Welsh, talented and playing in England.

Welsh, talented and playing in England.

Following an unsuccessful international campaign in the 2024 Guinness Six Nations and with all four regional sides in the bottom half of the United Rugby Championship, Welsh rugby finds itself in need of change.

Hot topics of discussion in recent months have included:

  • The financial stability of the four regions and their ability to compete
  • Player retention in the community game
  • Talent discovery and development through revised player pathway systems
  • Welsh rugby's senior player selection policy

While the WRU continues its restructure off the field and Warren Gatland bloods the next generation on the field, we take a look at some of the talent operating outside of Wales. In this instance, we identify three young gifted centres plying their trade across the border in England. 

1. Gethin O'Callaghan (Bristol Bears)

The powerful centre with a vast skillset and great offloading game impressed the Bristol Bears coaching staff while turning out for the U18 academy and has since been rewarded with a professional contract.

Former clubs include Dinas Powys RFC, Barry RFC and Old Penarthians RFC, spending the majority of years playing for the latter, his hometown club. 

Gethin (pictured) gained a scholarship to Christ College Brecon where he co-captained the senior team. Prior to his trial at Bristol, he had game time at Cardiff Rugby.

In recent weeks, after returning from injury, he has represented Wales U19's on two occasions, home to Ireland and away to Italy.

2. Bryn Bradley (Harlequins)

Raised in South London, Bryn Bradley came through the academy at Harlequins. Another strong running centre with handling skills to match. He forged a commanding centre partnership with Louie Hennessey in the 2023 U20 World Championships, qualifying for selection through his Newport-born mother. He started four out of the five championship matches.

Since then, Bradley has made several appearances for the Harlequins first XV with his Gallagher Premiership debut coming in a 23-21 victory over Bristol Bears in October.

His older brother Gwilym is a back row forward signed to Cardiff Rugby having lead the way through the Welsh exiles programme. 

3. Louie Hennessey (Bath)

A mainstay in the Welsh U20 starting XV for both the 2023 U20 World Championships and the 2024 U20 Six Nations. Cardiff born Hennessey captained the 21/22 Hartpury College team that went 10 wins from 10 in the ACE leagues. He signed for Bath in the summer of 2022 after leaving the Cardiff academy.

A great decision maker, ball handler and strong in the tackle. Add to that a clinical finisher with a turn of foot, He's got all the attributes to make a top level professional.

The twenty year old made his Gallagher Premiership debut coming off the bench away at Northampton Saints and scored his first premiership try against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in December.

 

 


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