MID Wales rugby has hailed the impact of two of its emerging talents following an unprecedented weekend of success.
Dan Owen of Llanfyllin completed his journey from COBRA junior to Welsh international after the back row starred for the under 18s in a 29-19 victory over England in Ebbw Vale.
At the same time Llanidloes raised wing Sam Jones was the hero as RGC beat Merthyr Tydfil 24-20 thanks to his late try to claim a place in the final of the Welsh Plate at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff next month.
The success of both young players, products of the RGC set-up in Colwyn Bay and graduates of the RGC South junior development pathway, has been celebrated in Montgomeryshire.
COBRA youth coach Phil Davies said: “Everyone at the club is delighted for Dan, he was part of our successful junior set-up from the age of seven through to 15 and is now the first from the club to earn a Welsh cap.
Allen Boyd, director of sport at Rydal Penrhos where Owen now boards as part of the RGC set-up, said: “Dan gave a very good account of himself and looked right at home on the international stage.
“He has worked so hard with our coaches here at the school and the RGC group, and the sky is the limit for him if he continues to develop at his current rate.”
Meanwhile Jones etched his name into RGC history after his late try sealed their place in the Welsh Plate final with a 24-20 victory over Merthyr in Pontypridd.
The thrilling contest at Sardis Road ebbed and flowed but Merthyr had been on the verge of glory when Jones darted clear for an 80th minute try which Jacon Botica converted to seal a final clash with Pontypridd at the national stadium on April 16.
Jones, the son of Llanidloes’ Kevin and Helen Jones and nephew of successful former Welsh motocross champion Sean Grosvenor, has earned a reputation for scoring important tries having scored RGC’s first ever Welsh Championship victory in September.