Wayne Pivac has admitted it took him three years to change the Scarlets, but he insists transformation will comes quicker with Wales – and could go into overdrive against England on Saturday. The Wales coach has picked a youthful looking and adventurous team, his hand forced in part because of injuries that have robbed him of Liam Williams, Justin Tipuric, Jonathan Davies, Josh Navidi and Ross Moriarty, plus the struggles for form of George North. But in picking James Botham, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Louis Rees-Zammit and Johnny Williams to start, Pivac is also underlining that the old days of Warren Gatland have gone.
Five years after his professional rugby career was cruelly cut short at the age of 18, Harrison Walsh is back in full time sport as a discus thrower. The former Ospreys product is one of nine Welsh athletes named on British Athletics’ Olympic and Paralympic World Class Programme (WCP).
Steve Cooper declined to divulge the roots of his unhappiness with referee Andy Woolmer for fear of getting fined – but he may already have said enough to alert the interest of the FA. The Swansea City manager gave an honest appraisal of the abilities of Woolmer after his side were held 1-1 at home by Sheffield Wednesday. Cooper went as far as revealing that his concern over the official’s appointment for the match had extended to contacting the FA before the game to voice his disapproval of the Northamptonshire referee.
Neil Harris said it was time for change at Cardiff City - but will it be him? The Bluebirds boss had insisted before the game that he did not fear for his job.
Welsh marksman Ben Llewellin will have a quartet of Olympic Skeet titles to shoot for early next year. The 26-year-old has been named in the British Shooting team for three World Cup meeting and the ISSF Championship Grand Prix in Rabat.
Joel Makin will fly to Egypt next month, home of five of the world’s top six male squash players, to compete in the Black Ball Open. It will be the final tournament of what has been a peculiar but breakthrough year for Makin, Wales’ No.1, as he told Graham Thomas. Joel Makin insists his answer to how he has broken into the world’s top 10 squash players is “rather boring”. “Basically, it’s just been hard work,” he says. “It sounds rather boring, but it’s as simple as that.
Former Dragons boss Bernard Jackman has urged the WRU to follow the IRFU’s lead by pumping more money into the four Welsh regions or see them slip further into the abyss. Three of the four professional sides in Wales are privately owned with the WRU normally providing them with payment for the services of their players.
Welsh football fans could return – in small numbers – for the clash between Cardiff City and Swansea City on December 12. There have been no fans in stadia in Wales since March, but the picture could now change in time for the Welsh derby when Neil Harris’s Bluebirds host Steve Cooper’s Swansea City side next month. Meetings are scheduled between the Welsh Government and the football clubs for the early part of next week to discuss opening up football and rugby stadia in Wales on the back of Boris Johnson’s announcement that fans can return in England.
Ray Prosser, who died earlier this week at the age of 93, was more than just a player and a coach. As Peter Jackson recalls, he was a philosopher, educator and sociologist, when he wasn’t driving a bulldozer for a living. Monday, January 20, 1975 – training night at Pontypool RFC in readiness for the next match: home to Glamorgan Wanderers on Saturday. Graham Price rolls up along with everyone else, unmoved at the praise showering over him since the climactic end to his Test debut in Paris a little more than 48 hours earlier.
Jonny May might be among the fastest wingers in the world, but he will have to get his skates on to keep up with Gloucester rookie Louis Rees-Zammit when he returns to Kingsholm later this year. Rees-Zammit has been picking up tips on wing play from the likes of George... Read More
Hadleigh Parkes and Owen Williams are poised to leave Welsh rugby – a move that will bring down the curtain on their respective Wales careers. The pair are heading for lucrative moves to Japan after attempts to keep Parkes at the Scarlets and lure Williams from Gloucester to a Welsh... Read More
Alix Popham has sent out an emotional plea to Welsh rugby fans to tune in to the funeral of his former Newport, Dragons and Wales team mate Matthew J Watkins today. Watkins lost his brave battle to a rare form of pelvic cancer on March 7 at the age of... Read More
Wales’ campaign in the Women’s Six Nations championship was disrupted when their final match against Scotland was postponed due the coronavirus outbreak. It means frustration for Wales and for their busy prop Cerys Hale who has juggled work and four international matches throughout the tournament as she tells Graham Thomas.... Read More
Louis Rees-Zammit can still be proud of his breakthrough season – even if his Six Nations hopes with Wales are undermined through injury. The 18-year-old - who broke into Wayne Pivac’s squad for the Six Nations last week – has been applauded by his Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann at their... Read More
Louis Rees-Zammit has broken into another team – in the same week he is expected to be included in the Wales squad for the 2020 Six Nations. The teenage Gloucester wing – who signed a long-term contract with the English club on Monday and is the current Premiership player of... Read More