Northampton Saints starlet Tom Mathews will be hoping he can be the man to steward Wales to their first victory of the Under-18 International Series on Saturday against France.
The 18-year-old, who arrived at Franklin’s Gardens this summer from Gloucester, is yet to pull on the Black, Green and Gold jersey but has impressed for his national side so far in the competition.
Wales lost their first clash against South Africa Schools, but then fought out a remarkable 31-31 draw in their second clash against the tournament hosts’ ‘A’ side, where Mathews was immaculate from the kicking tee and contributed 11 points.
Head coach Chris Horsman said: “I was really pleased with the performance against South Africa Schools A, and there were elements within the game that showed clear improvements from the opening game. The boys are getting better with every performance.
“We made a raft of changes to the team from the first game, so by the time we leave every player will have had match-time.
“We’ve already beaten France at the Arms Park earlier this year. It’s clear from all the games being played out here that we are the only team endeavouring to play most of the rugby.
“If we focus on nailing the opportunities that come our way, then hopefully the boys can finish with a ‘w’.”
Wales U18s v France U18s
Saturday 17 August, 2019
Hugenote High, Wellington
15 Dan John (Exiles/Millfield)
14 Jake Thomas (Cardiff Blues/Cowbridge HS)
13 Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues/Glantaf/Bro Morgannwg)
12 Joe Hawkins (Ospreys/Neath/Port Talbot College)
11 Morgan Richards (Dragons/Newport High School)
10 Tom Mathews (Northampton/Hartpury College)
9 Luke Davies (Scarlets/Coleg Sir Gar)
1 Kieran Stevens (Ospreys/Bridgend College)
2 Oliver Burrows (Ospreys/Millfield)
3 Archie Griffin (Bath(Exiles)/Marlborough)
4 James Fender (Ospreys/Neath/Port Talbot College)
5 Ben Carter (Capt) (Dragons/Caldicot)
6 Travis Huntley (Ospreys/Bridgend College)
7 Alex Mann (Cardiff Blues/Coleg y Cymoedd)
8 Peter Vickers (Wasps (Exiles)/Newcastle-Under-Lyme)
16 Rhodri King (Scarlets/Coleg Sir Gar)
17 Theo Bevacqua (Harlequins(Exiles)/Eastbourne College)
18 Lewys Jones (Ospreys/Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera)
19 Christ Tshiunza (Exeter(Exiles)/Whitchurch HS)
20 Rhys Thomas (Ospreys/Neath/Port Talbot College)
21 Ollie Howard (Dragons/Tredegar)
22 Bradley Roderick (Ospreys/Neath/Port Talbot College)
23 Jake Morgan (Dragons/Lewis Pengam)
24 Carrick McDonough (Dragons/Cross Keys College)
25 Ben Burnell (Cardiff Blues/Gartholwg)