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Sims named skipper as Cardiff U18 announce squad for upcoming campaign

Pathway | 20th December 2022

Katie Sims will captain Cardiff U18 in their upcoming Regional Championship campaign, which is set to kick off in the new year.

With the annual competition set to return in January, the Blue and Blacks have confirmed their squad for the campaign, having finished top of the pile in the inaugural Championship last season.

A slightly different format sees each team going head-to-head in full matches, with the first round of matches held at Cardiff Arms Park on January 8. 

A number of familiar faces return to this year’s squad, including Sims, Gabby Healan, Gwennan Hopkins, Fern Cumine and Rachel Thomas-Evans, who all featured for Wales in the Six Nations on the back of their performances for Cardiff.

Head coach Darren Bool will once again lead the backroom staff, which included coaches Jonathan Hooper, Kristian Parker and Gaving Clement, returning team manager Kira Philpott, physiotherapist Isla Lewis and WRU apprentice, Jasmine Young.

The squad are now training twice a week at Sardis Road in preparation for the Championship opener at the capital.

Speaking on the back of the squad announcement, Bool said: “We went through a detailed talent identification process earlier this year, which included more than 70 local girls involved in training. It was really competitive this year, with a few selection headaches, but we’re delighted with the squad we’ve put together.

“We’re very fortunate to have quality and experience in our coaching team, who will no doubt get the best out of this talented group of players. We can already see their influence from training so far.

“It’s also been great to have Gruff Rees (Cardiff academy manager) and Liza Burgess (WRU Female Age Grade lead) attending our sessions and contributing with their feedback and observations.

“We have five girls representing Yr Urdd and Wales in the World Schools Rugby Sevens competition in New Zealand, and are very proud of their achievements. They will test themselves against the best in the world and will no doubt benefit from that experience.

“We were delighted with the standard on show last season, finishing top of the pile. And while we’re keen to show progress by being competitive, it is the players’ development that is our priority.”

Cardiff: Macy Banwell, Elin Berry, Brooke Bevan, Manon Blackford, Rhianna Bryant, Raylee Caviell, Fern Cumine, Lowri Davies, Libby Edwards, Nia Fajeyisan, Sophia Foscolo, Ella Fry, Lili Griffiths, Gabby Healan, Saskia Henry-Davies, Gwennan Hopkins, Freya Inkpen, Madison Isgrove, Crystal James, Rhoswen James, Seren Lockwood, Meg Morris Niamh Padmore, Nia Powell, Katie Sims (capt.), Sophie Southgate, Riley Stanger, Seren Thomas, Rachel Thomas-Evans, Tilly Vucaj, Maisy Wiggins, Efa Williams, Shanelle Williams, Izabel Wing

Round 1 (Host: Cardiff) - Sunday, 8 January

RGC v Ospreys

Cardiff v Dragons

Round 2 (Host: Scarlets) - Sunday, 15 January

RGC v Dragons

Scarlets v Ospreys

Round 3 (Host: RGC) - Sunday, 29 January

Scarlets v Dragons

RGC v Cardiff

Round 4 (Host: Ospreys) - Sunday, 5 February

RGC v Scarlets

Ospreys v Cardiff

Round 5 (Host: Dragons) - Sunday, 19 February

Cardiff v Scarlets

Dragons v Ospreys