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Wales name unchanged XV

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WALES have named an unchanged starting XV from the side that beat Scotland in their NatWest 6 Nations opener for their game against England at Twickenham on Saturday (KO 16.45).

There is just one change amongst the replacements with British & Irish Lion George North returning to wear jersey 23.

Leigh Halfpenny, who scored two tries as part of his 24-point haul against the Scots, lines up again alongside Josh Adams and Steff Evans in the back-three.

Hadleigh Parkes and Scott Williams continue their partnership in the midfield with Gareth Davies and Rhys Patchell the half-backs.

It is an all-Scarlet front-row once again with Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Samson Lee packing down together.  Cory Hill partners captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row and Man-of-the-Match from last weekend, Aaron Shingler, lines up alongside Josh Navidi and Ross Moriarty in the back-row.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “It’s great to name an unchanged starting XV, the players deserve that for a very good performance on the opening weekend.

“We have made one change on the bench, with George coming in for Owen (Watkin), which is tough on Owen but Josh (Adams) picked up a slight strain last weekend so George provides us a bit more cover there.

“We know how tough it is going to be against that huge English forward pack. They are really going to test us. England have been in great form the last couple of years so we know the challenge we face but we have had a good couple of weeks in camp and we are looking forward to going up to Twickenham.”

WALES TEAM TO PLAY ENGLAND:

Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (75 Caps)

Josh Adams (Worcester) (1 Cap)

Scott Williams (Scarlets) (52 Caps)

Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (2 Caps)

Steff Evans (Scarlets) (6 Caps)

Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (6 Caps)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (28 Caps)

Rob Evans (Scarlets) (21 Caps)

Ken Owens (Scarlets) (53 Caps)

Samson Lee (Scarlets) (34 Caps)

Cory Hill (Dragons) (11 Caps)

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (114 Caps) CAPT

Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (14 Caps)

Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (8 Caps)

Ross Moriarty (Gloucester) (18 Caps)

Replacements:

Elliot Dee (Dragons) (3 Caps)

Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (6 Caps)

Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (27 Caps)

Bradley Davies (Ospreys) (58 Caps)

Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (53 Caps)

Aled Davies (Scarlets) (6 Caps)

Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) (12 Caps)

George North (Northampton Saints) (69 Caps)

Sport

Collins’ stunner earns win for Veterans

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A STUNNING strike from Hakin left back Adam Collins ensured that the Veteran Vikings earned maximum points and remain top of the Welsh Veterans League after a hard fought 4-3 win at home to Coedeva Athletic last Sunday (Feb 17).

However, on a very windy day, the Vikings found themselves behind early on as Gareth Hinwood scored from the penalty spot.

Hakin were soon level though, when Stuart MacDonald set up Matthew Price to score from close range.

Richard Nash gave Hakin the lead scoring via a deflection and Paul Andrews levelled matters for Coedeva before the break, as his shot from distance also took a deflection.

Early in the second half, Michael McCarthy beat the Coedeva keeper to a ball to make it 3-2 from close range and almost immediately, Coedeva were level after another Gareth Hinwood penalty.

Inside the final quarter, a stunning left footed strike from Adam Collins found the top corner from distance to give Hakin the win.

Hakin next play on Sunday, March 3, at home to Swansea University in the semi-final of the Welsh Veterans Cup.

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Nigel Armstrong, Richard Bland, Nigel Delaney, Adam Collins, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Stuart MacDonald, Michael McCarthy, Matthew Price, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Leigh Walters, Simon Rocke, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Sport

Saints do the double

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ST CLEARS completed the double over Neyland as they earned a 4-0 win on Saturday (Feb 16).

The Saints, who were forced into a re-shuffle at the back and without one of their midfielders, had beaten them 5-2 at home the previous week and Neyland would have been looking for some revenge.

However, it was the Saints who started strongly and took a deserved lead from a short corner. Jonny Thomas found Steve Thomas unmarked in the box and he headed home.

Both teams had chances to score but Saints keeper James Dickson made a few good saves to keep their 1-0 lead in tact.

The visitors eventually got the second goal of the game following good individual play by Will Evans.

Evans then added his second directly from a free kick to make it 3-0. They then rounded off a good day as Sean Seymour Davies latched onto a long ball to score and make it 4-0.

On Saturday (Feb 23), Neyland are away to Goodwick while St Clears welcome Merlins Bridge.

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Sport

Jones’ late drop goal earns win for Blues

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HAVERFORDWEST moved up to second place in League 3 West A on Saturday (Feb 16), as they beat Neyland with a late drop goal.

It was a tight game with both sides battling well but it was the Blues who went ahead early on as Craig Barnett scored a penalty.

Barnett then scored another soon after to put the visitors into a 0-6 lead and it remained that way until the half time whistle.

Early in the second half Neyland were back in it as they scored a penalty to make the score 3-6.

Mark Riley then put Neyland ahead as he was credited with a pushover try but the conversion was missed and the All Blacks led by two points.

Haverfordwest pushed on looking for a winning score and when a try wasn’t forthcoming the ball was sent back to Mikey Jones who kept calm to send a drop goal through the posts.

That put the Blues one point ahead at 8-9 and there was little time for the home side to respond.

The All Blacks do pick up the consolation of a losing bonus point but that will not do much to lift their spirits after they were dropped to fourth in the table following other results.

The Blues now sit second with Aberaeron breathing down their necks having played three games less.

There is no game on Saturday (Feb 23), as Wales take on England at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The sides return to action on Saturday, March 2, when Haverfordwest host Llanybydder and Neyland host St Davids.

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