Schoolboy impresses for strong Welsh Exiles team

James Thomas of Morton, a year 10 pupil at Bourne Grammar School was selected at scrum half to represent the Welsh Exiles U15 rugby team EMN-140520-100557001
James Thomas of Morton, a year 10 pupil at Bourne Grammar School was selected at scrum half to represent the Welsh Exiles U15 rugby team EMN-140520-100557001
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Rugby player Jamees Thomas has been selected at scrum half to represent the Welsh Exiles U15 rugby team.

Year 10 Bourne Grammar School pupil Thomas was one of a squad of 22 players from clubs all over England, and one from Jersey, who travelled to Colwyn Bay, North Wales to play in a U15 provincial tournament on Saturday.

The expectancy was for the Exiles to compete and put in a good performance, as they do not play a lot of games together, but they more than raised the bar and put in exceptional performances to walk away as champions.

The coaching staff were delighted as it was the first time an Exiles squad has gone through a tournament unbeaten. The other teams in the competition were strong provinces of North Wales and the matches were filmed by the WRU, and watched by Wales U16, Ospreys and Scarlets scouts.

The Welsh Exiles were set up to find welsh qualified players that live and play in England that can progress to international honours.

Famous Welsh Exiles are Alex Cuthburt, Tom Shanklin, Colin Charvis and Huw Bennett, who all came through the system to represent Wales and the British Lions.

On Saturday the matches were played in warm sunny conditions and it showed with some superb skills on display.,

Thomas, who lives in Morton, produced quick ball for the backs and was a threat all day and produced a moment of magic with a dummy from a ruck to split the defence and run in for a try from the halfway line, under the posts to the cheering travelling parents.

In the final they played the strongest team Gogledd East who had four U16 Welsh academy squad members but they overcame the odds to win 25-15 and lift the cup.

Thomas represented the Welsh Exiles for the first time last year at U14 level and scored on his debut but lost out in the Gwent Districts tournament final.

Thomas plays his club rugby for Spalding and is also in the Leicester Tigers development squad and has represented Lincolnshire since U13 age group.