Cardiff Rugby under-18 have finalised their squad as they prepare for the upcoming girls under-18 regional campaign.
Head coach Darren Bool has narrowed his squad to 33 players following an encouraging block of skill development centres and talent identification days.
Bool will be supporters by a back-room team consisting of coaches Jonathan Hooper, Claudia Meyrick and Gavin Gallagher. Kira Philpott, who represented Cardiff at age grade and senior rugby, will take on Team Manager duties with Sam Walker named as the physiotherapist.
Over the past few months, a total of 136 girls of various ages attended the skill centres in venues across the region. The finalised group gathered at Merthyr on Monday for their first training session as a full squad.
Joining them on Monday was academy manager Gruff Rees, who helped to deliver the session at The Wern. His attendance represents the men’s pathway’s intentions to support the girls’ pathway system, with further link-ups planned for future sessions.
Running in cooperation with the Welsh Rugby Union, competitive round robins are set to kick off on February 6, with tournaments set to be held at Ystrad Mynach, Cardiff Arms Park and The Wern.
Team manager, Philpott, said: “First of all, a huge congratulations to everyone who has been selected for this under-18 squad.
“Over the course of the skill centres and talent identification days, it was highly encouraging to see a huge amount of talent within the club’s region. It certainly didn’t make selection any easier for the coaches.
“With a set of training sessions to come, we’re all building towards the first day of round robin rugby at Ystrad Mynach and an opportunity to come up against fellow Welsh sides.
“Having been through this journey myself, it’s going to be an extremely exciting time for these girls and one they’ll be able to look back on with real pride.
“For those that missed out, we really want to encourage them to keep at it. There are a number of local hubs to get involved with and the door is never fully closed. As mentioned, selection was really tough and there were plenty of top talent on show.”
Cardiff Rugby under-18: Anaya Jones, Carly Lloyd, Chloe Davies, Emily Rees, Ella Waqaliva, Fern Cumine, Gabby Healan, Georgia Morgan, Grace Bellamy, Gwennan Hopkins, Izabel Wing, Jasmin Owen, Jasmine Young, Katie Sims, Katy Hudd, Layla Williams, Libby Edwards, Lowri Davies, Manon Blackford, Mia Davies, Millie Davies, Molly Reardon, Mya Dixon, Nel Metcalfe, Nell Powell, Nia Powell, Popi Redrup, Rachel Thomas-Evans, Raylee Caviell, Sadie Jones, Seren Carson, Sophie Morgan, Sophie Thomas