The countdown is on for the cream of talent in Wales at Under 20 level to rubber stamp their selection for the forthcoming Six Nations campaign.
With Wales beginning their campaign at Dubarry Park against Ireland on Friday, 3 February, the 36 players named in an extended training squad know the clock is ticking if they are to realise their ambition of making the squad as there are just four training sessions left to impress.
Coaches Danny Wilson, Ioan Cunningham and Byron Hayward will put the players through the gruelling sessions before finalising the 30-man squad selection at the end of next week.
Players have the extra incentive of putting their hand up for selection for the World Cup squad which will take part in June’s Junior World Cup to be staged in South Africa. And with 10 players missing due to other commitments – including Tom Habberfield, Harry Robinson and Rhys Patchell who are on international Sevens duty – a number of players have been drafted in to be given an unexpected opportunity to stake their own claim.
Wales Under 20 Team Manager, Mark Taylor, said: “The 10 players excluded will be available for the Junior World Cup, therefore it is important that those who are selected for the Six Nations take their opportunity to push their case.”
Wales Under 20s Extended Training Squad
Props: Rob Evans (Scarlets, Tom Davies (Blues), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Dan Suter (Ospreys), WillGriff John (Blues).
Hookers: Kirby Myhill (Scarlets), Jack Dando (Blues ), Darran Harris (Blues), Jac Hopkins (Cardiff), Jamie Sollis (Dragons).
Second Rows: Matthew Screech (Blues), Jack Jones (Ospreys), Rhodri Hughes (Ospreys), Jonathan Gardiner (Leicester).
Back Rows: Ellis Jenkins (Blues), Daniel Thomas (Scarlets), Dan Crimmins (Cardiff), Ieuan Jones (Dragons), Rueben Tucker (Blues), Dan Baker (Ospreys).
Scrum Halves: Jonathan Evans (Dragons), Joshua Davies (Dragons), Jack Moates (London Irish).
Outside Halves: Jordan Williams (Scarlets), Sam Davies (Ospreys), Lewis Williams (Blues).
Centres: Rheon James (Scarlets), Thomas Pascoe (Blues), Cory Allen (Blues), Nathan Edwards (Bridgend), Luke Williams (Dragons).
Wings / Full Backs: Luke Morgan (Ospreys), Iolo Evans (Scarlets), Jake Randall (Scarlets), Tom Prydie (Ospreys), Ross Jones (Ospreys).
Not considered / unavailable for selection:
Second Row: Cory Hill (Blues).
Back Rows: Thomas Young (Blues), Luke Hamilton (Blues).
Scrum Halves: Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Lewis Jones (Blues), Tom Habberfield (Ospreys).
Outside Halves: Matthew Morgan (Ospreys), Rhys Patchell (Blues).
Wings: Eli Walker (Ospreys), Harry Robinson (Blues)