Wales fans are hoping for success at the re-scheduled European Championships later this year, but before then there is another head-to-head. FIFA has an empty seat at the table and there’s a Welsh woman with a formidable background who wants to claim it as a step towards change as Graham Thomas reports. Welsh football may be weighed down with uncertainty at present, but one opportunity close to hand is a chance to get a place around the most powerful table in the sport. Laura McAllister – a former Wales international as well as ex-chair of Sport Wales – is standing for election to the FIFA council and intends to use that platform to further transform the women’s game in both Wales and around the world.
Neil Harris has backed the PFA to stand by Sol Bamba – just as he insists they stood squarely behind him as he overcame cancer. The Cardiff City manager recovered from testicular cancer, diagnosed when he was just 23, and went on to enjoy a hugely successful playing career before becoming a boss. In a cruel repetition, Bluebirds defender Bamba, 36, is now undergoing chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but Harris believes the much-criticised players’ union can offer the same support and backing he was given 20 years ago.
In 2014, Will Taylor started for Wasps in front of 82,000 people against Harlequins at Twickenham. Three years later he was selling vegetables on the streets of London and collecting empty glasses in his friend's nightclub. They say life’s a rollercoaster but the 29-year-old from Swansea wouldn’t have expected there to be quite as many sharp turns.
The Welsh Rugby Union will receive financial support from Welsh government funding, which is set to be confirmed this week. After a devastating year dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the WRU’s bank balance has been decimated. It's estimated each Wales home match brings in about £10million and the WRU believe they have lost more than £50m due to Covid-19.
Steve Cooper paid tribute to the consistency shown by Swansea City as they tightened their grip on second place in the Championship with a hugely impressive 2-0 victory at Barnsley. Ben Cabango and Jamal Lowe struck in either half at Oakwell as Cooper's side made it six games unbeaten in all competitions.
Neil Harris has insisted questions over his own future as Cardiff City manager are “pointless” despite a fifth successive defeat. The Bluebirds boss was defiant after saying he was proud of his team’s performance in their 2-1 home defeat to Championship leaders Norwich City. Cardiff were thoroughly outplayed by a slick Canaries team who were 2-0 ahead at the break, despite missing five players, including top scorer Teemu Pukki – four of them due to Covid-19.
Newport County boss Mike Flynn said he feared for football after seeing Wales midfielder Josh Sheehan red-carded in the 0-0 draw with Salford City. The Exiles boss was unhappy with the performance of referee Anthony Backhouse saying his side were also denied a penalty at Rodney Parade.
Wales and other rival nations to France for this season’s Six Nations should prepare for the tournament and expect that it will definitely go ahead. The message has come from French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte who says this season’s Guinness Six Nations Championship “will take place”. The World Rugby vice-chairman also says there will be an expanded coronavirus testing programme for the tournament, while each country will have “a Covid manager”.
New Swansea City signing Ben Hamer was allowed to leave Huddersfield in order for young goalkeeper Ryan Schofield to gain a contract, according to the Yorkshire club. Hamer has joined the Swans on an 18-month deal for an undisclosed fee and will provide back-up to Freddie Woodman for the promotion-chasers following a long-term injury to Steven Benda. Hamer, 33, had been first choice at Huddersfield at the start of the season, but lost his place to 21-year-old Schofield in November and the Tykes have suggested the older man was unlikely to win it back.
Cardiff Blue Dragons have given Wheelchair Rugby League in Wales a huge boost by launching a team to add to their ever-expanding player base in the capital. Players are now being recruited by the club during lockdown in readiness for training to start later in the year.
The Dragons start their Guinness Pro 14 campaign in Dublin tonight at the home of champions, Leinster. Pulling the strings for the region will be Sam Davies, who has at least one former Wales star backing him for a significant breakthrough this season, as he tells Graham Thomas. Sam Davies... Read More
Seven years ago this summer, Wales had the player voted the best youngster in the world in 2013. Sam Davies almost made it a double triumph at the world’s summit that year – but it wasn’t quite to be, as he tells Graham Thomas. Sam Davies admits he cried tears... Read More
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
Wayne Pivac is mulling over selection for his first game as Wales coach, against the Barbarians at the end of the month. The World Cup wounded might dampen the optimism of some, but not Robin Davey, who sees a silver lining around dark clouds. Go for it - that has... Read More
Sam Davies has revealed he might have become Welsh rugby’s forgotten man had he turned his back on regional rugby. The fly-half has moved from the Liberty Stadium and the Ospreys to join the Dragons, with the intention of jogging the memory of those who have forgotten he is already... Read More
New Dragons chief Dean Ryan insists Sam Davies will bring the X-Factor to the region next season. The Wales international fly-half has signed a two-year contract to join the Dragons from the Ospreys in a statement signing for the Gwent region. Davies – who has won eight caps for his... Read More