Cardiff Rugby Under-17s kick-off their campaign tonight as they take on Dragons Black in the first of a trio of regional encounters.
With the development of young players hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of Under-17 fixtures have been organised to give players valuable game time and the opportunity to win age-grade representative honours.
More than 110 players have been invited to train with the age-grade set-up in recent weeks and behind closed door games have been staged against Glantaf and Coleg y Cymoedd in preparation for tonight’s encounter at Ystrad Mynach (7.15pm).
Cardiff Rugby Talent and Pathway Manager, Aled James said: “We’re looking forward to watching the boys challenge themselves against other regional opposition. It's been a long time since some of these players have played in a representative game.
“We have had over 110 players train over the last three weeks, this culminated in two in-house games with our A' licenses and I would like to thank both Glantaf and Cymoedd for accommodating us and exposing the boys of what to expect over the next few months.
“From that group, we have selected 32 boys for the Under-17s programme. This was a difficult task with the players applying themselves tremendously at training.
“The programme has allowed us to develop and challenge players based on their needs and working in collaboration with our A’licenses we have six players following a physical development programme in preparation for the Under-18s programme in December.”
Following tonight’s encounter, Cardiff welcome Dragons Red to the Arms Park for their only home game of the block (KO 7.15pm) before hitting the road to finish their campaign away to RGC on Sunday, August 29 (KO 1.30pm).
Chad Mutyambizi is heading up the coaching team for the trio of fixtures and is assisted by Catrina Nicholas, Gethin Thomas and Gareth Bowen.
Mutyambizi added: “ We’re all really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. This will be a difficult task with minimal preparation but time we are looking at giving everyone an opportunity over the next three games.
“The training we have had has been competitive and it will be good to see how the boys develop in this block of fixtures.”
Cardiff Rugby Under-17s to face Dragons Black
1. Ioan Emanual
2. Evan Wood
3. Owen Popple
4. Jack Payne
5. Harry Holden
6. Owen Conquer
7. Harri Beddal
8. Fletcher Barry
9. Rhys Price
10. Harri Wilde
11. Regan Nixon
12. Ethan Rudyj
13. Gethin Jones
14. Ben Geraghty
15. Tom Weekely
16. George Payne
17. Cam Tyler Grocott
18. Gavin Parry
19. Ewan McIntyre
20. Kyle Harris
21. Dan Buffrey
22. Dan Williams
23. Tom Bowen