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Last Updated: Monday, 28 March, 2005, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Student to skipper World Cup bid
Jonathan Spratt
Jonathan Spratt says Wales won't fear any opposition
Aberystwyth University student Jonathan Spratt will lead Wales' under-19 rugby squad at next month's junior World Cup in South Africa.

The 18-year-old from Bryncoch, Neath, who is studying law, jetted off with the rest of the team on Easter Monday.

He said: "To captain your country at any level is one of the greatest honours any sportsperson can receive."

Spratt, who can play at full-back or outside-half, won five caps during the under-19 Six Nations Championship.

A former pupil of Dwr y Felin Comprehensive, Neath, and Neath Port Talbot College, Spratt plays for a university side and Aberystwyth Town. He is also a member of the Neath-Swansea Ospreys' academy.

Unlike their counterparts in the senior and under-21 teams, Wales under-19s did not scoop the Six Nations Grand Slam, winning three matches and losing two.

To captain your country is one of the greatest honours
Jonathan Spratt

"To captain the Wales under-19 squad in the same year as the senior side achieved the Grand Slam for the first time in 27 years will be challenging - expectations will be high," he said.

He added: "Although I am very proud, I am under no illusions about the responsibilities that come with the captaincy.

"Off the field I am the spokesperson for the players - the link between the players, the management and the coaching staff."

The team, which has been at the Welsh Rugby Union's training centre in the Vale of Glamorgan, flew to Durban.

During the pool phase of the World Cup, the team will play New Zealand on 1 April, followed by Scotland on 5 April and Japan on 9 April. The final will be staged on 18 April.

Of Wales' World Cup chances, Spratt said: "We have a very good, strong squad.

"Obviously the southern hemisphere teams will be strong, as will England and France, but we do not really fear anyone."


SEE ALSO:
Wales celebrates Grand Slam win
21 Mar 05 |  South East Wales
City grinds to halt for big game
21 Mar 05 |  South East Wales


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