When Alisha Butchers went over on her ankle in training with Bristol Bears Women last Tuesday, there was no way she could have foreseen the trouble, stress, and financial worries ahead. The 23-year-old Wales international has been forced to raise funds online for the surgery required to fix her ankle after falling foul of a medical insurance loophole. Butchers - who reached her £4,995 GoFundMe target in just five hours on Friday - wants her fellow female players to ensure they do not end up in the same position and liable for thousands of pounds of medical bills due to circumstances outside of their control.
Kris Jones finished an agonising three seconds outside the 2022 Commonwealth Games 10,000m qualifying standard in Newport on Saturday. Competing at the Elite Winter 10k event, Jones smashed his 10,000m personal best of 29.05.66 set in Highgate back in 2017. The Swansea Harrier finished second to Leeds AC athlete Emile Cairess, clocking a time of 28:33.17 - just outside the Birmingham qualifying standard of 28:30.00.
Dean Ryan has admitted he will have mixed feelings if Wales come calling again for his Dragons back row pair of Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty. The dynamic duo were at the heart of the Dragons’ impressive 31-20 victory over the Ospreys in Bridgend that has dented the losers’ Heineken Champions Cup prospects and given Ryan’s men an outside sniff of qualification. It was the Dragons’ first win of 2021 and Wainwright – released for some game time by Wales coach Wayne Pivac – weighed in with a try to add to doubles from Jonah Holmes and Ashton Hewitt to give the visitors a bonus point victory.
Former Wales defender Jazz Richards has signed for Welsh Cymru Premier club Haverfordwest County. The former Swansea City and Cardiff City full-back became a free agent when he was released by the Bluebirds last summer. He looked close to signing for their Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday last month, but the Owls eventually opted not to pursue a deal.
Steve Cooper has insisted he works for a “classy club” after refusing to get involved in a war of words with Neil Warnock. The clash between the pair happened both during and after Swansea City’s controversial 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium. Warnock could be heard referencing Cooper’s father Keith during one of several rants during the game in which Boro conceded a 97th minute penalty and also had a goal ruled out for a foul.
No-one kicks sand in the face of Newport County defender Priestley Farquharson. After, how many other players in League Two can boast 63 England caps? County’s new defender Farquharson can do just that, although his international tally hasn’t been built up playing at venues like Wembley, Stade de France or the Principality Stadium.
The Ospreys could take a giant step towards Heineken Champions Cup rugby next season if they can complete the double over regional rivals the Dragons at the Brewery Field tonight. The top three teams in the two Guinness PRO14 Conferences qualify automatically for the top tournament in Europe and Toby Booth’s much-improved side are currently on 31 points with three games to play – the Dragons at home and then Leinster and Glasgow Warriors away. If they can beat the Dragons with a bonus point to reach 36 points then they will be guaranteed third place. If not, they will need to pull some points out of the bag on their final two away trips.
Wayne Pivac Gives Wales New Boy Willis Halaholo The Ultimate Kiwi Acclaim: He Came Through Auckland Academy
Wayne Pivac may have called up Willis Halaholo for a likely first Wales cap this weekend, but is not the first time the coach has held faith in his fellow New Zealander. Halaholo will be among the replacements to face Scotland at Murrafield in round two of the Six Nations,... Read More
As the inquests over Wales’ Six Nations campaign continue, there is the usual talk of re-shuffles. But one man won’t be brought back and there’s no obvious successor. Hadleigh Parkes is already being badly missed, says Harri Morgan. Time to clear out the dead wood. Poor performance inevitably results in... Read More
Wales coaches Stephen Jones, Byron Hayward and Jonathan Humphreys were on hand to see the Cardiff Blues go through one of their final training sessions before heading to Italy for their Guinness PRO14 opener against Zebre. For Jones, in particular, the sight of Willis Halaholo looking fully fit will have been... Read More
Johnny McNicholl made his Wales debut last weekend, but not everyone was happy about another Celtic Kiwi joining the long list of New Zealanders who have worn other colours than black. Robin Davey argues the sceptics are ignoring the rule book as well as a worldwide trend. Critics who blast... Read More
Johnny McNicholl has turned to his Scarlets team-mates for help to ensure he is word perfect on his Wales debut against the Barbarians today (Saturday). The 29-year-old New Zealand-born wing wants to feel as Welsh as possible at the Principality Stadium when he steps onto the international stage for the... Read More
Wales have a long history of capping New Zealanders and Johnny McNicholl looks likely to become the latest. Willis Halaholo, when he’s fit again, could soon follow. Harri Morgan suggests this is just the way of a changing world, but wonders whether unease may provoke a re-think. Willis Halaholo has... Read More