In a new initiative this season, a group of Scarlets Women’s U18s players have been together for a six-week training and development block in readiness for their campaign in the new year.
Under the guidance of Scarlets Academy coaches and U18s head coach Daryl Morgan, a selected squad have been honing their rugby skills as well as working on their strength and conditioning during weekly sessions at Parc y Scarlets.
Last week, Wales Women’s Head Coach Ioan Cunningham paid a visit to view a session and see first hand some of the rising talent coming through in West Wales.
“We invited a group of 20 girls to train with us over pre-season, a lot of the girls were with us last year so we thought it was important to invite them in to continue to work on their fundamental skills,” said Scarlets Women’s Pathway Lead Rhodri Jones.
“It has been a bit different, a lot of educational-based stuff, they have done things like yoga, spin classes and a focus on the gym as well as their rugby fundamentals.
“The final session was on Friday and the girls now go into the WRU skill development centres. They will have six weeks with the union staff and after that we will identify a larger squad that will come in for the competition phase in January and February.”
A number of Scarlets players went on to represent Wales U18s on the international stage, home and abroad, last season.
Jones added: “We were quite successful last season in seeing a few of the girls pick up international caps. It is about building on that and trying to drive this programme forward. We want to see girls develop from a young age through to that senior international pathway.
“The participation numbers have risen thanks to the girls hubs in the region and we’d like to link closer to those to help coaches develop as well as players.”