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Cardiff U18 stars set for international action

International | 5th March 2023

A host of Cardiff under-18 stars are set to represent their country on Sunday, as Wales' men and women sides compete against Scotland and England respectively.

The young Blue and Blacks impressed in their respective Regional Age Grade Championship campaigns, with the women lifting the trophy for the second season running and the men finishing in second place in their table.

Wales U18 Women

Cardiff back row Gwennan Hopkins will captain Wales as they take on their English counterparts for the first time in a capped fixture.

The encounter (KO 1pm) will also be the first women’s international match played at the cradle of rugby union - Rugby School - where 200 years ago this year William Webb Ellis first picked up and ran with the ball.  

Joining Hopkins in the starting XV is Blue and Blacks team-mate Rachel Thomas-Evans, who is handed the number 10 jersey, with prop Niamh Padmore unfortunately a late casualty due to injury.

A further two Cardiff players feature on the bench in centre Nia Fajeyisan and back row Katie Sims, who skippered the capital city side to silverware this season.

The match can be streamed live HERE

Wales Women U18: Carys Hughes (Hartpury / Scarlets); Hannah Lane (Chester / Sale Sharks / RGC), Bronwen Griffin (Ysgol Y Strade / Scarlets), Savannah Picton-Powell (Coleg Gwent / Nelson Belles / Dragons), Molly-Mae Powell (Coleg Gwent / Nelson Belles / Dragons); Rachel Thomas-Evans (L. North / Cardiff Quins / Cardiff Rugby), Sian Jones (Sale Sharks / RGC); Chloe Thomas Bradley (Coleg Gwent / Dragons), , Molly Wakely (Coleg Gwent / Dragons), Elan Jones (Nant Conwy / RGC), Robyn Davies (West Swansea Hawks / Hartpury / Ospreys), Erin Jones (Nant Conwy / RGC), Maisie Davies (Llandovery College /Burry Port / Scarlets), Catrin Stewart (Môn Stars Llangefni / RGC), Gwennan Hopkins (Hartpury / Cardiff Rugby – captain)
Reps: Abi Meyrick (Coleg Gwent / Dragons), Megan Lewis (Hartpury / Ospreys),  Cadi-Lois Davies (Lampeter Ladies / Scarlets), Milly Summer (Llandovery College / Scarlets), Katie Sims (Cardiff & Vale College / Cardiff Rugby), Katie Bevans (Coleg Gwent / Dragons), Hanna Marshall (West Swansea Hawks / Hartpury / Ospreys), Nia Fajeyisan (Plasmawr / Cardiff Rugby) 

Wales U18 Men

Meanwhile, the men travel to Edinburgh with an extended squad ahead of next month's U18 Six Nations festival in Dublin.

Two matches will take place at the DAM Health Stadium, located in the shadows of BT Murrayfield, as head coach Richie Pugh selects two squads - the Druids and the Celts.

A total of 14 Blue and Blacks are included in the 38-man squad, including the club's U18 captain Harry Beddall. 

Props Max Bignall and Owain James are given the nod alongside hookers Saul Hurley and Evan Wood. Luke Evans and Gethin Howell are included amongst the second row division, with Jaden Wilkins joining Beddall as a back row option.

Owain Paskell, who remains eligible for U16 rugby alongside lock Evans, and Harri Wilde are named at half back. 

Steffan Emanuel, Tom Hughes and Elijah Evans are all included as centres, with back three livewire Tom Bowen completing the Blue and Blacks' contingent.

The likes of Ioan Emanuel (Bath Rugby) and Kenzie Jenkins (Bristol Bears) are former members of Cardiff's pathway system, now plying their trade on the other side of the Severn Bridge.

Wales U18s Development squad vs Scotland U18s, Sunday 5 March

Forwards: Ioan Emanuel (Bath/Millfield), Dylan James (Ospreys/ Bridgend College), Max Bignall (Cardiff Rugby/Whitchurch), Ethan Say (RGC/Llandrillo), Owain James (Cardiff Rugby/CAVC), Sam Scott (Wasps/City of Oxford College), Saul Hurley (Cardiff Rugby/CAVC), Evan Wood (Cardiff Rugby/Cymoedd), Harry Thomas (Scarlets/Coleg Sir Gar), Will Evans (Scarlets/Llandovery), Luke Evans (Cardiff Rugby/Y Pant), Gethin Howell (Cardiff Rugby/CAVC), Nick Thomas (Dragons/Hartpury), Kenzie Jenkins (Bristol/Cymoedd), Guy Thomas (Dragons/Monmouth), Jaden Wilkins (Cardiff Rugby/CAVC), Ryan Jones (Dragons/West Monmouth), Keanu Evans (Scarlets/Strade), Kane James (Sedbergh/Newcastle), Harry Beddall (Cardiff Rugby/Hartpury), Evan Minto (Dragons/Hartpury)

Backs: Charlie Rainbird (Gloucester/Hartpury), Max Fergusson (Exiles/Exeter), Owain Paskell (Cardiff Rugby/Whitchurch), Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby/Glantaf), Jack Woods (Dragons/Monmouth), Steff Jac Jones (Scarlets/Hartpury), Osian Roberts (Sale/Kirkham), Steffan Emanuel (Cardiff Rugby/Millfield), Tom Hughes (Cardiff Rugby/CAVC), Elijah Evans (Cardiff Rugby/CAVC), Oli Woodman (Dragons/Monmouth), Harry Rees-Weldon (Dragons/Coleg Gwent), Ioan Duggan (Dragons/Cwm Rhymney), Aidan Boshoff (Bristol/Clifton), Dray Jack-Griffin (Dragons/Newport High), Ben Evans (Ospreys/Brynteg), Tom Bowen (Cardiff Rugby/Clifton)