Alun Wyn Jones has refused to get drawn on Rassie Erasmus' criticism of the refereeing in the first Test and warned the Springboks there is more to come from the Lions. The Lions captain was responding after Rassie Erasmus, the South Africa director of rugby, released an unorthodox 62-minute video on social media in which he criticised the officials following the Springboks' 22-17 loss in the first Test in Cape Town last Saturday. Erasmus claimed Springboks captain Siya Kolisi did not receive the respect from officials afforded to the Lions skipper and said he was willing to walk away from the remainder of the series if he was out of line.
Lauren Price insists she holds no fears about facing old foe Nouchka Fontijn in a shoot-out for an Olympic final. The Welsh boxer has her sights set on a gold medal after guaranteeing herself at least a bronze for Great Britain with a quarter-final victory in Tokyo. Price, the world champion from Ystrad Mynach, will face Fontijn in the semi-finals after beating Panama's Atheyna Bylon, 5-0, on Saturday.
Welsh Fire are blazing. The men’s team have played twice and won twice and sit second of the eight teams in the early table. It’s not quite ignited yet for Welsh Fire women, who have lost both opening fixtures, but approval ratings for The Hundred generally have been high. Fraser Watson is a hard man to please, but even he thinks something significant is going on in the old sport. After 86 balls of the run chase, with the Southern Braves still needing 29 to win a pulsating contest, Chris Jordan shaped up to put Jimmy Neesham into the stands. He contrived only to slice it to Josh Cobb at extra cover – a catch which essentially secured a second straight Welsh Fire win.
Dan Jervis won’t be alone when he prays ahead of his Olympic debut in the 1500 metres freestyle event in Tokyo on Friday. Back in Neath, the congregation of Sardis Baptist Church have been on their knees for weeks hoping to invoke some divine intervention for one of their flock. Pastor Fortunato Santos has put Dan at the heart of his prayer chain in a bid to help him bring back some gold from Japan.
Welsh rowers Oliver Wynne-Griffith and Josh Bugajski took a bronze medal in the men’s eight but there was another GB rowing near miss for Vicky Thornley in Tokyo – before Bugajski launched a furious attack on the sport’s former head coach. Wynne-Griffith and Bugajski were part of the men’s eight crew that battled to a third place finish behind Germany, who took silver, and new Olympic champions New Zealand. Thornley agonisingly missed out on a medal in the women’s single sculls after finishing fourth in her final – the sixth fourth-placed finish for Great Britain this week.
Vicky Thornley is on course for a shot at another Olympic medal and is desperate to break the sequence of agonizing fourth place finishes for Team GB. The Welsh rower became just the third British female single sculler to reach an Olympic final – and the first for 25 years – after finishing second in her semi-final. Now, Thornley – who won a silver medal in the women’s double sculls with Dame Katherine Grainger at the Rio Games in 2016 - has her sights on a first ever British medal in women’s single sculls in the final on Friday morning.
By Paul Jones Welsh judo star Natalie Powell suffered Second Round heartbreak in her quest to claim a first Olympic medal in Tokyo. The Builth Wells athlete who has previously been a World, European and Commonwealth medalist received a bye in the opening round of the -78kg competition and faced a wait to find out her Second Round opponent. Korea’s World No.23 Hyunji Yoon defeated USA’s Nefeli Papadakis on the day for the right to face Powell for a place in the last 16.
By Owen Morgan Jake Heyward and Joe Brier aren’t the only Welshmen hoping to make an impact when the athletics programme begins at the Tokyo Olympics this Friday. Swansea Harrier Brier is part of the Great Britain 4x400 squad in Japan, while Cardiff’s Heyward will be lining up in the 1500m. But there is an even greater Welsh contingent playing its part off the track in the Far East by making up half of the 12 lead coaches supporting GB’s athletics team.
Alys Thomas delivered her fastest time of the year to place seventh in a rapid women’s 200m butterfly Olympic final in Tokyo. The Swim Wales and Swansea Aquatics competitor, making her Olympic debut aged 30, moved things on from her semi-final efforts in emphatic style, knocking more than a second off that time in a contest that saw China’s Zhang Yufei break the Games record to take gold. While the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion did not finish on the podium, there was still plenty of positives for Thomas to reflect on at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
By Alex Bywater Jonny Bairstow signed off from Welsh Fire duty with a second match-winning knock and his team-mates are confident they can cope without the England star. Fire’s men’s captain Bairstow struck a superb 72 from just 39 balls to help his team to an 18-run win over Southern Brave which means the Welsh side now have back-to-back victories. But they will now have to do without Bairstow for the rest of The Hundred as he has now left to be part of England’s Test squad for their series with India.
Pieter Scholtz is being lined up for a move from the Scarlets to Wasps next season. The giant South African prop is considering a move across the border following an impressive first season in Welsh rugby. With the Scarlets having signed Wales squad member WillGriff John from Sale Sharks for... Read More
WillGriff John says family reasons and a desire to be playing a vibrant band of rugby led him to sign for the Scarlets for next season from Sale. The prop – who came close to his first cap last season before the lockdown stalled his ambitions – would have been... Read More
WillGriff John talks a good game – and in a blend of accents that reflect the spicey variety of locations that have taken him to his first cap for Wales. The 27-year-old speaks in tones that sound both familiar and yet strange at the same time, with elements of his... Read More
Most uncapped players on the eve of their first Six Nations would be nervous but WillGriff John is ready to hit the ground running in Test rugby. It’s fair to say the 27-year-old has taken the long route to the top having been released by the Cardiff Blues at a... 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
Wayne Pivac is considering turning to Sale Sharks prop Willgriff John in a bid to strengthen Wales’ scrum. The 26-year old former Wales under 20s tight-head has been targeted and his form checked by the Wales coach ahead of the Six Nations. John took an unconventional route to the English... Read More