By Ian Golden, Date:30/8/13
Wales Rugby League host England at under 16 level at Taffâ€™s Well RFC on Friday (kick-off 6.30pm) hoping for a first ever win against the old enemy.
Itâ€™s the second test of the year against England in tenth anniversary year of clashes between the two nations at this level, and Wales are hoping the equal the series at 1-1 after only losing on conversions in April, the final score being 22-18 with the sides locked at four tries each.
Last weekend, the Welsh played a warm up match and were beaten 28-14 by BARLA under 17s in Wigan with the home side scoring five tries to Walesâ€™ three.
The Welsh, dominated by players from the South Wales Scorpions Academy, had the arduous task of travelling up from the valleys during the day, and gave their all in a mighty clash between the packs and in attack showed some glimpses of their flair none more so than a length of the field effort from Regan Grace (South Wales Academy) which at that stage gave his side a 6-4 lead. Jake Carroll and Lewis Willacott scored the other Welsh tries.
Despite this loss, head coach Dave Clark was pleased with the challenge against an older age-group and says that his side canâ€™t wait to face England again on Friday.
â€œI thought it was really good for us,â€ he said. â€œIt was important for us to go against a side like BARLA Under 17s as I wanted to get our boys defensive wise defending against big physical bodies running hard at them, as we will need that mentality in the Test against England on Friday.
â€œWe will have to run hard and tackle hard and I think last week we handled the big body good and I think that will show us in good stead.
â€œOur boys learned a lot from last weekâ€™s game and we now canâ€™t wait to take on England on Friday. All of our players have taken on and beaten Super League opposition this season, theyâ€™ve shown they can perform well of the big stage. Theyâ€™ve all trained hard and weâ€™re confident that we can give England a good game.â€
The Welsh 22-man squad contains a mammoth 17 South Wales-based players. Warrington Wolves provide a further three with London Broncos and St Helens have one each.
England have named a 20-man squad which features 11 members of the squad that defeated Wales in April and England Youth coach Stuart Barrow will be hoping his side can make it two from two against Welsh opposition.
Hull FC have the largest contingent of players in the squad, with four Arlie Birds in the 20-strong squad while Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves both have three representatives.
Huddersfield Giants, London Broncos, St Helens and Wigan Warriors all have two players in the squad while sole representatives from Widnes Vikings and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats complete the squad.
WALES: from (South Wales Scorpions Academy unless stated): Alex King, Ben Jones, Connor Davies, Curtis Davies, Geraint Lawrence (Warrington Wolves), Jake Carroll, Jordon Liney, Keiran Hughes, Lewis Alexander, Lewis Willacott, Lloyd Bodman, Luke Williams, Matthew Owen (London Broncos), Morgan Jeffries, Morgan Knowles (St Helens), Morgan Nicholas (Warrington Wolves), Nathan Ainsworth (Warrington Wolves), Regan Grace, Rhys Brownsell, Shane Lee, Sion Jones, Zak Williams.
ENGLAND (from): Brad Harrison (Hull FC, Skirlaugh Bulls), Brad Parker (Hull FC, East Hull), Charlie Phythian (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion), Frazer Morris (Huddersfield Giants, St Josephâ€™s Sharks), Harry Tyson Wilson (Hull FC, West Hull), Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves, Rylands Sharks), Isaac Noi (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge), Jacob Ware (Leeds Rhinos, Westgate Wolves), Jake Campbell (St Helens, Blackbrook), Jake Moore (Wigan Warriors, Wath Brow Hornets), Jordan Crowther (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Westgate Wolves), Jordan Lane (Hull FC, West Hull), Kameron Pearce Paul (London Broncos, Croydon Hurricanes), Lewis Fairhurst (St Helens, Hindley), Morgan Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley Rangers), Reece Brunt (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion), Roshane Johnson (London Broncos, Medway Dragons), Ryan Ince (Widnes Vikings, Widnes Moorfield), Sam Hallas (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley), Will Gledhill (Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Westgate).
Wales v England under 16 record
Friday 18th April 2003 – Wales 0 England 40 – at Penarth RFC
Friday 8th April 2004 – Wales 10 England 26 – at World of Hurt, Aberavon
Friday 25th March 2005 – Wales 6 England 36 – at Sardis Road, Pontypridd
Friday 14th April 2006 – Wales 0 England 24 – at Brewery Field, Bridgend
Friday 6th April 2007 – Wales 0 England 46 – at Blackwood RFC
Friday 4th April 2008 – Wales 6 England 10 – at Brewery Field, Bridgend
Friday 10th April 2009 – Wales 16 England 18 – at Blackwood RFC
Wednesday 19th August 2009 – England 44 Wales 0 – European Cup in Belgrade, Serbia
Friday 22nd April 2011 – Wales 18 England 24 – at Caerphilly RFC
Wednesday 24th August 2011 – England 18 Wales 6 – at Beverley, Hull
Wednesday 4th April 2012 – England 30 Wales 6 – at Sheffield St Mary’s
Saturday 6th April 2013 – Wales 18 England 22 – at The Gnoll, Neath