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Ward named skipper by Wales Under-18s

10th March 2016

Wales U18 will be the fourth Welsh international side to take on English opposition when they kick-off at Aberavon at 5pm on Sunday - and they have named four Cardiff Blues in their starting line-up.

They go into the match full of confidence after beating France last Friday to complete a clean sweep over the French for Welsh sides this season, and after securing a 23-15 win over England at Swansea almost a year ago to the day.

Following this Sunday's match, Wales host an inaugural U18 International Series over the Easter period, with England, Ireland, Scotland and Italy featuring in matches at Ystrad Mynach and Swansea.

Wales U18 head coach Geraint Lewis has made five changes, one positional to the starting line-up from last week's winning side. Corey Baldwin comes in on the right wing, Owain Leonard at scrum half. Max Williams starts at lock with James Ratti and Morgan Morris comes in at No 8 with captain Aled Ward switching to blindside flanker.

Lewis said, "The players performed very well against France, and we have the chance with this second international to give a few others a chance to play at this level. England are always a formidable age grade side and with the tournament coming up over Easter, it's fantastic to be able to play them twice in one season.

"Our squad are definitely confident after beating England last year for the first time since 2007 and now France. We had a good start against them last year, and we need to be at our very best to get a result again but we certainly don't fear nations any more. We want to challenge ourselves and play the best we possibly can to meet our own targets."

A good crowd supported the side at Cross Keys last week and Lewis is hoping for more of the same. "It's great to be playing at home again, the home support certainly gives the players a boost and we know we'll get a good welcome at Aberavon."

Wales U18 v England (Aberavon RFC, Sunday 13 March, 5pm): Tickets £5 adults, Under 16s free of charge

Will Talbot Davies (Dragons / Solihull); Corey Baldwin (Scarlets/ Llandovery College), Owen Lane (Blues / Cardiff/ Cowbridge), Kieran Williams (Ospreys/ Glynneath/ Ystalyfera), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets/ Sir Gar); Phil Jones (Ospreys/ Gowerton/ Gowerton), Owain Leonard (Dragons/ Cross Keys / Gwynlliw); Rhys Carre (Blues/ Cowbridge), Corrie Tarent (Blues/ Pontypridd/ Cymoedd), Christian Coleman (Dragons / Garndiffaith), Max Williams (Dragons/ Newport High), James Ratti (Ospreys/Gower), Aled Ward (capt, Blues/ Cardiff Harlequins/ Cowbridge), Will Jones (Ospreys/ Penclawdd/ Gower), Morgan Morris (Gloucester/ Hartpury).

Replacements: Jordan Liney (Ospreys/ Hartbury), Eddie Drake (Blues / Cowbridge / Cowbridge), Josh Reynolds (Dragons / NHSOB/ Newport High), Will Griffiths (Ospreys/ Gowerton / Gowerton), Joe Thomas (Dragons / Penallta / Gwent), Efan Jones (Wrexham / Rydal Penrhos), Ben Jones (Blues/ Treharris/ Cymoedd), Declan Williams (Blues/ Cymoedd)