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WELSH REGIONS TOP 20 – “ONES TO WATCH” IN THE LV=CUP

As part of its support of the LV=Cup and the development of young talent and ahead of an exciting night of regional action at this Friday’s double derby, Pro Rugby Wales has compiled a top 20 “Ones to Watch” with the support of the Four Welsh professional sides.

NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS

Ashton Hewitt – Wing

19 year old Evans, from Caerleon, is a Dragons academy product. He came up through regional age grade U16s and U18s and has made appearances for premiership sides Cross Keys and Newport RFC.

Elliot Dee – Hooker

The Wales Under 20s international has already made 22 appearances with the Dragons over the past two seasons. He is a Dragons academy product and has also featured for premiership sides Bedwas RFC and Cross Keys.

James Benjamin – Flanker

Versatile back row Benjamin signed a senior contract with the Welsh region last season. The Dragons academy product was part of the Wales U20s squad last season that took part in the 2013 Junior World Championship.

Angus O’Brien – Fly Half

Gwent born O’Brien was s solid feature in the Cross Keys starting XV in the 2013/14 season. The fly-half has also featured for Wales  last season in their Under 20s campaign.

Barney Nightingale – Centre

18-year-old Nightingale has featured in the Dragons match-day squad twice this season. The Dragons age grade product has most recently featured in Cross Keys’ starting XV. 

 

SCARLETS

Steffan Evans – Fullback

20 year old Evans, from Five Roads, made his Scarlets debut at fullback against Zebre last weekend in the Guinness PRO12. Evans has represented Wales at all age grade levels and has developed through the Scarlets Academy after joining the region’s under 16s side.

Steffan Hughes – centre

Former Wales Under 20s captain Steffan Hughes made his Guinness PRO12 debut against Zebre last weekend scoring Scarlets’ only try of the game.

Kirby Myhill – hooker

Hooker Myhill was a part of the all-Scarlets front row that represented Wales Under 20s in the final of the Junior World Championship in 2013. He played his rugby with Burry Port and Kidwelly RFC.

Wyn Jones – prop

Llandovery born loosehead prop Wyn Jones played all of his age grade rugby with Llandovery RFC and is looking to build on solid perofrmances for the Premiership side with the region.

Sion Bennett – lock

Pembrokeshire raised second row Bennett has made a solid return toa ctiona fter shoulder injury and has had a strong start to the season with Carmarthen Quins.

 

OSPREYS

Scott Otten – Hooker

Played alongside the Ospreys latest Wales squad member, Nicky Smith, for Waunarlwydd RFC, Pentrehafod Comprehensive School, Ospreys and Wales age-grade and Swansea RFC.

Nicky Thomas – Prop

Like Otten, was part of a front row at junior club, school, age grade and premiership alongside Nicky Smith. Now playing for Aberavon in the Premiership, he was a regular for Wales U20 over the last two campaigns.

Dafydd Howells – Wing

Still only 19, he was capped by Wales on their 2013 tour to Japan, and has been a regular for Neath over the last two years. Came through the age grade system having played for Abercrave RFC.

Rhodri Hughes – Lock

Highly rated second row who was part of the Wales squad that reached the final of the 2013 Junior World Championships. 20 years old, started all four of last season’s LV games and has played regularly for Swansea in the Premiership

Jordan Collier – Flanker

19-year old who made his Ospreys debut in last weekend’s PRO12 win over Connacht. A versatile back rower who can fill all three slots, he has been a regular for Neath over the last three seasons having started off at Tonmawr RFC.

 

CARDIFF BLUES

Garyn Smith: Centre

A hard hitting and creative presence in midfield, Garyn Smith graduated through the Blues Academy and from there was given a placement with the Pontypridd senior squad in the summer of 2013. Smith represented Wales Under-20s during the 2013/14 season and has been part of the Wales Sevens set-up.

Ellis Jenkins: Back row

Dynamic and destructive back row who will captain Cardiff Blues through the LV=Cup campaign. A former Wales Under-20 captain and product of the Blues Academy, Jenkins is tipped for great thing at Blues and will be eager to showcase his talents in the LV=Cup.

Ben Roach: Back row

Cardiff-born flanker Roach has graduated through the Blues Academy to be part of the senior set-up at Cardiff Blues this season. A Wales Under-20 international, Roach is expected to take his place in the back row for the LV=Cup campaign.

Tomos Williams: Scrum half

A product of the Treorchy club, Tomos Williams graduated through the Blues Academy, having earned international honours with Wales at youth level. A dynamic scrum half, Tomos was allocated from the region to the Pontypridd senior squad in the summer of 2013.Tomos went on to make a number of senior appearances for the Blues and was capped by Wales Under-20s.

Harry Davies: Wing

Winger Harry Davies is set to make his Cardiff Blues debut during the LV=Cup. The Church Village-born back impressed the Premiership Rugby 7s Series in early season and has featured for Cardiff RFC on several occasions this season. At 64ft 4in, Davies is a powerful presence out wide.

 

ENDS