Dragons young gun backed to lead by example as Wales captain for U20 Six Nations
DRAGONS forward Ryan Woodman has been chosen as Wales captain for the upcoming U20 Six Nations after being the ‘overwhelming candidate’.
The lock/flanker, who is 19 on Thursday, has been included in a 36-strong squad for the tournament along with six Rodney Parade teammates.
Prop Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths, hooker Sam Scarfe and lock Tom Caple are named up front while scrum-half Che Hope, centre Harri Ackerman and wing Oli Andrew get the nod behind.
Woodman, who made his Dragons debut with an impressive cameo off the bench against Pau in December, has been chosen as captain by head coach Byron Hayward.
“I sought the opinion of all our staff because I think it’s important to make that process as thorough as possible because they see him in different respective areas like medical, S&C,” said Hayward, whose side kick off against Ireland in Colwyn Bay on Friday.
“They see what they are like in the gym, what are they like off the field and on the field and Ryan was the overwhelming candidate.
“He commands his place in the team number one but he’s one of those Alex Mann characters who leads by example.
“He’s a very quiet boy but what he says is mature and sensible and people listen and they will follow him so he was the overriding candidate.”
The Wales young guns have prepared for the tournament by facing the Poland senior side plus Cardiff Met and Pontypool.
“It is the strongest squad we could have picked because of recruitment,” he said. “Our identification of this squad has been really thorough since last September and we’re in a totally different place to where we were 12 months ago.
“I’ve watched virtually every game these boys have played from September this season either by footage or watching the games. We’ve also had workshops plus we had a match against Scotland pre-Christmas and then we had Poland and we’ve also had two hit-outs against Cardiff Met and Pontypool in the last couple of weeks so preparation wise I think we’re in a good place.
“We are inexperienced up front in the front five in terms of age and playing-wise at this level but we have experience in the back line and it’s always the same every year, it is one or the other.”
Wales U20 Six Nations squad
Dylan Kelleher-Griffiths (Dragons)
Freddie Chapman (Ospreys)
Josh Morse (Scarlets)
Sam Scarfe (Dragons)
Lewis Morgan (Scarlets)
Isaac Young (Scarlets)
Ellis Fackrell (Ospreys)
Will Couch (Scarlets)
Tomas Pritchard (Scarlets)
Liam Edwards (Ospreys)
Jonny Green (Harlequins)
Owain Evans (RGC)
Ryan Woodman (Dragons – captain)
Huw Davies (Sale)
Caleb Salmon (Scarlets)
Tom Caple (Dragons)
Luca Giannini (Scarlets)
Gwilym Evans (Cardiff Rugby)
Morgan Morse (Ospreys)
Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby)
Archie Hughes (Scarlets)
Harri Williams (Scarlets)
Che Hope (Dragons)
Dan Edwards (Ospreys)
Harrison James (Cardiff Rugby)
Iwan Jenkins (Exeter)
Harri Ackerman (Dragons)
Bryn Bradley (Harlequins)
Louie Hennessey (Bath Rugby)
Tom Florence (Ospreys)
Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)
Harri Houston (Ospreys)
Oli Andrew (Dragons)
Llien Morgan (Ospreys)
Jac Davies (Scarlets)
Kian Abraham (Scarlets)