The Scarlets and the Ospreys will offer supporters a glimpse into the future when they clash in an evolutionary encounter in Llanelli on Friday evening (7).
The cream of young rugby talent west of Bridgend will be on display at Parc y Scarlets.
Both the Scarlets Development side and the Ospreys A team will go into the game on the back of impressive wins – the Western Walians defeating the Dragons A side 29-10 in Newport last Friday, with the young Ospreys in charge of Ealing Trailfinders A 45 -0. at The Gnoll the Saturday before.
The Loughor Bridge derby this weekend will see fascinating clashes across the field, and no more than at a melee half where the hosts are. Luke Davies goes head to head with Harri Morgan.
Davies is Kieran Hardy’s cousin and highly valued out west.
He is a vocal and good organizer, a player who seeks to put his stamp on every game.
Last week, the Scarlets Development side launched another talent, Archie Hughes, at No. 9 and the region also has Harri Williams in his books, though he is injured.
But the Ospreys also have a great prospect at hand-to-hand half in Harri Morgan .
Injuries have prevented him over the past one or two seasons, but he was highly rated when he played for Wales U20s and is still just 21 years old. But he needs to bank on playing time and his contest with Davies should be a match standout.
Another intriguing battle is set to unfold in the first row where Garyn Phillips , Wales U20s’ loose last term, goes against Harri O’Connor .
Phillips can scrummage and he’s good around the field, with an appetite for turnovers, while O’Connor reportedly benefited from a loan spell with Nottingham that saw him face a fully loaded poverty team that included Mako Vunipola.
In the match played in May, he did not actually lock horns with Vunipola, who was replaced by the time O’Connor came on the field, but he had 25 minutes against South African World Cup winner Vincent Koch.
Presumably, O’Connor would have learned a lot from the experience.
Further back in the package, there is an opportunity for home # 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu to compare notes with Morgan Strong .
Tuipulotu caught his eye in Newport for the last time with his willingness to put in the hard yards. He made a lot of transports and worked for the team, providing a clear indication that he was going in the right direction.
Strong is highly valued in Ospreys.
Another strong carrier, he also enjoys the defensive side of the game, occasionally for Wales against Italy in the U20 Six Nations by setting 29 tackles, a tournament record. Strong is also viewed as a leader: Strong in name and in nature.
Other notables include young Ospreys Stone Deaves , who made a mark with his all-action displays for Wales U20s, earning turnovers and amassing gear, his yellow headdress marking him. Center Osian Knott will aim for a big show for the Ospreys against their old region, and Keelan Giles figures on the wing for the Ospreys, another step on the road to peak fitness.
The Scarlets are commanded by a center Joe Roberts , just 19 but a player seen as mature beyond his years.
Development of Scarlets: Josh Phillips; Eddie James, Tyler Morgan, Joe Roberts, Tom Rogers; Rhys Patchell, Luke Davies; Steff Thomas, Morgan Macrae, Harri O’Connor, Morgan Jones, Jac Price, Caleb Salmon, Iestyn Rees, Carwyn Tuipuloto.
Ospreys A : Cai Evans; Keelan Giles, Callum Carson, Osian Knott, Dewi Cross; Josh Thomas, Harri Morgan; Garyn Phillips, Cameron Lewis, Ben Warren, James Fender, Huw Sutton, Will Hickey, Harris Deaves, Morgan Strong.
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