Wales Rugby League’s 2024 season starts early this year, with the Junior Origin programme officially kicking off this Saturday as the East Wales and West Wales U16 sides travel to Victoria Park in Warrington to face junior outfits from Warrington Wolves.
Then on Saturday 25th November, the East and West Wales U14 sides go to Ruskin Drive in St Helens to play some of their local sides in a Nines tournament where three sides will enter – East, West and a Mixed East/West.
Finally, on Saturday 2nd December at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach, East and West face each other at elite U14 and U16 levels, with development matches also taking place.
It’s the third year in a row that the successful Origin programme has run through the winter and it’s already started producing potential future professionals with 10 players between the age of 14-16 currently within Super League systems that have come through the Origin pathway.
WRL head of youth, Paul Berry, said: After a fantastic eight weeks training as part of the first winter Origin block, it’ll be great to see the players take to the field and test themselves against more experienced opposition. With Origin game 1 just a couple of weeks away, it will give the coaches an opportunity to analyse their performances and give some focus for the next couple of weeks training before the first Origin game.”
All four squads for the trips north have now been named, with some players continuing in their age-groups from last season, some moving up an age, with potential new caps in all sides.
East Wales U16: Cai Atkins, Josh Harding, Aled Issac, Joseph Johnson, Cian Magee, Kavan Phillips, Harrison Riley, Jayden Stebbings, Harvey Williams, Ryan Williams, Morgan Marozzelli, Fin Walker (all Aber Valley Wolves), Lewis Hannam, Cae Jones, Cole Pelopida, Rylie Probert, Alfie Prosser, Jake Sheppard, Evan Williams, Ashley Clease (all Torfaen Tigers).
East Wales U14: Finley Hook, Oisin Knowles, Teifi Morgan Jones, Theo Patterson-Phillips, Mason Plummer, Miles Plummer, Harri Smith, Rhys Wood (all Aber Valley Wolves), Drew Foley, Noah Johnson, Ollie Mann, Max Phillips (all Cardiff Blue Dragons), Noah Appleby, Joshua Johnson, Danny Jones, Morgan Jones, Roman Jones, Kelyn Jude-Hobbs, Sam Kings, Jake Leighton (all Torfaen Tigers).
West Wales U16: Ryan Blyth, Matthew Clatworthy, Corey Field, Josh Gabrielsen, Leland Grey, Lucas Hart, Oliver Jenkins, Oscar Jones, Juris Keesans, Owain Martin, Osian Thomas (all Bridgend Blue Bulls), Harri Lloyd, Harley Smith (all Cynon Valley Cavaliers), Mason Daniels, Harri Davies, Oliver Rees, Rhodri Roberts, Charlie Thomas, Morgan Thomas, Harry Wigglesworth (all Swansea Rams).
West Wales U14: Evan Brayley, Charlie Eatly, Ceirion Emment, Charlie Joe Evans, Jacob Maund, Will Mordecai, Jac Murphy, Charlie Noakes, Zac Nottingham, Owen Prince, Josh Reekie, Lewis Rees, Ieuan Thomas (all Bridgend Blue Bulls), Jack Davies, Riley Davies, Ellis Mcgregor (all Cynon Valley Cavaliers), Jacob Broadley, Samuel Evans (all Rhondda Outlaws), Ioan Griffiths, Finn Walsh (all Swansea Rams).