SNOOKER siblings Liam and Ryan Davies will have each other for company when Wales take on the Republic of Ireland in this month’s Celtic Challenge.

Seven-year-old Ryan makes his Wales debut under the captaincy of older brother Liam, 11, at Terry Griffiths’ Matchroom Snooker Club in Llanelli on Saturday, June 30.

The duo, from Tredegar, line up alongside Oliver Briffett-Payne, Riley Powell, Ben Massey and Oliver Phillips for the under-14 encounter with the Irish – there is also an under-16 match on the same day.

Liam, the reigning Welsh under-14 champion, was involved in last year’s clash when Ireland got the better of Wales in Carlow, coming out on top by a points score of 106-90.

For the brothers and parents Leyton and Clair, who own Scala Snooker Club in Merthyr Tydfil, snooker "has become a way of life", with endless miles clocked up travelling to tournaments.

Explaining how both boys took up the sport, their dad said: “We were in the house watching the snooker on television and Liam decided he wanted to have a go.

"He was six at the time.

“I took him to Mark Williams’ club in Tredegar and Darren Jones, who used to play for Wales, was working behind the bar there.

“He put me in touch with Lee Walker (professional player and coach) and Liam has gone from strength to strength since that day – he has got a bright future.

“Liam qualified to play for Wales when he was eight and since then has been Wales under-14 number one and Welsh champion for the last few years.

“Liam played in the under-18 world championships in Belgium last year and qualified to play in China this year but is going to play in the under-16 worlds in Russia in October.

“People can’t get over how good he is for an 11-year-old and some who have seen Liam play say he’s going to be a world champion.”

He added: “Ryan never showed any interest in snooker or pool, he just wanted to play on the streets with his friends.

“We travel a lot with Liam and so snooker became a part of Ryan’s life and this year he decided to have a go and see what happens.

“He won the plate event at the Welsh under-14s and so got enough ranking points to make the Wales team for the Celtic Challenge.

“They can’t wait to play together in Llanelli.

"They were both measured for their Wales waistcoats a few weeks ago and Liam has been made captain of the team."

Liam, who attends Tredegar Comprehensive School and Ryan, a pupil at Glanhowy Primary School, practice every day.

“Ryan’s best break is 29 and Liam’s is 140 which he made at our club not long ago,” said Leyton.

“I’d probably say Ryan is more of an attacking player but Liam is more of a Mark Selby, he’s got a good all-round game.

“Both practice together at the club after school for three or four hours.

“Liam would be there 24/7 if he could and Ryan is just enjoying what he’s doing.

“Snooker has become a way of life for the family.”