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Nine Blues in Wales Under-20 squad

16th January 2015

WRU international pathway staff Under 20 have selected a 32-man squad for the forthcoming Under 20 Six Nations - and has selected nine Blues as part of the set-up.

Forwards Dillon Lewis, Joe Jones, Liam Belcher, Jordan Viggers and Seb Davies join backs Tom Williams, Garyn Smith, Elis-Wyn Benham and James Whittingham in the squad for the five match series.

Nine players are already capped at this level – Rory Thornton, along with fellow forwards Luke Garrett, Joe Davies and backs Tom Williams, Tyler Morgan, Joshua Adams and Dafydd Howells were part of Wales' Junior World Championship squad in New Zealand last season, while back row Ollie Griffiths and centre Garyn Smith participated in the Under 20 Six Nations last season.
Four players are new to the Welsh international pathway – RGC centre Danny Cross, Dragons scrum half Owen Davies, Bristol outside half Callum Sheedy and Gloucester back row Rory Bartle.
England is first up with a home match at Parc Eirias on Saturday 7 February (7.30pm) to kick off Wales' Six Nations campaign.

National Academy coaching manager Allan Lewis, who will coordinate the coaching of the side said, "We have a young and exciting group of boys with some experienced players from last season.

"Rory (Thornton) was one of our stand-out players at the Junior World Championship last season and his developing maturity and leadership on and off the field means that his selection as captain was a relatively easy one to make.
"England will be a huge challenge, as double world champions, but one that we will relish and embrace.
"We look forward to returning to our home ground in Colwyn Bay. The support the team receives there is outstanding and the players are very grateful for that and the boost it gives them.
"The majority of the squad players have been playing regular Principality Premiership rugby which is a vital part of our development pathway. A number of players have played British & Irish Cup rugby, while some, such as Tyler Morgan, Dafydd Howells, Ryan Elias and Torin Myhill, have represented their regions.
"Outside Wales, Rhys Williams, Callum Sheedy and Rory Bartle play for their Aviva Premiership club's A sides, while Rory (Bartle) also plays regularly for the Hartpury College 1st XV.
"We are excited by the coaching team too with international skills coaches Geraint Lewis, Jason Strange and Chris Horsman, who was involved last season, supplementing the experience of Richard Hodges in defence.
"We have a clear coaching and playing philosophy which underpins our ultimate aim of developing capable and rounded players for the senior national team. Such aspects obviously take time but game management, heads up decision making and enhancing skills under pressure are key parts of that”

Wales Under 20 Six Nations squad:
Luke Garrett (Dragons), Harrison Walsh (Ospreys), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Alex Jeffries (Dragons), Joe Jones (Blues), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Liam Belcher (Blues), Torin Myhill (Scarlets), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Blues), Tom Phillips (Scarlets), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Harrison Keddie (Dragons), Jordan Viggers (Blues), Rory Bartle (Gloucester)

Tom Williams (Blues), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets), Owen Davies (Dragons), Daniel Jones (Scarlets), Callum Sheedy (Bristol), Garyn Smith (Blues), Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Danny Cross (RGC), Barney Nightingale (Dragons), Joshua Adams (Scarlets), Rhys Williams (Leicester), Elis-Wyn Benham (Blues), James Whittingham (Blues), Dafydd Howells (Ospreys)