Wales will weather the physical and meteorological storms predicted in their opening Rugby World Cup Pool D clash against Georgia at the City of Toyota Stadium on Monday, according to assistant coach Shaun Edwards. The build-up to the World Cup has been far from plain sailing, with three defeats in their last four tests and the off-field furore that saw attack coach Rob Howley return home from Japan for an alleged breach of rugby’s betting rules. But Edwards says that despite this, and the predictions of wind and rain for the match, they are confident of an opening victory.
Swansea City manager Steve Cooper accused referee Tony Harrington of being influenced by the Bristol City bench in his decision to send off Jake Bidwell. The Swans boss was angered by the decision to dismiss Bidwell who was given a straight red card during the late stages of Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Ashton Gate. Harrington consulted an assistant before showing a red card to the full-back for a late challenge that prevented Robins substitute Niclas Eliasson from breaking away on the right.
The World Cup may be underway, and the regions are preparing for their own campaign, but grassroots club rugby somehow has to keep its voice heard, too. Kasey Rees went to Sardis Road to hear how Pontypridd and Carmarthen Quins are doing just that in the new Indigo Welsh Premiership. With all eyes on Rugby World Cup in Japan and the Pro 14 season around the corner, how does Premiership rugby compete for attention from fans? On Saturday evening in front of hundreds of fans at Sardis Road, Pontypridd beat Carmarthen Quins in a thrilling encounter.
Neil Warnock has urged Gavin Whyte to be more streetwise if he wants to make the most of his growing impact at Cardiff City. The Bluebirds manager was full of praise for the 23-year-old Northern Irishman after the part he played in Cardiff’s 1-0 victory at home to Middlesbrough. Whyte was a constant threat to Boro as Warnock’s side made it five Championship matches unbeaten thanks to an early own goal by Ashley Fletcher.
Aaron Wainwright has been backed to counter the power of the Georgia pack when he makes his World Cup bow on Monday. After naming the 21-year-old Dragons flanker in his back row to start the tournament, for the Pool D match at the City of Toyota Stadium on Monday, coach Warren Gatland gave Wainwright a glowing report on his progress so far. “He’s incredibly athletic and an intelligent rugby player,” said Gatland about the forward who was playing student rugby for Cardiff Met just a couple of years ago.
Matt Grimes has insisted Swansea City will not allow a stumble to become a fall when they visit Bristol City tomorrow. The Swans skipper believes his side will recover quickly from their first defeat of the season – one which cost them their place at the top of the Championship table. Last week’s 1-0 reverse against Nottingham Forest at the Liberty Stadium was not a result many saw coming after the team had taken 16 points from six games, but Grimes insists it was a rare one-off and his side will prove as much at Ashton Gate, even though the home side are only two points and two places behind the Swans.
The dress rehearsals ahead of the World Cup are primed and Robin Davey says a Wales squad with 14 wins behind them should want to keep the habit - even if it means some chopping and changing. It’s World Cup warm-up time and though the matches may be friendlies before... Read More
With another Grand Slam delivered, Warren Gatland now has his sights firmly on the World Cup in September. The build-up should have player welfare and team preparation at its heart. Instead, Robin Davey fears it’s mainly about the money. Grand Slam fever abounds in Wales and rightly so. The team's unforgettable... Read More