With the Cardiff under-16 fixtures concluding earlier this week, the age grade attention now turns to a block of under-17 rugby, as the Blue and Blacks prepare to take on Bath Rugby at Cardiff Arms Park this weekend.
A set of under-17 fixtures took place last summer as the club’s pathway system looks to bridge gaps in development following the pandemic.
A number of Cardiff’s under-16 players are rewarded for their fine efforts in recent weeks, earning a spot in the matchday squad for Sunday’s encounter.
They include Tom Bowen and Steffan Emanuel, who both featured for the under-17 outfit last year. The backroom team is led by Chadd Mutyambizi.
Talent pathway manager, Aled James, explained: “We view the under-17 programme as another exciting and valuable development opportunity for these boys.
“In some regards they’ve been playing catch-up following the pandemic, but this platform offers enjoyable competitive rugby against fellow age grade sides, while we can also use it as a further talent identification tool and learn a lot about those involved.
“Bath will be brilliant opposition for us to kick things off. The relationships we’ve built with other clubs has resulted in valuable Anglo-Welsh matches in recent years. They always provide an effective measuring stick, and we’re looking forward to seeing these boys taking the next steps in their development.”
Following the clash against Bath Rugby, Cardiff’s under-17 side will head into a training programme over the summer.
Backs: Tom Bowen, Dan Buffrey, Sion Davies, Steffan Emanuel, Owen Francis, Tom Hughes, Gethin O’Callaghan, Ben Roberts, Ben Spittle, Charlie Morgan Stevens, Dewi Thomas, Tom Weekly
Forwards: Fletcher Barry, Max Bignell, Tom Calcaterra, Luke Caple, Owen Conquer, Harri Holden, Callum Jones, Charlie Manship, Dylan McDonald, Jayden Meads, Lloyd Powell, Harrison Rock, Sam Scott, Jaden Wilkins, Evan Wood