WHAT'S it like to run out in front of a packed Principality for arguably the biggest rugby game of the year? Barry’s Mason Grady described the feeling after his debut against England in the Six Nations.

Grady, of the town’s Ysgol Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Sant Curig, and who used to play rugby for Barry and Penarth, described the feeling in a pre-match press conference ahead of Wales’ potential wooden-spoon decider against Italy on Saturday.

Grady said he wants more caps, after unexpectedly being selected for arguably Wales rugby’s biggest game, a Six Nations clash versus England.

“I did not expect to play (against England),” said Grady

“It was pretty surreal. Obviously disappointed with the result, but really proud to get my first cap. Unbelievable experience running out in front of 70,000 people and I want more.”

Grady said the step up from club rugby to international was noticeable, with the Cardiff Rugby midfielder coming up against the likes of Owen Farrell and Mario Itoje.

“There was a lot more pressure, less time on the ball, less time to make decisions,” said Grady. “It was very different to what you experience at club level.”

“But it was a dream come true. Wales versus England is probably one of the biggest games, especially for a Welshman. Experiencing that was just amazing and I want to experience that again.”

Grady continues Wales’ Six Nations campaign in midfield developing his exciting new partnership with Joe Hawkins, with Gatland selecting both in his starting 15 yesterday.

Barry And District News:

Old master teaching new? Grady and Dan Biggar

Gatland backs young players to learn in crunch Six Nations match versus Italy

Gatland announced his team for the Italy match at just before midday today.

He backed his young players to learn including Grady, Hawkins and Newport Dragons’ Rio Dyer.

“That’s definitely the thinking at the moment,” said Gatland in his press conference.

“We know we have to keep experience around those younger players. Sometimes young players have to make mistakes and they learn from playing at the highest level.”

Barry And District News:

Wales' coach Warren Gatland backs his young players 

Wales Team to face Italy

15. Liam Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 83 caps)

14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 47 caps)

13. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 1 cap)

12. Joe Hawkins (Ospreys – 4 caps)

11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 5 caps)

10. Owen Williams (Ospreys – 5 caps)

9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys – 38 caps)

1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 46 caps

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets – 89 caps) captain

3. Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 69 caps)

4. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 44 caps)

5. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 4 caps)

6. Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 8 caps)

7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys – 91 caps)

8. Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 98 caps)


16. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys – 36 caps)

17. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 18 caps)

18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 48 caps)

19. Rhys Davies (Ospreys – 1 cap)

20. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 7 caps)

21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 43 caps)

22. George North (Ospreys – 111 caps)

23. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 23 caps)

Italy vs Wales, Guinness Six Nations rnd 4, Saturday, March 11, KO 2.15pm