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Blues Centre Hewitt to Captain Wales at IRB Under- 21 World Cup

1st June 2006

Dafydd Hewitt, the Cardiff Blues centre, will captain Wales in the IRB 2006 Under-21 World Championship in France.

In all there are 7 Blues players in the squad: Christopher CLAYTON, Dafydd HEWITT, Dafydd LOCKYER, Rhys GILL, Christopher DICOMIDIS, Adam POWELL and Rhys SHELLARD

Wales – the No 5 seeds – open their challenge against Georgia at Issoire on Friday, 9 June. They then play No 4 seeds and hosts France on Tuesday, 13 June in Cournon and finish their Pool stage games against Argentina (the joint No 5 seeds) in Riom on Saturday, 17 June.

It will be the sixth World Cup at Under-21 level that coach Chris Davey has taken Wales to and he will be leaving the post at the end of the tournament. Davey first took up the reigns as Wales Under-21 coach in 1998 and will have been in charge for 73 matches by the end of the tournament.

Commenting on the appointment of Hewitt as captain, Davey said: "Dafydd played for us in the World cup last year and has played for us for over two seasons now so we feel he will bring that essential experience to the party in France.

"We have 10 uncapped players in the group – which is not ideal for this level of tournament – but, at the last count, we were about a dozen players down due to call-ups and injuries.

"Having said that, we’ve been encouraged by our recent training sessions as the squad has gelled well in a limited amount of time. They seem a very tight group and it will be interesting to see who emerges out of the tournament.”