WALES UNDER 18'S IMPRESS :: 02 Apr 15:00

LEWIS HAPPY WITH WALES UNDER 18 PROGRESS

Wales Under 18 head coach Allan Lewis has given his squad the thumbs up after returning from the FIRA-AER tournament in the Grenoble region of France.

The side finished off the tournament with an impressive 50-0 defeat of Georgia following their 45-0 win over Portugal last week.

The Welsh youngsters scored seven tries in the win – two for captain Dafydd Howells and prop Alex Jeffries along with scores from scrum half Tom Williams and centres Tyler Morgan and Garyn Smith. They also importantly completed their second defensive clean sheet.

Lewis said, “We are very pleased with the performance against Georgia, they have a powerful forwards game and they pushed Ireland very close on the opening day along with beating Italy. In attack we were creative, scoring some very attractive tries, but our defence was also exceptional, the work Shaun Edwards has done with the players since the Scotland game has really borne fruit.

“In addition, our young coaches Ioan Cunningham and Shaun Connor did a huge amount of work with the players on their attack and forward players which also produced the goods in the Portugal and Georgia games.

“The experience has been positive all round following the early disappointment of losing narrowly to Scotland. Despite the result in that game, the players still gained a lot from the experience and I believe have grown as individuals and as a collective since. The fact that we have had ten days together has been invaluable, for the players and the coaches alike. It gives a real insight into what it takes to become a professional rugby player. This is certainly not the end of the road for these boys, it’s only the start but I’m sure they are in a better position now to take the next step in their rugby careers.”

Lewis is travelling to Japan with Robin McBryde’s Wales squad in June, in order to better disseminate the National Squad’s processes and philosophies to the WRU’s international age grade squads. He hopes to then take a Wales Under 18 squad to South Africa for another summer tour.