Seven Cardiff Blues youngsters have been included in the matchday squad for Wales under-18’s encounter with England at Hartpury on Saturday (KO 12.10pm)
Following the conclusion of the recent run of Wales under-19 matches, Chris Horsman’s side kick off the U18 Six Nations Festival against their fierce rivals and will also take on Scotland (Wednesday) and Italy (Sunday) at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium and Gloucester’s Kingsholm Stadium respectively.
Five of the representatives from Wales’ Capital Region are included in the starting line-up, with Ethan Lloyd given the nod at scrum half.
Mason Grady - brother of Cardiff Blues academy graduate Cory Allen - starts in the centre alongside captain Bradley Roderick, who is part of the Ospreys set-up.
In the forwards, Iestyn Haskins will start at tighthead prop, with Rhys Anstey at lock and Ethan Fackrell wearing the number seven jersey.
Joining them in the matchday squad are Alex Mann and Ioan Evans, who are named on the 10-man bench for the encounter.
Head coach Horsman said: “I can’t wait. We had an excellent win against France in March, maybe not the best performance – but I’m really excited about the opportunities for player development in this tournament.”
Wales under-18: Ioan Lloyd (Bristol Bears); Carrick McDonough (Dragons), Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues), Bradley Roderick (Ospreys, capt.), Morgan Richards (Dragons); Ed Dunford (Exiles), Ethan Lloyd (Cardiff Blues); Sam O’Connor (Scarlets), Oliver Burrows (Ospreys), Iestyn Haskins (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Anstey (Cardiff Blues), Ben Carter (Dragons), Harri Deaves (Ospreys), Ethan Fackrell (Cardiff Blues), Harry Breeze (Scarlets)
Replacements: Rhodri King (Scarlets), Theo Bevacqua (Exiles), Lewys Jones (Ospreys), James Fender (Ospreys), Carwyn Tuipulotu (Scarlets), Alex Mann (Cardiff Blues), Tom Mathews (Exiles), Dan John (Exiles), Dylan Davies (Dragons), Ioan Evans (Cardiff Blues)
U18 Six Nations Festival
Matchday 1 – Sat 13 April – Gillman’s Ground, Hartpury
12:10 England v Wales
14:40 Ireland v France
17:10 Scotland v Italy
Matchday 2 – Wednesday 17 April – Sixways Stadium, Worcester
11:10 France v Italy
13:40 Ireland v England
16:10 Wales v Scotland
Matchday 3 – Sunday 21 April – Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
11:10 Scotland v Ireland
13:40 England v France
16:10 Italy v Wales