By the time the vaccines are all handed out, it could be October of this year and that may mean one of the first non-restricted tournaments is the Rugby League World Cup. With that in mind, Harri Morgan has been getting in the mood by re-watching Wales v Western Samoa back in 1995 – a classic that remains vivid for anyone who was there. In theory, the line-up of sporting events scheduled for 2021 is an absolute belter. The columns and comments should be fizzing with discussion of which players should make Warren Gatland’s Lions squad, whether Wales can repeat their 2016 heroics in the European Championship finals, and, of course, who will be the dominant force in Skateboarding’s Olympic debut.
L E M F R E C K – otherwise known as Lemarl Freckleton - has a dream of sprinting for Wales at the Commonwealth Games. That is, when he’s not dreaming of more fame in the world of rap, or appearing on Glastonbury main stage, or a revival of his tennis career. Wales’ coolest athlete tells all to Owen Morgan. Radio One airtime and a 100m performance which convinced him a Commonwealth Games place is achievable . . . 2020 wasn’t so bad for Lemarl Freckleton. While most of us were glad to see the back of last year, the Newport sprinter and musician can look back at the past 12 months as something of a breakthrough year.
The Scarlets host Cardiff Blues on Friday night in a repeat of their showdown of a fortnight ago. That game ended with victory for the Blues and proved a spicy one with Liam Williams receiving a red card. The Blues’ former Scarlet Josh Turnbull reckons part two could be just as eventful, as he told Graham Thomas. Josh Turnbull admits there will be hunger on both sides when the Scarlets host Cardiff Blues on Friday night – but insists no-one will be looking to take a bite out of sidelined Liam Williams. The two regions sit down for second helpings just two weeks after tucking into each in a bruising, pulsating battle at the Cardiff City Stadium where Wales full-back Williams was sent off, before the Blues claimed a 29-20 victory.
Laura Daniels was crowned World Indoor Bowls Champion for the second time after a thrilling victory in Norfolk. The 35-year-old accountant from Neath beat local bowler Katherine Rednall to win the women's singles title.
Neil Harris was sacked as Cardiff City manager this afternoon after owner Vincent Tan claimed the horror run of six straight defeats had left him with “no choice”. The Malaysian tycoon ended Harris’s 14-month spell in charge with the final straw being Wednesday night’s 1-0 home defeat by QPR. Harris guided Cardiff to last season’s Championship play-offs but his team have woefully underachieved so far this term and are 15th in the second tier.
Elfyn Evans made a promising start as he launched his World Rally Championship campaign on the Monte Carlo rally. Just six weeks after suffering title heartache on Rally Monza, the Dolgellau ace was lying third after the opening day in the French Alps.
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 impact of the frustrated captain. It was the morning after the night before, and Gareth Bale was getting positive headlines. The minnows of Marine had succumbed to the might of Spurs – despite the inevitable lopsided scoreline being somewhat tempered by a resilient second-half display from the Northern Premier League side.
Glenn Delaney believes his 14-man Scarlets side have learnt well from their defeat to the Cardiff Blues earlier in the month – and can now extract their revenge. The regions met at the start of January at the Cardiff City Stadium, with the capital region running out 29-20 winners. The big talking point was Liam Williams’ red card in the first half after a head-on-head clash with his Wales teammate, the Blues’ Shane Lewis-Hughes.
Gutted Neil Harris admitted "the pressure is on" as he battles to save his job as Cardiff City manager. The Bluebirds boss saw his side crash to a sixth straight defeat - and seventh in the last eight games - as they lost 1-0 at home to QPR.
Wayne Pivac is trying to convince English clubs to allow their Welsh international players to stay in his Six Nations camp for the whole tournament. There are six players – Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar, Callum Sheedy and Louis Ress-Zammit - in Wales’ 36-man squad who are based over the border. Rather than allow them to return to their English clubs during the break weekends in the tournament, Pivac wants the half dozen released for the entirety of the Six Nations, to protect the Wales squad amid continued coronavirus concerns.
The Welsh regions have started January with a sense of adventure, says Harri Morgan. But this new year resolution has to extend beyond the month and stretch towards the seasons ahead if the game is going to re-connect with its audience. Jumping on a sporting bandwagon - for which you... Read More
Jamie Roberts has warned his Dragons side and the rest of the Guinness PRO14 they must be ready for a significant step up in quality when the division officially expands further into South Africa. This season – which has been hit hard by Covid-19 – has taken place without the... Read More
The Welsh Rugby Union and the country’s four professional sides have met for detailed crisis talks to discuss their potential liabilities for concussion-related damages. Former Dragons and Wales Under-20 centre Adam Hughes is one of six new players who have given their backing to supporting legal action against World Rugby, the... Read More
The Welsh regions believe they require a £40m injection of cash to keep them from collapsing during the current pandemic. That figure is double the amount the four have so far been promised in the form of a loan, secured by the Welsh Rugby Union but for which the regions... Read More
As 2020 draws to a close and the coaching record of Wayne Pivac comes under scrutiny, Peter Jackson examines what’s happened to the Welsh coach – a once thriving breed that now appears an endangered species. There used to be a time when Wales led the world in pioneering coaches, when... Read More
Roll Up! Roll Up! The Shaky Old Sideshow That Is The Pro14 Is About To Begin . . . And It Needs All The Help It Can Get
It’s been through many guises – the Welsh-Scottish League, the Celtic League, the Pro12 and now the Pro14 – but the coming season is surely the most testing yet for the tournament which houses the four Welsh regions. For Alex Bywater, it’s a league that needs help and yet it... Read More