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.
By Paul Jones Wales have postponed Wednesday’s squad announcement for this month’s three internationals amid a report that manager Ryan Giggs had been arrested. The Sun reported that the ex-Manchester United player, 46, had been questioned then released pending inquiries by police on suspicion of actual bodily harm and assault. It was alleged... Read More
Ryan Giggs admits he was playing the long game when he agreed with Tottenham that Gareth Bale should be left out of the Wales squad. The Wales manager will be without his captain, talisman and match-winner for the England friendly on October 8 and the following Nations League games away... Read More
English rugby has always provided Wales with international players over the years, but few coaches have proved as willing to tap into the neighbour’s resources as Wayne Pivac. Good thing, too, argues Robin Davey, who says the new Wales chief deserves applause for his daring approach. Wayne Pivac clearly doesn't... Read More
Wales Coach Wayne Pivac Goes To England, Finds Four Uncapped Welshmen . . . And Gets Ready For Six Nations
Teenage wing Louis Rees-Zammit and Saracens centre Nick Tompkins have both been named in Wales’ Guinness Six Nations squad. They are joined by three more uncapped players in Sale Sharks prop WillGriff John, Wasps lock Will Rowlands and Scarlets wing Johnny McNicholl, and there is also a recall for scrum-half... Read More
Saracens chief Mark McCall expects Wales to conduct a cross border raid by including his centre Nick Tompkins in their Six Nations squad. McCall has revealed that Wales coach Wayne Pivac has been alerted to Tompkins’ availability and the 24-year-old Sarries and former England U20 star is set to be... Read More
Ryan Giggs expects to get it in the neck over his decision to include Tow Lawrence in his Wales squad and the message that could send. Despite accepting there were very valid reasons for making the opposite call, the Wales manager decided to include the Derby forward in his squad... Read More