Wales Under 20 assistant coach Richard Webster is looking for players to stand up and be counted in the East v West trial match at Cross Keys tomorrow (Wednesday) evening (7pm).
“Personally, I’ll be looking for some passion from the players and a strong desire to play for Wales Under 20,” he said. “I want them to be as committed as possible in this game which will set the stall for the international season ahead.
“We have a blank canvass to a certain extent because although all the players have done a lot of training with their clubs and academies, this is where all the hard work starts. They have done the gym work and played for their clubs but this is a step-up and we want to see that in this game.
“Everyone playing tomorrow has got a chance of making it into the Six Nations squad, and although some players have had good seasons to date, reputations won’t be a guaranteed ticket for selection.”
Webster remembers his own break-through into international rugby at a similar age and has laid down the gauntlet for today’s youngsters to take a leaf our of his book.
“The only trial match I played in was a Welsh Youth trial at Whitland in the winter of 1984/85, along with the likes of Tony Clement and Dai Young,” he said. “I was a complete unknown in that match but played my heart out and went from playing for the ‘Whites’ in that game to captaining the ‘Reds’ in the following trial and earning a Welsh Youth cap in my first year of youth rugby. There are players in a similar situation playing at Cross Keys and the chance is there for them to shine.”
Tickets for Wednesday’s game are just £3 and £5 for adults and £2 for Under 16s. They will be available for purchase on match day or by calling 01495 270 280 or 07970 776698.
East Wales: Tom Williams (Blues); Will Jones (Cardiff), Owen Williams (Blues), Jack Gadd (Bristol), Ashley Norton (Dragons), Joseff Griffin (Blues), Jonathan Evans (Dragons); Lewis Smout (Blues), Jamie Sollis (Dragons), Will Griff John (Blues), Cory Hill (Blues), Luke Hamilton (Blues), Callum Thomas (Blues), Gareth Evans (Gloucester)
Replacements: Ieuan Davies (Cardiff), John Lavender (Dragons), Gareth Kemp (Dragons), Reuben Tucker (Blues), Cameron Regan (Dragons), Owen Sheppeard (Blues), Lewis Jones (Blues), Lewis Williams (Blues), Ross Wardle (Dragons), Lloyd Thomas (Glamorgan Wanderers), Elliot Jones (Glamorgan Wanderers)
Players unavailable due to injury: Thomas Young (Blues), Rhydian Wilson (Dragons), Lewis Robling (Dragons)
West Wales:Liam Williams (Llanelli); Eli Walker (Ospreys), Iolo Evans (Scarlets), Rheon James (Scarlets), Nathan Brooks (Ospreys), Steve Shingler (Scarlets), Aled Davies (Scarlets); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Kirby Myhill (Scarlets), Will Taylor (Ospreys), Jon Gardiner (Scarlets), John Barley (Cardiff), Edward Siggery (Pontypridd), Lawrence Reynolds (Scarlets), Ben Thomas (Ospreys)
Replacements: Luke Morgan (Bridgend), Adam Warren (Scarlets), Matthew Morgan (Ospreys), Tom Habberfield (Ospreys), Rowan Jenkins (Scarlets), Trystan Davies (Scarlets), Sam Parry (Scarlets), Matthew Screech (Blues), Ben Davies (Ospreys), Ollie Pardoe (Swansea), Steff Phillips (Carmarthen Quins)
Players unavailable or injured: Lee Rees (Scarlets, shoulder), Luke Williams (Scarlets, ankle), Tom Prydie (Ospreys, unavailable)