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Beddall captains Wales U18 as Scotland visit Swansea

International | 14th March 2023

Harry Beddall will captain Wales U18 when they host Scotland at St Helen’s on Sunday (KO 1pm).

The encounter in Swansea will be the first capped U18 men’s international to be held on Welsh soil in four years - when the likes of Mason Grady, Christ Tshiunza, Joe Hawkins and Louis Rees-Zammit were all involved.

An extended squad travelled to Scotland earlier this month to play two fixtures against the hosts as preparations continue ahead of the U18 Six Nations Festival in Dublin during Easter.

Openside flanker Beddall, who also skippered the Blue and Blacks in the recent Regional Age Grade Championship campaign, is joined in the matchday 23 by eight of his Cardiff team-mates.

Luke Evans is the other Cardiff forward named in the starting pack, while Harri Wilde returns for further international honours, linking up with Exeter Chiefs’ Max Fergusson at half back.

Steffan Emanuel and Tom Bowen both showed glimpses of their exciting attacking talent in a Cardiff jersey, and are also included along the backline.

An all-Cardiff front row of Evan Wood, Max Bignell and Owain James will take their place on the bench alongside scrum half Owain Paskell, who remains eligible for U16 rugby.

Speaking of captain Beddall, head coach Richie Pugh said: “Harri has been with Cardiff Rugby and been a consistent performer. He won the RFU Academy, Colleges and Education (ACE) league with Hartpury College. 

“He is pretty level-headed and leads from the front in terms of how he displays on the field with his work ethic and how competitive he is.”

“This is the first international on home soil for a while, it’s the first time a lot of these boys will have played in a capped game and the first time they are representing their country,” added the former Wales Sevens international, before adding the players will be “getting the opportunity to wear the red jersey as part of their journey.”

“Our challenge as coaches is in a short period how do we get all this talent playing together so they can really express themselves in such a short preparation time? 

“It’s exciting with the talent coming through. You don’t know until you go up against the best of other countries and this is what this opportunity is about.

“We’ve got two internationals now against Scotland and England before we go to the Six Nations Festival. We don’t know where we are at really, but this is a great part of their development.

“We see this as a Test match where we want to perform. We want to expose the boys to the next level of rugby as part of their rugby progression. 

“There is one eye on the 26 that is going to the Six Nations Festival, but these players have a huge honour of being the first selected team to play at U18s this year and we’re looking forward to seeing how they go.”

Wales U18 men v Scotland U18 men, Swansea RFC, Sunday 19 March, 1pm

15 Tom Bowen (Cardiff Rugby, Clifton College)
14 Harry Rees-Weldon (Dragons, Coleg Gwent)
13 Osian Roberts (Sale Sharks, Kirkham Grammar School)
12 Steffan Emanuel (Cardiff Rugby, Millfield School)
11 Oli Woodman (Dragons RFC, Monmouth School for Boys)
10 Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby, Ysgol Glantaf)
9 Max Fergusson (Exeter Chiefs, Exeter College)
1 Dylan James (Ospreys, Bridgend College)
2 Harry Thomas (Scarlets, Coleg Sir Gar)
3 Sam Scott (Midlands Central (Wasps), City of Oxford College)
4 Luke Evans (Cardiff Rugby, Y Pant Comprehensive)
5 Nick Thomas (Dragons RFC, Hartpury College)
6 Kenzie Jenkins (Bristol Bears, Coleg y Cymoedd)
7 Harry Beddall (Captain – Cardiff Rugby, Hartpury College)
8 Kane James (Newcastle Falcons, Sedburgh School)

16 Evan Wood (Cardiff Rugby, Coleg y Cymoedd)
17 Max Bignell (Cardiff Rugby, Whitchurch High School)
18 Owain James (Cardiff Rugby, Cardiff & Vale College)
19 Kyle Harris (Ospreys, Coleg y Cymoedd)
20 Keanu Evans (Scarlets, Ysgol y Strade)
21 Owain Paskell (Cardiff Rugby, Whitchurch High School)
22 Jack Woods (Dragons RFC, Monmouth School for Boys)
23 Ioan Duggan (Dragons RFC, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni)

Wales U18s men vs Scotland U18s – KO 1pm at Swansea RFC (St. Helen’s ground)
Tickets will be available on the gate (public gates open from midday). £5 for adults, children under 16 free. Ticket on the day only. Tickets on the gate are cash only, if spectators need to pay by card they need to go to the main reception area on Bryn Road.