Wayne Pivac will know that whatever allowances may have been made for Wales' poor performance in 2020 will not extend into this year’s Six Nations as he looks for improvement in all areas, but maintains his side are in a "good space". Wales won just three of their 10 Tests last year, with those successes coming against Italy [twice] and Georgia. It was a huge step backwards from the form of the previous two seasons under Warren Gatland, but a change to a more ball-in-hand style and injuries to key individuals have been a factor.
Tom Banton is one of the most exciting young cricketers on the planet but he insists a break from action at the end of last year has set him up for a huge 2021. Somerset and England batsman Banton was one of the headline acts retained by Welsh Fire for this summer’s The Hundred alongside his international team-mates Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope. The new tournament – delayed from last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic – is scheduled to be played this summer with Welsh Fire playing all their home games in Cardiff.
For over decade, Ashley Williams was the rock in front of the Red Wall. His announcement that at 36 he had opted to retire from playing was no surprise to Fraser Watson, but what is are those who still doubt his place in football history. For the bravest of warriors, it was the meekest of departures. After a career which yielded more than 700 club appearances and 86 international caps - the man whose name was built upon ferociously guarding the front door for both Swansea City and Wales, finished yesterday with him quietly slipping out the back.
Something will have to give at the Liberty Stadium tonight when the team with the most clean sheet in the Championship hosts the team with the least number of defeats. Last season, Swansea City were pipped by Brentford in the play-off semi-finals and they are both back among the leading candidates for promotion – Swansea in second place and the Bees two points back in fourth. Steve Cooper’s Swans will have their title credentials tested to the full over the next 10 days with both Brentford and league leaders Norwich City due to visit the Liberty Stadium. Then. they have got Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round.
Prop Javan Sebastian has signed a new contract with the Scarlets. The 26-year-old tight-head has featured in every Guinness PRO14 match this season and also came off the bench to make his mark in the Heineken Champions Cup victory over Bath in December. Having come through the Scarlets academy system, Sebastian was capped by Wales at U18s level and has played for Carmarthen Quins in the Welsh Premiership.
Cardiff City captain Sean Morrison says new manager Mick McCarthy can provide the lift the team needs after a season of under-achievement so far. The Bluebirds skipper has been impressed by McCarthy and his assistant Terry Connor since they joined the club last week.
Mick McCarthy is relishing the prospect of taking charge of his first game as Cardiff City manager against his home town club Barnsley on Wednesday night. But after being impressed with the response of his players since succeeding Neil Harris, McCarthy knows the tri to Oakwell represents the real thing.
Former Wales and Swansea captain Ashley Williams has announced his retirement from football. The 36-year-old defender confirmed the news that his career, which saw him play across all levels of English football, has now come to an end. Williams made 86 international appearances which included captaining Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 where they were beaten by the eventual winners of the competition, Portugal.
There may still be uncertainty over the Tokyo Olympics, but Welsh hopefuls are having to keep fingers crossed and compete for qualification where and when events allow. For Welsh table tennis No.1 Charlotte Carey that means heading to Portugal next month and a chance to ruffle some feathers, as she tells Graham Thomas. If Charlotte Carey can show the same determination in the Olympic qualifiers that she has demonstrated in flying around Europe in recent months, then higher ranked players could be in for a shock. The Welsh table tennis No.1 is preparing to try and earn a slot in Tokyo as part of the four-strong Great Britain squad competing at the qualification event in February.
Wales Under-20s head coach Gareth Williams has admitted his genuine concern the country’s next generation of promising talent could be lost forever due to the devastating impact of Covid-19. Williams’ side did complete their junior Six Nations campaign last year, but last summer’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy was abandoned. The 2021 Under-20 Six Nations has also been postponed until later this year because of the pandemic with a date for the tournament still yet to be decided.
Whether it be an ugly scrap or the “Swansea way” – club captain Matt Grimes doesn’t care right now. He’s just happy to keep on winning. Grimes scored twice in a game for the first time in his career, the first a stunning 25-yard strike before later converting from the penalty... Read More
Steve Cooper Insists Swansea City's FA Cup Run Is No Distraction . . . And Pays Big Tribute To New Boy Conor Hourihane
Steve Cooper insisted the FA Cup was “not a distraction” as his Swansea side sailed into the fifth round at the expense of Nottingham Forest. Much had been made of the Swans failing to score more than twice in a game this season, a statistic they emphatically banished with a comprehensive... Read More
Jordan Morris has revealed the influence of German legend Jurgen Klinsmann on the road that has taken him to the Championship with Swansea City. The American international – who has joined the Swans on loan from Seattle Sounders – was capped by Klinsmann when Morris was still a college student... Read More
Why It's Time To Get Real About The Fading Force Of Gareth Bale . . . For Wales As Well As Tottenham
The delayed European Championship finals start in 141 days and in 142 Wales play Switzerland. Not long, then, for Gareth Bale to get into some kind of form at Tottenham. Except, argues Fraser Watson, maybe it’s not long enough. Maybe, the whole nation needs to be realistic about the likely... Read More
Michael Flynn has told his Newport County players to forget their heartbreaking FA Cup exit – and concentrate on “26 Cup finals” that lay ahead of them. The County manager was proud of his team’s battling performance against Premier League Brighton that lasted for two hours before the sides were... Read More
Padraig Amond can enter the Irish record books ths evening, but in many ways he already knows this has been the most productive season of his life. Amond will be in the Newport County side that host Premier League Brighton at Rodney Parade in the third round of the FA... Read More