Former Coleg Llandrillo student Patrick Nelson will make his Wales under-20 debut in their Six Nations game against England.
Patrick, from Rhyl, plays for Rygbi Gogledd Cymru as a prop. He studied Level 3 Marine Engineering at the Rhos-on-Sea campus and was also part of Academi Llandrillo.
He has been named in the starting line-up for Wales U20s’ visit to the Recreation Ground in Bath on Friday.
Wales opened their U20 Six Nations campaign with a 37-29 win over Scotland at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay last Friday.
Head coach Richard Whiffin has made three changes to the team that beat Scotland, all in the pack - with Patrick being one of them.
The coach said: “The boys that played against Scotland did a great job. We saw this as an opportunity to bring some new guys in for the England game – they have an opportunity to match the muscle in the set-piece and also provide a bit of difference around the field.
“These are the times you live for – 14,500 at the Rec, a great stadium, England v Wales. The boys will get a lot out of the experience, and these are the things we want our younger players to experience.”
Josh Leach, RGC performance manager, said: "Everyone at RGC is really pleased for Patrick, getting his first Wales U20s Six Nations cap.
“Patrick was one of many talented players who came through the RGC pathway in his age group, including the likes of Owain Evans (Clwb Rygbi Llangefni) and Huw Davies (Clwb Rygbi Bethesda) who were selected for Wales U20s last year.
“Like those players, Patrick has worked really hard over the past few years to get to where he is, and to earn this opportunity.
“He has had a few challenges along the way, narrowly missing out on selection last year and competing for game time within our Welsh Premiership side. However, those challenges have only made him stronger and more determined. His response to these challenges has been brilliant, and has set him apart from others who would have given up.
“Patrick, originally from Rhyl & District Rugby Club, became part of the RGC Pathway at U15 and chose to continue his rugby development alongside his studies at Coleg Llandrillo.
“During this time Patrick really kicked on. Training day in, day out and playing high-level games throughout the season helped lay the foundations for his development. It's great for Coleg Llandrillo to be able to add another U20s international to its ever-growing honours board."
Wales U20s will play England U20s at the Recreation Ground in Bath on Friday, February 7 (kick-off 7.15pm).