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Wales have been forced to make a late change to their squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship which kicks off in Manchester next Tuesday with an eagerly awaited clash against Ireland.
A hamstring injury sustained in training by winger George Gasson has ruled him out of the tournament. He is replaced by Ebbw Vale teenager Jared Rosser.
The talented Rosser made his debut for the Steelmen as a then 17-year-old this season. He scored the decisive try in their Principality Premiership Play-off semi-final victory against Llandovery and also went on to be a member of the victorious Ebbw Vale side which swept aside Pontypridd in the Premiership final at Sardis Road.
Wales U20 team manager Mark Taylor, said: “It’s obviously disappointing to lose a player of George’s ability so close to the tournament but Jared is now given an opportunity and his selection is reward after a fine season with Ebbw Vale.”
Wales take on Ireland, Georgia and New Zealand in Pool A of the global tournament, with Six Nations opponents Ireland first up at the Manchester City Academy Stadium (5.30).
An Ebbw Vale spokesman added: “All at the club are delighted for Jared, it is a major achievement to make the U20’s World Cup for someone who has only recently turned 18.
“It is reward for the hard work he has put in and the coaches at Ebbw Vale have been delighted with his progress on the field and his attitude and behaviour off it. This is a credit to himself, his family and the Dragons Academy.”
Ebbw Vale RFC are delighted to see that the excellent work of the Steelmen’s forwards coach has been recognised with his appointment as forwards coach at the Dragons
Chairman Jonathan Jones was keen to praise the work of Ceri during his 18 months at Eugene Cross Park, culminating in recently winning the Principality Premiership, stating, “The professionalism and expertise brought with him has been a key part of our continued development over the recent seasons making our forwards the most feared in the semi professional game in Wales. As befits his farming background Ceri’s appetite for hard work at the club has been immense as he combined his role with a demanding Acadeny position at Worcester warriors RFC. Ceri’s appointment has been made in full consultation with Ebbw Vale and we are sure that he, a man steeped in Gwent rugby through his own playing career and his father’s who starred for both Ebbw Vale and Newport will go on to be a success in his new role adding ‘steel’ to the region’s forward platform. We thank him for his contribution to our success and look forward to working with him in his new role in the coming seasons.”
Jones also noted that following the signing of Carl Meyer last season from the Steelmen, the movement of a coach to the regions shows that the pathway exists both on and off the field, this fitting perfectly with the strategic intent of the Principality Premiership
Ebbw Vale RFC have in the last few years seen coaches gain positions in Regions and in the Welsh Age Grade coaching structure and will look to appoint a replacement in the coming weeks. Jones said, “Having seen Jason Strange, Geraint Lewis and Duane Goodfield move up the coaching ladder, it would be fair to say that the club has become the pre-eminent coach academy in Wales. The search for replacement coaches is one that we are well versed in, and Nigel Davies and I will look to ensure that we once again bring in the correct person to continue the development of the club.”