Wales U21 name 11 uncapped players for Republic of Ireland friendly

Luke Jephcott
Wales U21 striker Luke Jephcott has scored 16 League One goals for Plymouth this season

Wales U21 manager Paul Bodin has named 11 uncapped players in a squad to face the Republic of Ireland in a friendly on Friday, 26 March.

Midfielder Rubin Colwill, 18, gets a first call-up after making two appearances for Cardiff City.

Norwich City's 20-year-old goalkeeper Daniel Barden and Brentford full-back Fin Stevens, 17, are also recognised for their club form.

The match will be played at Colliers Park in Wrexham.

Bodin is preparing his side for their Uefa U21 Euro 2023 qualifying campaign which starts in June.

Wales have been drawn alongside the Netherlands, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Moldova and Gibraltar in Group E.

In addition to Colwill, Barden and Stevens, the uncapped players in the squad for next week's friendly are Lewis Webb, Nathan Shepperd, Billy Sass-Davies, Ryan Astley, Edward Jones, Owen Beck, Christian Norton and Rhys Hughes.

"We're looking forward to getting them in and working with them at the highest international level they will have played so far," said Bodin.

"Anyone who's playing well for the clubs will catch our eye and we're more than happy to bring them in. It's quite an exciting looking squad."

As well as the new faces, there are also a number of players who represented Wales in their Uefa Euro 2021 qualifying campaign.

They include Swansea City defender Brandon Cooper and Plymouth Argyle striker Luke Jephcott, who is the League One club's top scorer this season with 18 goals in all competitions.

"He's done exceptionally well," Bodin said of Jephcott.

"The plethora of first-team attacking options [in Wales' senior squad] are probably just blocking him at the moment.

"But I'm sure if he continues to score goals and if he goes up to the Championship with Plymouth, or if he does get a move to the Championship, that will enhance his prospects.

"We're delighted to have one of the leading scorers in League One, which we've never really had, in the Under-21s, so I'm delighted he's with us.

"He's a level-headed lad and the manager has his feet on the ground. He knows there's still a bit more work to do with Luke and, if we can round a few more of the edges, then Plymouth will have an even better player.

"Predominantly the work is done at Plymouth and they've got a great manager there, Ryan Lowe, who's helping and guiding his progress."

Wales U21 squad in full

Lewis Webb (Swansea City), Daniel Barden (Norwich City), Nathan Shepperd (Brentford), Brandon Cooper (Swansea City), Billy Sass-Davies (Yeovil Town - on loan from Crewe Alexandra), Ryan Astley (Everton), Morgan Boyes (Liverpool), Edward Jones (Stoke City), Owen Beck (Liverpool), Fin Stevens (Brentford), Niall Huggins (Leeds United), Terry Taylor (Burton Albion), Lewis Collins (Newport County), Sam Bowen (Cardiff City), Sion Spence (Crystal Palace), Sam Pearson (Bristol City), Joe Adams (Grimsby Town - on loan from Brentford), Luke Jephcott (Plymouth Argyle), Christian Norton (Stoke City), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City), Rhys Hughes (Everton), Jack Vale (Rochdale - on loan from Blackburn Rovers), Ryan Stirk (Birmingham City).