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Academy wing ready for Wales Under-19s

Leo Gilliand (right) will wear national colours this weekend at under-19 level
Leo Gilliand (right) will wear national colours this weekend at under-19 level

Leicester Tigers wing Leo Gilliland has been included in the Wales Under-19 squad to take on Japan High Schools this weekend.

Wales head coach Geraint Lewis, who is assisted by Chris Horsman, Gethin Jenkins and Craig Everett, hopes that the prospect of playing for future Wales Under-20 squads at the World Rugby Championship or next year’s Six Nations will encourage his young players to shine.

"We’ve got the older under-18 boys in this group as well and others who may not have been quite first-choice players in this Under-20s Six Nations so it’s an opportunity to use the under-19s as a platform to showcase their talents,” said Lewis.

"It is an international team in its own right so will bring the usual pressures of performance and results."

Gilliland, who is named among the replacements for the opening game of the under-19 series, is a student at Brooksby Melton College and was a member of the Tigers squad that retained the Under-18 Academy League title this season with victory over Gloucester in the Final at Allianz Park last month.

Wales Under-19s will play a second international against Japan High Schools at Cardiff Arms Park on Wednesday evening and then face England at Bridgend on Sunday, April 7.

Wales Under-19 v Japan High Schools (Ystrad Mynach, Saturday 2.30pm): 15 Josh Thomas (Ospreys), 14 Ewan Rosser (Dragons), 13 Joe Roberts (Scarlets)(c), 12 Osian Knott (Scarlets), 11 Frankie Jones (Ospreys), 10 Evan Lloyd (Dragons), 9 Ellis Bevan (Exiles), 1 Garyn Phillips (Cardiff Blues), 2 Brodie Coghlan (Dragons), 3 Luke Yendle (Dragons), 4 Cai Davies (Cardiff Blues), 5 James Fender (Ospreys), 6 Ioan R Davies (Cardiff Blues), 7 Olly White (Exiles), 8 Sam Williams (Scarlets).
Replacements:
 16 Cameron Lewis (Cardiff Blues),  17 Dyln Bartlett (Dragons), 18 Adam Thomas (Scarlets), 19 Max Ayling (Dragons), 20 Morgan Strong (Ospreys), 21 Dafydd Land (Scarlets), 22 Dean James (Scarlets), 23 Leo Gilliland (Leicester Tigers)