Sioned Harries

Wales No.8 Sioned Harries. Pic: Getty Images.

Sioned Harries Squeezes Big Finals Day Into Busy Six Nations Schedule

By David Parsons

It has been a busy time for Wales No 8 Sioned Harries, but there was one thing she wasn’t going to miss in her heavy rugby schedule – being at the Principality Stadium for the National Girls U12 final at ‘Road to Principality 2023’.

She may have spent the last two weekends battling against two of the best women’s teams on the planet in England and France, and she will be with Wales in Italy for the final game in the TikTok Six Nations this weekend, but sandwiched in between, and just as important, is her date with the Ysgol Bro Dur U12s at the home of Welsh rugby.

https://twitter.com/Womens6Nations/status/1650054401116221440?s=20

Harries is a PE teacher at the Port Talbot-based Welsh medium school and has managed to steer her fledgling side into the National Finals at the first attempt.

They will be first up on a day that sees four games from U12 to U18 in the Girl’s Finals, followed by the Men’s District Cup Final.

“I flew home on Monday after the game in France the day before and I’m heading back out to Italy to resume training on Thursday.

“I’m just as excited as the girls about going to Principality Stadium because I’ve only played there once before,” said Harries.

“When we first had the notice about the ‘Road to Principality’ event I asked the girls if they fancied trying to get a team together to play in the competition.

“They couldn’t believe there was a chance of going to play at the stadium.

“We didn’t have a rugby team, and none of the girls had played at clubs. They came in from the hockey, soccer and netball teams and said they’d give it a go.

“I was worried they might be put off by the contact element, but that was one of the things they really wanted to try.

“We worked on basic fundamentals, kept it simple and went through the regional tournament at Aberavon Green Stars and on to the National Finals at Merthyr. They’ve trained hard, learned a lot and can’t wait for their big day out.

“The only game we’ e lost in the two tournaments to date was against Ysgol Bro Pedr, so we’ll have a score to settle. We lost partly because we didn’t have anyone who could drop kick our conversions.

“That led to a couple of the girls asking me if they could take a rugby ball home to put in some practice. We’ve got three mini-buses of supporters coming to cheer us on and it is going to be a fantastic day for the girls, the school and me.”

Since they started, some of the girls have joined in sessions at Neath Panthers as their love of the game has grown.

Included in the side at outside half is Ava Thompson, who is the Welsh sprint champion over 60 and 200 metres at U12 and is ranked seventh in the UK at 200 metres.

In the U18 Final, there will be a chance for revenge for Llandovery College when they tackle Gwent College. The two teams clashed at Principality Stadium last year in the U18 Female Celtic Camping Trophy Final at 12-a-side, with Llandovery College going down 46-22.

LINE-UPS FOR NATIONAL GIRLS FINALS

U12 FINAL
Ysgol Bro Dur: Eliza Maggs, Moli Thomas, Ava Thompson, Lacey May Rhys-Jones, Thea Mai Davies-Bolger, Ruby John, Mylee Watkins, Nia Parera, Freyah Evans, Ffion Evans, Bobbi Crook, Sophia Spendiff, Rhonwen Jones, Cerys Stephens, Niamh Reed

Ysgol Bro Pedr: Layla Porter, Phoebe Owen-Evans, Deina Evans, Abbie Green, Eva Davies, Molly Jones, Julia Liecau, Mikayla Clements, Gwenno Herrick, Liy Evans, Maisie McCowan, Madie Powell

Reps: Tilly Keen, Skye Mills, Mark Thomas, Domika Parrish-Powell, Non Evans, Leah Jones

U14 FINAL

Ysgol Bro Dinefwr: Taylor Harris, Poppy Jones, Beatrice Morgan, Charlotte Merry, Lucy Williams, Gwen Williams, Morgan Jones, Thea Trickett, Carys Millichap, Cerys Upcraft, Freya Morgan, Eleri Morgan
Reps: Lottie Roberts, Rosie Short

Bryn Celynnog: Livy Kuropatwa, Caitlin Rowe, Lacey Davies, Faith Hyricia Kempster, Bella Bressignton, Sienna McCormack, Ava Rees, Chantelle Doherty, Erika McIntyre, Ellie Stephens, Ceejay Samuels, Ellie Addis, Coco Marie-Thomas
Reps: Carrie Wells, Chloe Wren

U16 FINAL

Idris Davies School: Katie Johnson; Janelle Jones, Lexie Howells, Isla McMullen, Ruby Davies; Kayde Kerby, Lily Hawkins; Libbi Lewis, Erin Greenway, Poppy Doyle, Lexi King, Hollie Barry, Isla Vaughan, Sadie Jones, Evie Hill
Reps: Ella Pickel, Taya Ferguson, Layla Davies, Ruby Hamis, Sofia Dallimore, Emily Dunning

Ysgol Bro Teifi: Lleucu Mathias; Siriol James, Ffion Davies, Georgia Smith, Elin Selby; Lois Davies, Lili Seren, Beri Tomkins, Erin Hallows, Emily Guilford, Erin Griffiths, Cadi Rees, Lleucu Davies, Phoebe Smith, Esylit Jones
Reps: Cerian Thomas, Emilia White ,Kacey Evans

U18 FINAL

Llandovery College: Rhiannon Griffin; Florence Evans, Mabli Evans, Katharine Winder, Jasmine Jones; Bryony Slater, Ceris Phillips; Martha Ford, Antonia Scott-Howell, Stella Omin, Eliza Stenning, Milly Webb-Greenslade, Tili Hopkins, Robyn Kovachev, Maisie Davies
Reps: Juliet Scordino, Soffia Cynwyl, Masie Williams, Lucy Vaughan, Cadi Loi Davies

Gwent College: TBC

COMING UP LATER THIS WEEK ON ‘RTP 2023’ . . .

Wednesday, 26 April – WSRU JUNIOR & INTERMEDIATE GROUP REPRESENTATIVE FINALS
U11 DC Thomas Bowl Final (10.00am): Neath v Pembrokeshire
U11 DC Thomas Plate Final (11.30am): Cardiff v Bridgend
U11 DC Thomas Cup Final (1.00pm): Pontypridd v Islwyn
U15 Lawrence Miller Bowl (2.30pm): Islwyn v Pembrokeshire
U15 Morgan Griffiths Plate (4.30pm): Carmarthen v Swansea Valley
U15 Dewar Shield Final (6.30pm): Pontypridd v Swansea

Thursday, 27 April – INCLUSION DAY 1
Mixed Ability Game (6.30pm): Cardiff Chiefs v Llanelli Warriors

Friday, 28 April – INCLUSION DAY 2
Inclusion Festival (Ummul Girl’s Academy – 9.00-10.00am)
Schools Festival (10.15-11.45am)
SEN Group (12.00-1.30pm)
Walking Rugby Festival (1.45-3.30pm)
IGR Rugby Fixtures (3.45-5.45pm): Vikings, Dragons, Rhinos round robin

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