The Dragons Age Grade teams form an integral part of our player development pathway. We operate teams at U16s and U18s age groups and both compete in the WRU Regional Championship.
Dragons Age Grade Pathway & Structured Season
DRAGONS U16s NORTH & SOUTH
Selection for our regional U16s side starts in February each year. The WRU Development Officers and School Club Hub Officers work with our U15s teams throughout the season and start to provide nominations to the region. Nominations are also taken from school and District coaches before we watch all of our Dewar Shield U15s teams in our annual Dragons Development Festival.
The U16s season is divided into two blocks and this allows for continued identification throughout the season. Players that have missed initial selection can be picked up here as development staff will be out actively watching school and club games.
We enter two squads into the regional age grade competition - Dragons North and Dragons South. The split is decided on by school first, then place of residence.
At the end of the U16s season, all players are offered a place in one of our Junior Academies at Cross Keys College and Newport High School.
CLICK HERE FOR U16's SQUADS »
The U18s squad is for our best players at U18s age group. Selection is made in early May after a trial process that takes nominations from Development Officers, U16s coaches, college coaches and through watching club and school rugby.
Over the summer, all players are offered a strength and conditioning programme through our two associated Junior Academies (Cross Keys College and Newport High School) before they enter the U18s programme.
The main competition does not start until December, this allows more time for staff to identify the right players at National Colleges and Schools League level between September and December.
With around 80 players leaving our U16s programme, it is difficult to accommodate all players, but it is also essential that each player continues on the path they started in the U16s. There are countless examples of players that did not make the U18s straight out of U16s but come into selection in their second year; this years Wales U20s Captain Ollie Griffiths is the most recent example. The door is always open.