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Coaches from Blues region take up posts with Wales

16th June 2006

Wales age grade rugby has undergone a reorganisation. Wales and the other Six Nations have agreed a new Under-20 and Under-18 tournament, cutting the U21s.

"The last nine years has been a fantastic experience, I would like to thank everyone I have worked with in my time as coach to Wales U21" said Chris Davey, who led the U21s to three Grand Slams and six titles in nine years.

Davey's last tournament in charge of the side will be at the U21 World Cup in France, beginning on 9 June.

"Chris, along with Wales U21 team manager Wayne Hall, have been magnificent ambassadors for the Welsh Rugby Union," said high performance manager Mostyn Richards.

"The pair have given sterling service to the Union and their success at U21 level is unparalleled within the northern hemisphere.

"I would also like to pay tribute to Cledwyn Edwards who has decided to stand down as manager of the U19s, after nearly 20 years service to international age-grade rugby."

Justin Burnell will be head coach of the U19s, Rowland Phillips of the U18s. Dai Young provided specific scrummaging expertise for the U19 Grand Slam-winning side last season, will follow that group of players into the U20 age group as scrum coach.

Robin McBryde will carry out the same role with the U18 coaching team, while Wayne Jones joins the U20 management as assistant coach alongside Pontypridd's Simon King.

A new face to the international age grade scene is Neath assistant coach Patrick Horgan, who will help Justin Burnell within the U19 set-up alongside another WRU national skills coach, Gruff Rees.

"All of these appointments are potential professional coaches of the future," said Richards.

Wales will continue to play selected matches at Under-19 level during the Six Nations to prepare for the IRB U19 Championship in Belfast in April.

Wales will also continue to compete in IRB Sevens tournaments, although their schedule for next season has not been confirmed.

WRU National Coaching Appointments:
Under 20
Head coach: Dai Rees
Assistant coaches: Simon King and Wayne Jones
Scrum coach: Dai Young
Team manager: Nick Rose
Under 19
Head coach: Justin Burnell
Assistant coaches: Patrick Horgan and Gruff Rees
Scrum coach: Wayne Jones
Team manager: Darryl Hill
Under 18
Head coach: Rowland Phillips
Assistant coaches: Gethin Watts and Nicky Lloyd
Scrum coach: Robin McBryde
Team manager: Terry Cobner
Head coach: Dai Rees
Assistant coach: Gareth Baber
Team manager: Col David Jenkins

Also this summer Blues Development officer, Gary Knowles, who in partnership with Richard Hodges, led the Blues Amateurs in a successful first season has been appointed Team Manager of the Wales Amateurs. This squad will be selected from the five regional Amateur teams and will tour to Belguim next year. Finally, Richard Hodges has taken up the head coach role with Glamorgan Wanderers, but will continue in his full time role as Blues Community & Coach Development Manager.