets U18s quartet selected for Six Nations festival

Rob LloydAcademy News, News

Four members of this season’s Scarlets U18s group have been named in a 28-strong Wales Women’s squad for the forthcoming U18s Six Nations Rugby Festival being hosted by the Welsh Rugby Union in Colwyn Bay.

Captain Rhiannon Griffin, wing Ffion Davies, prop Stella Orrin (pictured) and back-rower Milly Geering are included for the festival, which kicks off on Friday.

The U18s Six Nations Rugby Festival is seen as a key stepping stone in the development pathway for some of the exciting talent now being identified across all six nations in the tournament.

Wales host the event for the first time and Siwan Lillicrap’s squad leave for Colwyn Bay on Tuesday.  All the games will be played at Stadiwm CSM across three days.

Wales face France and Scotland on Friday, March 29 and Ireland and England on Tuesday, April 2. The team will play 35-minute games for those first four games before a 70-minute game against Italy for their final game on Saturday, April 6.

Branwen Metcalfe, the sister of Welsh international Nel, will captain a squad that includes lock Alaw Pyrs, the sister of Wales prop Gwenllian Pyrs, and fly half Hanna Marshall who are part of the Development Group invited to train with the senior W6N squad.

Lillicrap, the Wales U18s Head coach, said: “This is an exciting squad full of ambitious players with real potential for the U18s Six Nations tournament we are hosting in Colwyn Bay.

“The squad preparation has gone exceptionally well over the past six weeks, with the growth, application, and commitment of the players being truly inspirational over a short period of time.

“We selected a training squad of more than 40 players and it was a hard task for the coaches to cut the squad down to 28 players to represent Wales in the 6 Nations. That is credit to the players and how they have all put their hands up to be selected. I have been honestly impressed with this group of young talent.

“We have now selected a very capable and exciting squad of 28 players that we believe can grow and perform at the 6 Nations. Twenty of the 28 players have been part of our new player development centres that were launched in September, I believe we are absolutely seeing the benefits of the PDC’s as players core skills and game understanding is becoming exceptional.

“I am looking forward to seeing how this group develops during the championship and how they learn, adapt, and flourish.

“The hard work that the girls have put in over the season has paid off with their selection. The important part is yet to come and hopefully this exciting opportunity they have is the start of their journey in the Welsh Pathway. I hope that their experience in the Welsh Shirt is one to remember and leaves them hungry for more.

Wales U18s Women’s Six Nations festival squad

Forwards: Jorja Aiono (Hartpury  College), Angel Band (East PDC), Lola Bogerd-Mitchell (West PDC), Robyn Davies (West PDC), Milly Geering (Llandovery College), Evie Hill (East PDC), Crystal James (East PDC), Elan Jones (North PDC), Tia Jones (Coleg Gwent), Branwen Metcalfe (capt, North PDC), Alaw Pyrs (North PDC), Tilly Vucaj (Hartpury College), Begw Ffransis Roberts (North PDC), Evie Gill (West PDC), Stella Orrin (West PDC), Shannelle Williams (East PDC & Hartpury College)

Backs: Ffion Davies (West PDC), Rhiannon Griffin (West PDC), Katie Johnson (Coleg Gwent), Saran Jones (North PDC), Hannah Lane (North PDC), Seren Lockwood (East PDC), Isla McMullen (Coleg Gwent), Hanna Tudor (North PDC), Hanna Marshall (West PDC), Marnie-Rae George (Coleg Gwent), Nia Fajeyisan (East PDC), Lily Hawkins (Coleg Gwent)