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International Round-Up: Jinking Jones lights up Singapore Sevens

International | 11th April 2022

There was plenty of Blue and Blacks stars in international action over the weekend as the under-18 Six Nations Championships kicked off in Edinburgh and Marcoussis and the sevens circuit landed in Singapore.

Singapore Sevens

18-year-old academy wing, Iwan Pyrs Jones, was included in the Wales Sevens squad, making his debut on the Sevens circuit as Richie Pugh’s side travelled to Singapore.

After a disappointing opening day, where Wales lost all three group stage matches to Scotland, Argentina and New Zealand, something special was needed to lift spirits and spark the men in red into life on the second day.

And young Jones certainly provided that - becoming a viral sensation in the process. 

After Wales had secured a win over England earlier in the day, they were tasked with a clash against France in the 9th-place semi final.

While Les Bleus ultimately came out on top, securing a 38-12 win, it was a moment of genius from Pyrs-Jones which will stay in the memory.

Dazzling footwork and a pirouette saw the jinking wing beating two French defenders - twice - to dot down for a sensational solo effort, as seen in the video below.

The circuit now moves on to the next leg in Vancouver this week.


Women’s under-18 Six Nations Festival

It was the perfect start for Wales in the Women’s Under-18 Six Nations Festival as they claimed two from two on the opening day of action in Edinburgh.

Liza Burgess’ side opened their campaign against hosts, Scotland, at The DAM Health Stadium, as teams faced off in 35-minute matches.

Nine Blue and Blacks were included in the full squad following a successful Regional Age Grade Championship campaign.

It took a while for the deadlock to be broken, but it was Burgess’ side who finally got over the whitewash after 14-minutes of action.

A resilient Welsh defence kept the hosts at bay and they were soon able to add to their tally thanks to a powerful effort from the pack.

Wales continued to dominate territory and possession and two further scores in the late stages took the result beyond doubt, with Burgess’ side claiming a 24-0 victory.

Wales once again kept the opposition out in the second match of the day against Italy, and were rarely threatened by the Azzurri. 

Cardiff centre Gabby Healan was amongst the scorers - finishing an impressive solo effort from distance - as Wales maintained their 100 per cent win record, with a final match against Ireland to come on Wednesday.

Men’s under-18 Six Nations Festival

Meanwhile, the Men’s under-18 Six Nations Festival got underway in Marcoussis and England were the first task for Matt O’Brien’s Wales outfit.

Cardiff’s Louie Hennessey, Ioan Emanuel, Kenzie Jenkins and Lucas de la Rua were all named in the starting XV for the Championship opener, with Harry Beddall, Orson James and Harri Wilde included amongst the replacements.

England raced into an early 8-0 lead in France, but Wales struck back in impressive fashion.

Loosehead Emanuel pounced on Sam Berry’s clever chip in midfield and found club team-mate Jenkins in support with an offload. Wonderful handling from the back row, followed by Rhodri Lewis and Harri Ackerman, kept the ball alive, putting openside de la Rua in space to slide in for Wales’ opening try of the Championship.

England used the power of their pack to cross for a second driving maul try, extending their lead once again, but despite Berry picking up a yellow card, 14-man Wales did take the lead in Marcoussis.

Centre Hennessey’s pace allowed Wales to play to the edge as Gabe Lacey made key meters down the right hand wing. Emanuel once again showed impressive offloading skills to keep tempo in the attack and the front foot ball was rewarded with a penalty in front of the stick.

However, with England fully expecting Wales to take the points on offer, they were caught napping by a quick tap which sent Isaac Morgan through for their second of the afternoon.

Despite an encouraging opening half an hour from Wales, England did ultimately take control of proceedings, going on to claim a 33-14 win.

Wales will take on Ireland and France in the remaining fixtures of the tournament later this week.