THORPE’S Tom Williams was picked to play for the Welsh Exiles – and played his part in a historic 8-5 victory.

The 16-year-old was chosen to represent the under-16 squad against hosts Llandovery College.

He earned his place after impressing in a trial before Christmas, at the Welsh Rugby Union Centre of Excellence training centre, in Cardiff.

And the Tendring Technology College student, who plays for Colchester Rugby Club, grabbed his opportunity with both hands, starting at full-back but playing the whole second period at fly-half. He played a key role in the all-important winning try, making an incisive break from his own half and beating two players to set up his supporting centre.

Williams plays for Colchester’s under-16s and also the Northampton Saints Academy and Eastern Counties Rugby Union.

The Welsh Exiles fixture, which was played with huge passion and commitment from both sides, is an annual event and Llandovery College are among the best-prepared and best-coached under-16s teams in Wales.

The hosts rarely lose on home soil and a number of the Llandovery squad will feature in the final Wales under-16s selections later in the season, together with regional age grade under-16 players from the Scarlets, Ospreys, Blues and Dragons.

It is hoped some of the featured Welsh Exiles players might also get a call-up to the full Welsh under-16 trials.

Welsh Rugby Union staff were well-represented at the fixture, as were representatives from the Welsh Pro 12 Regions, including former Wales national head coach Gareth Jenkins, now the recruitment manager from the Scarlets region.