Five Cardiff Blues players have been named by head coach Chris Horsman in the Wales U18 squad for this summer’s tour of South Africa.
Wales U18 will take on South Africa Schools, South Africa Schools A and France U18 between the 9th and 17th August, with coverage unclear currently, but previous tours have been shown on S4C.
Ethan Lloyd, Ben Burnell and Mason Grady lead the Cardiff Blues contingent having recently become the first group of players awarded Academy contracts while still at U18 level in response to the number of players heading to England.
Scrum-half Lloyd and fly-half Burnell have played together at U16 and U18 Regional level, with the former at Ysgol Cwm Rhondda and the latter studying and playing for Coleg y Cymoedd, while Glantaf pupil Grady will slot in at outside centre.
Joining them will be another Cymoedd pupil, as Alex Mann takes a spot in the back row ranks, while Cardiff and Vale College winger Jake Thomas also features in the squad.
The familiar name of Christ Tshiunza is also named, the Cardiff Blues pathway graduate who has signed for Exeter Chiefs this summer.
Wales U18 Squad
Full Backs: Dan John (Exiles), Jake Morgan (Dragons)
Wings: Carrick McDonough (Dragons), Jake Thomas (Cardiff Blues)
Centres: Morgan Richards (Dragons), Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues), Joe Hawkins (Ospreys), Bradley Roderick (Ospreys)
Outside halves: Ben Burnell (Cardiff Blues), Tom Matthews (Northampton)
Scrum halves: Luke Davies (Scarlets), Ethan Lloyd (Cardiff Blues)
Props: Theo Bevacqua (Harlequins), Archie Griffin (Bath), Lewys Jones (Ospreys), Kieran Stevens (Ospreys)
Hookers: Oliver Burrows (Ospreys), Rhodri King (Scarlets)
Second rows: Ben Carter (Dragons), James Fender (Ospreys), Rhys Thomas (Ospreys), Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs)
Back rows: Ollie Howard (Dragons), Travis Huntley (Ospreys), Alex Mann (Cardiff Blues), Peter Vickers (Wasps)
Friday 9th August – South Africa Schools v Wales U18 – 15:00
Tuesday 13th August – South Africa Schools A v Wales U18 – 12:00
Saturday 17th August – Wales U18 v France U18 – 12:30