Bristol Bears head coach Pat Lam has revealed that young Welsh back Ioan Lloyd is being rested for Wales U20’s opening Six Nations game but is available for selection next week.
The 18-year-old has been a revelation in the first team at Ashton Gate this season, bursting on to the scene with a try scoring debut against Bath in October before being named man-of-the-match in his full debut against Zebre in the European Challenge Cup.
All-in-all he has made 11 appearances for Bristol in all competitions, including coming off the bench in the win over Gloucester last week, and Lam states that is the main reason behind Lloyd’s absence from the Wales U20 side to play Italy this week.
Speaking to the Bristol Post, he said, “We have a good relationship with Wayne Pivac [Wales head coach] and Gareth Williams [Wales U20s head coach].
“We had a good discussion about his [Ioan Lloyd’s] development and what he has done and that he has been full noise with us in the senior programme so he does need a rest. That is why he won’t be involved in the first round so he can get a rest from rugby.”
There is good news for Wales though in that Lloyd should be involved next week when Williams takes his side over to reigning U20 Six Nations champions Ireland.
“He will be available for their second round and then he should be available for us and then he should be available for the last round if Wales still need him so it won’t affect his time at Bristol.
“It has been a well thought out plan. Our S&C teams, their S&C teams have been over and there is a good relationship there with the coaches so everything is working towards what is best for the player.”