The TV contract for the Guinness Pro14 looks likely to change hands again next year after current right holders Premier Sports cancelled their existing deal with production company Sunset+Vine. With the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic hitting organisations on and off the field, subscription service Premier Sports has opted to take its production of the tournament in-house. That suggests they will struggle to hold onto the TV rights when their three-year deal ends with a number of other broadcasters including Sky Sports, S4C, ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC considering their options for when the sport returns and the bidding begins.
Dafydd James has revealed he was offered a contract to play for Pontypridd in the Welsh Premiership two years ago at the age of 43. The former Wales and Lions star had just played in a testimonial game for Ponty stalwart Dafydd Lockyer and had been named man-of-the-match, playing for a Lockyer Select XV against the Sardis Road current first team XV. James – who also figures in the World Rugby Classic from Bermuda to be shown on S4C on Monday night – was forced to retire from full-time professional rugby in 2009 because of a neck injury.
Steve Cooper insists “heart and soul” will decide the Championship play-off race involving his Swansea City side and rivals Cardiff. The Swans head coach was left defeated but not demoralised by his club’s 1-0 home defeat to Leeds United on Sunday – a contest settled by former Swan Pablo Hernandez’s last-gasp winner. Cooper admitted it was a missed opportunity – his team would have gone above Cardiff and into sixth place had they held on for the draw – but thinks the outcome will not be settled by ability alone or the fact they only have a few days’ rest before facing Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.
This should have been the month Melissa Courtney-Bryant was competing at her first Olympic Games in Tokyo. Instead, she has had to test her resilience and ingenuity as she looks ahead to the re-scheduled Games in 12 months’ time as she told Jenny Nesbitt. The past four months have been challenging for us all, but what has it been like for elite athletes? For Melissa Courtney-Bryant, everything was seemingly going to plan. As January rolled into February, the Welsh middle distance runner returned from a stint at high altitude training in the running mecca of Iten, Kenya.
When Jesse Patton of Ystalyfera RFC became the latest Welsh rugby player to be banned for steroid use it helped give Wales an unwanted victory over England. There have now been more positive drugs cases in Wales (registered players – 83,000) in the last seven years, than in England (registered players 382,000) as Paul Jones reports. Welsh rugby was back in the dock last week after bans on three more players found guilty of drug taking were announced by UK Anti-Doping. It took the number of players currently serving UKAD bans in Wales to eight. That compares to 13 in England, one in Scotland, eight in Rugby League and six in UK Athletics.
Conor Gallagher wants to show Frank Lampard he’s ready to be Chelsea’s next cab off the rank by steering Swansea City towards the Premier League. The 20-year-old – on loan at the Liberty Stadium from Stamford Bridge - has been in impressive form lately as the Swans have moved to the cusp of the play-off spots. A point or more at home to Leeds United today would be enough to nudge the club into sixth place, above Cardiff City, and will be another opportunity for Gallagher to show Chelsea manager Lampard that he is ready for the Premier League – either for his parent club or for another 12 months in Wales.
The latest stage of the Football Association of Wales’ pyramid restructure was met with mixed reaction after the new third tier was officially unveiled. A statement released by the FAW confirmed the alignment of the still yet-to-be-named league that will serve as a feeder league to the Cymru North and Cymru South and will sit above the new Tier 4 regional leagues. A total of 64 teams were selected from a hopeful pool of 75 clubs, who satisfied Tier 3 requirements. Among those to miss out completely are former Welsh League champions Aberdare Town, who must now compete in Tier 4, despite earning a certificate.
Cardiff Devils have confirmed a fifth player signing for the 2020-21 Elite League ice hockey season. Defenceman Sam Jardine, a former Toronto Marlies player, returns for his second season as a Devil after putting up six goals and 14 assists for 20 points in 63 games last season. He led the Devils and finished second in the entire Elite League in plus/minus with a +24 rating.
With cricket finally back – and the West Indies playing England in the first Test of the summer in Southampton – it seems a good time to remember Ammanford’s Caribbean king, Linton Lewis. Owen Morgan tells the tale of one of Welsh cricket’s most remarkable success stories. The names trip easily off the tongue. They are pronounced as if spoken by someone born and bred in the area. Myddynfych . . . Pantyffynnon . . . Tirydail. They are place names that would not come naturally to anyone unfamiliar with the Carmarthenshire town of Ammanford.
The Dragons have turned themselves around in recent months in a way that few saw coming, not least the other three Welsh regions who used to regard beating them as something to take for granted. Not any more. Robin Davey looks at the transformation at Rodney Parade. Two wins and... Read More
With former footballer Aaron Wainwright and ex-basketball regular Tomos Williams excelling for Wales at the Rugby World Cup, multi-skilling is all the rage. Owen Morgan speaks to Welsh Athletics’ Fyn Corcoran about the benefits of being Jack or Jill of all trades. Fyn Corcoran wants to give Welsh children the... Read More
Robin McBryde believes the future is bright for Welsh rugby as a new era dawns. As Wales return home, having ended their World Cup campaign in Japan with a 40-17 defeat in the bronze medal match against New Zealand, forwards coach McBryde believes there should be a sense of optimism... Read More
Wales back row forward Aaron Wainwright has been one of the success stories of the World Cup. But had Newport County got their man five years ago, then, as Graham Thomas reports, it would been a whole new ball game. If Aaron Wainwright had taken a different path at 17, then... Read More
Warren Gatland has pinpointed David Pocock as the man Wales must stop if they are to beat Australia in Sunday’s World Cup clash in Tokyo. The Wales coach – who has named an unchanged side to face the Wallabies – knows the damage Pocock can do at the breakdown and... Read More
Aaron Wainwright has made a big impact for Wales in recent months, but it has come as little surprise to those in the know at Cardiff Met. The Dragons player – who celebrates his 22nd birthday today – was on a familiar path to success as Kasey Rees discovered. As... Read More