Cymoedd kicks off a bright future for professional rugby players
A group of talented rugby players from the Coleg y Cymoedd rugby team have been selected by the Cardiff Blues U18’s regional team, after catching the eye of the academy coaches.
After success at the prestigious Coleg y Cymoedd rugby academy, a total of 21 players will join the Blues U18’s regional team, following in the footsteps of former learners and current Blues senior players such as Jarrod Evans, Aled Summerhill and Dillon Lewis to name a few.
Furthermore, 18 Coleg y Cymoedd players have been selected to represent Wales at international level, with ten current learners selected for the U18’s squad. The remaining eight college learners and alumni have been drafted into the Wales U20’s team, ahead of the highly anticipated Six Nations tournament.
Shane Lewis-Hughes, one of the players picked for both the Blues U18’s and Wales U20’s national team, currently studies at Coleg y Cymoedd’s Nantgarw campus. Attending the Coleg y Cymoedd rugby academy, Shane has developed his rugby skills under the watchful eye of expert coaches.
Speaking of his place in both teams, the 18 year old from Ferndale said, “I was completely over the moon to have been picked! It was a shock to be selected for the Wales U20’s as this means jumping up a level as I’m only 18, but it’s a massive opportunity that I’m going to grab with both hands.
“The training programme will become more intense now as we get closer to the Six Nations, but it’s amazing to be in such a professional environment. My dream is to play for my country and for the British Lions so I’m just going to carry on working hard and make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Shane’s passion for rugby started from the age of six, where he made his way from mini and junior ranks at Ferndale RFC and Ystrad Rhondda RFC. The flanker’s flair and ability on the pitch have been supported by his BTEC Sport course at Coleg y Cymoedd.
The college’s rugby Academy aims to ensure the learners are prepared academically should a career in rugby not materialise. The learners are encouraged to develop team work skills and determination which will support them to success in any future employment, professional rugby or university.
Shane’s tutor, Lee Davies said: “As a coaching and management team, we are delighted by the selection of past and present students for the varying levels of representative honours. The boys have worked considerably hard to achieve these honours, dedicating much time and effort to achieve their goals. They deserve every success and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”
The players picked for the Wales U18’s and U20’s team will now take part in intense training programmes leading up to the Six Nations tournament, with the first game against Ireland on Friday 5th February.
The Coleg y Cymoedd players picked for the Blues U18’s are Connor Lewis (Tonypandy), Tom Mably (Cyncoed), Corrie Tarrant (Tonypandy), Iestyn Harris (Porth), Ben Warren (Merthyr Tydfil), Callum Bradbury (captain) (Pontypridd), Ben Sier (Merthyr Tydfil), Caleb Docking (Cardiff), Alun Lawrence (Pontyclun), Sion Edwards (Porth), Sion Jones (Barry), Dane Blacker (Pontypridd), Ben Jones (Treharris), Cameron Lewis (Porth), Declan Thomas (Tonyrefail), Thomas Sheppard (Ferndale), Conor Jones (Llandaff), Aron Clarke (Ton Pentre), Garyn Payne (Aberdare), Adam Ashford (Pontypridd), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Ferndale).
The players selected for Wales U18’s are Connor Lewis (Tonypandy), Corrie Tarrant (Tonypandy), Caleb Docking (Cardiff), Callum Bradbury (Pontypridd), Shane Lewis Hughes (Ferndale), Alan Lawrence (Pontyclun), Dane Blacker (Pontypridd), Ben Jones (Treharris), Declan Williams (Tonyrefail), Cameron Lewis (Porth).
The additional eight players who are joining Wales U20’s are Kieron Assiratti (Porth), Dillon Lewis (Pontypridd), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Ferndale), Morgan Sieniawski (Pontypridd), Jarrod Evans (Pontypridd), Harri Millard (Moutain Ash), Elis-Wyn Benham (Cardiff), Rob Lewis.