Rugby Academy student Ben Calder named in the Wales U18 squad

44 player squad training towards tournament in France

The College would like to congratulate Saracens Rugby Academy student Ben Calder who has been named in the Wales U18 squad.

The 44 player squad will train for the season, striving for their chance to participate in the FIRA-AER tournament in France at Easter and for a proposed tour to South Africa in August.

U18 Head Coach, Allan Lewis, commented: “We put the coaching team in place back in the summer in order that they could get to work with identifying and observing players within the Regional Age Grade Championship, which has once again been invaluable in our selection process.

“Our philosophy as a National Academy, and in particular with the U16 and U18 age groups, is to encourage players to put pressure on the opposition with the ball in hand. We believe that being bold and creative must be encouraged but within the basic template of being comfortable with the ball in hand and maintaining possession through quick recycling of the ball and the use of space and width.

“The game of rugby is based on constant intelligent movement and our objective is to develop ‘rugby bright’ players. Once players reach the U20 stage of their development, there will be an emphasis on tactical thinking and decision making but at U16 and in particular U18 level, we are prioritising basic skills, and in particular keeping possession alive whenever possible in order to develop an attacking, quick tempo game to benefit Welsh rugby as a whole.

“We have worked closely with WRU performance coaches within the regions and there has certainly been a greater intent to play with ball in hand at regional age grade level this season, plus we have players within this season’s national squad who were with us last season so I’m confident we will see some results of that strategy this season.”

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