Welsh Netball has put its money where its mouth is by re-recruiting the highly rated Aussie coach Julie Hoornweg to guide the national side through to the 2020 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Wales will not be represented at next year’s World Cup in Liverpool, and have slipped down to 11th in the world rankings following their 11th place finish at the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast in April. Hoornweg, a former England head coach, was brought in to steer both the Celtic Dragons through their Super League campaign and then Wales into the Gold Coast following the resignation of Trish Wilcox in the wake of the failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Swansea City manager Graham Potter believes there is plenty more to come from Matt Grimes after the midfielder agreed a new four-year deal. Grimes’ current contract was up at the end of the season and although the 23-year-old has taken a while to make an impact after leaving Exeter three-and-a-half years ago, this has been something of a breakthrough campaign. With the club back in the Championship and a number of rival midfielders having left the Liberty Stadium, Grimes has made 15 appearances so far this season – more than twice as many as he made in his first 18 months at the club before going out on various loans.
Bridgend legend Gareth Williams will be remembered in a special match at the Brewery Field on Friday night. The former Wales and British & Irish Lions forward died in May this year after a long, brave battle against the debilitating disease, Multiple System Atrophy. He was only 63. But while ‘Sam’, as he was known throughout the rugby playing world, may no longer be with us, his legacy lives on through his children, who have set an ambitious £100,000 target to raise money to help others who find themselves in the same position as their beloved father.
Wales have been made favourites to beat Australia on Saturday, even though it’s now a decade since they last did so. Robin Davey believes the facts back that up, but for history to change tack he wants some help from the elements. Wales don't get to beat Australia - or do they? For on Saturday, they will surely never have a better chance of ending their dismal against their southern hemisphere rivals.
Sarah Jones will become the second Welsh Women’s Hockey international to make her Great Britain debut this year when she plays at the FIH Women’s Champions Trophy in China. Jones, who has won 91 Welsh caps, was named as part of an 18-strong squad to head to China to face the host national, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan and Argentina.
Ben Blood has quit Cardiff Devils after just four months to join Finnish outfit Tappara. The 6ft 4in American defenceman only joined in July but had quickly established himself on and off the ice in Cardiff.
Peter Creed came from a game down to help the Welsh Wizards secure maximum points against Chichester and consolidate their third spot in the Premier Squash League. At a packed Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff on Tuesday night, Creed battled back from dropping his opening game to overcome giant Egyptian Omar Abdel Meguid, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6. The victory over 6ft 4in Meguid ensured a Wizards’ 5-0 whitewash and means the Welsh team stay in third spot in the Southern Division, behind Luxfords St.George’s Hill of Surrey and London’s Tradition RAC.
Wales are playing Australia on Saturday, on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, with added significance this year of the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War. Rob Cole reveals the link between Welsh rugby and the origins of the commemorations. When you stand for the two minute silence to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of ‘the war to end all wars’, World War 1, at 11.00am on Armistice Day on Sunday, bear in mind that there is a strong Welsh rugby link to the tribute to the fallen heroes of so many global conflicts. The idea for the silent vigil was suggested to King George V by universally acclaimed South African writer, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick.