Franco to become youngest North Walian for Wales NC


North Walian youngster Romano Franco will make his National Counties debut for Wales this weekend as they conclude their 50 over trophy campaign away at Hertfordshire. The 17 year old left arm spinner has undergone a rapid rise in the last 12 months where, as recently as last season, he was keeping wicket regularly at club level. Fast forward to now and the Northop youngster has a place on the Glamorgan Academy, has made his Glamorgan 2nd XI debut and is likely to become one of the youngest ever players from the region to play National Counties cricket – all without the gloves!

The archives have most certainly been utilised this week with notable names from North Wales such as David Lloyd (debut 2010 aged 18), Dewi Penrhyn Jones (debut 2012 aged 18), Will Owen (debut 2007 aged 18) and Josh Andrady (debut 2019 aged 18) all being older than Franco as potentially the youngest in history. He also becomes the sixth North Walian to represent the senior national side in the last three years following in the footsteps of Jason Foulkes, Will Ryan and Harrison Jones.

CAPTION: Romano Franco looks set to become the youngest North Walian to represent Wales NC in recent history. 

His inclusion comes at the expense of new wrist spinning recruit Alex Russell who is expected to be in the matchday squad and potentially feature for Northamptonshire who visit Sophia Gardens and Glamorgan in the County Championship on Sunday. Wales and visitors Cheshire were left disappointed last weekend at Panteg as a heavy overnight deluge of rain curtailed any prospects of play despite the favourable conditions on the day. Having already sustained losses to Wiltshire and Dorset, the washout confirmed Wales’ exit from the competition at the group stage with a game to spare. Having had quiet hopes of reaching a knockout spot Wales will be disappointed at the campaign but Sunday represents a chance to put some building blocks in place for the 2025 one day trophy as well as kickstart some momentum into the business part of the season with the three day championship and showcase fixture against Worcestershire to come.

In terms of team news for the trip to Hitchin, there is a return to the fold for Callum Nicholls at the top of the order who missed the early part of the season with a shoulder injury. Youngster Tom Norton – who was due to make a debut at Panteg – misses out through workload management given his involvement in back to back Glamorgan 2nd XI championship games whilst Ben Morris returns at the expense of Adam Sylvester.

Hertfordshire’s team news is still to be confirmed but there will be a familiar face in their ranks in the form of former Glamorgan and Wales NC player Callum Taylor. The batting all rounder had four years on the professional staff in Cardiff before being released last year.

Play from Hitchin commences from 11ma with admission free and live streaming to be expected.

Wales NC from: HLR Friend (Newport), CR Nicholls (St Fagans), SH Roberts (Swansea), HE Hurle (Cardiff), BL Wadlan (Swansea), CL Herring*+ (Pontarddulais), MC Ayres (Bedminster), TH Moses (Cowbridge), A Hameed (Swansea), BJ Morris (Pontarddulais), RCM Franco (Northop).

CAPTION: Ben Morris returns to the XI this week after missing last week's washout against Cheshire.


Wales NC North take on The RAF this coming Tuesday at Shifnal in a 50 over white ball contest. Head Coach Chris Stead has named a twelve man squad which sees St Asaph's Will Ryan lead a strong side. Alongside the skipper, Harrison Jones (Denbigh) and Matt Ryan (St Aspah) have National Counties experience to their name whilst Owen Davies (Mochdre) attended the pre-season camp to La Manga. Notable names also include the North's U19 captain Will Norman with the Colwyn Bay duo of Luke Russell and Jack Parry set to feature. 

Play commences from 11am with the full side being: Nat Scott (St Asaph), Matt Ryan (St Asaph), Will Ryan* (St Asaph), Harrison Jones (Denbigh), Will Norman (St Asaph), Luke Russell (Colwyn Bay), Matthew Thompson (Gresford), Jack Parry (Colwyn Bay), Joe Norman (Brymbo), Jack Rimmington (Llandudno), Joe Lewis (Denbigh), Owen Davies (Mochdre). 


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