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Watch Wales for free in open training session

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WARREN Gatland’s Wales will train at Principality Stadium this half-term, from 2pm Monday, October 29, and the nation is invited to come and watch, for free.

Wales have hosted open sessions at their national ground ahead of the last two Rugby World Cups, with around 10,000 fans attending in 2013, before England2015, and also in both 2011 and 2012, before travelling to the tournament in New Zealand.

With 13 matches in less than 12 months to go until Japan2019 the build-up begins in earnest when head coach Gatland’s side face Scotland at home on Saturday, November 3, followed by Australia, Tonga and, finally, South Africa on consecutive weekends thereafter in this year’s Under Armour Series.

Over 200,000 tickets have already been sold across the four match campaign, with remaining tickets starting at £45 per head for adults (£15 concession) and £10 (Tonga), for the games – but supporters now have a fifth opportunity to see their heroes in action in Cardiff for free courtesy of the invitation issued by Gatland today:  visit www.wru.co.uk/tickets to register for your free ticket.

“We have some of the game’s most passionate and dedicated supporters in Wales and it’s fantastic that they are able to watch us train at the world’s best rugby stadium,” said Gatland, who is Wales’ longest serving and most successful coach, entering his final year at the helm.

“The open session kicks off our Test week ahead of the opening Under Armour Series encounter against Scotland and it should give supporters a great insight into the squad and our preparations.

“We know we will be well supported this autumn against Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa, and fans will come out in force during the Six Nations, and for our warm-up matches next summer, but I can’t think of a better way to begin a huge year than by inviting everyone into the Stadium for free at the very start of it all?

“It’s not often supporters get the chance to see the players train in this way and as a squad we are looking forward to the session and hopefully training in front of a big crowd.”

Gatland will take charge of the kind of a typically intense training session he has become famous for, with fellow coaches Rob Howley, Shaun Edwards, Robin McBryde and Neil Jenkins all involved in various elements.

Gates open at 12.30pm and the squad is due to take the field soon after 2pm, with all of the action due to be played out live on Stadium big screens and commentary and ‘special guest’ interviews providing the backdrop to the day.

The format will evolve whilst the squad are in camp, as new formations are perhaps built and the opposition continues to be analysed, but the sessions usually last around 50 minutes.

Individuals who may not be involved and back room staff will be available to speak to the crowds via the Stadium PA system to give unique insight into the day’s proceedings and catering outlets will be fully stocked and available for supporter’s use.

Tickets are free at the point of registration online at www.wru.wales/tickets and can be printed at home right up until event day on Monday, October 29, with a six person limit applying to each registration.

When accessing tickets supporters will be given the opportunity to automatically donate to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust, although there is no obligation to do so with £0, £1, £2, £5 options available.

The Welsh Rugby Union and Scottish Rugby Union have joined together to create the Doddie Weir Cup, to be contested when Wales and Scotland meet, and are fundraising in the name of the former Scottish international at the fixture to support research into Motor Neuron Disease, donations to the charity can also be made directly online via myname5doddie.co.uk/donate

The Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust is the WRU’s permanent designated charity which supports players who have been injured through rugby.

“We are extremely grateful to our partner Ticketmaster for their help in making sure 100% of donations made will transfer over to the Doddie Weir Foundation and the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust and helping us ensure access to the training session is entirely free of charge,” added a WRU spokesperson.

Under Armour Series 2019 at Principality Stadium:

Wales’ open training session, Monday, October 29 (Gates open 12.30pm), FREE

Wales v Scotland: Sat, November 3 (KO: 2.45pm)

Wales v Australia: Sat, November 10 (KO: 5.20pm)

Wales v Tonga: Sat, November 17 (KO: 2.30pm)

Wales v South Africa: Sat, November 24 (KO: 5.20pm)

Sport

Hook close the gap

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HOOK closed the gap to the top two in Division 2 on Saturday (Jun 22) as they beat Carew seconds by seven wickets.

Carew were restricted to 148-9 in their innings as Hook bowled well with Dai Hopkins and Aled Phelps both claiming two wickets each.

Callum James also bowled well as he finished with figures of 1-12 from his spell.

Haydn Shapcott top scored with 52 for Carew while Rhys Grigg scored 36 and Morgan Grieve added 20 runs to their total.

Carew’s Kerry Waters and Barry Evans each picked up a wicket in Hook’s reply but they were unable to stop the home side reaching their target.

Aled Phelps scored 40 for Hook and Jamie Phelps top scored with 71 to help them to victory.

Brennan Martin also scored 22 as Hook earned 29 points for the win.

They remain third in the table but they now sit just 16 points behind second placed Llechryd with the two teams playing each other in Llechryd on Saturday (Jun 29).

Elsewhere, Carew seconds will look to bounce back when they travel to leaders Narberth.

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Sport

Devonald stars as Tish beat Burton

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ST ISHMAELS moved up to fifth place in Division 1 on Saturday (Jun 22) as they beat Burton by four wickets.

Tish won the toss and elected to field and they did well to keep Burton to a score of 143-9 in their 45 overs.

Burton did their best to claim the win but Tish’s Daniel Richards finished unbeaten to see his side over the line.

Burton were in trouble early on as Jonathan Venables was bowled by Brennan Devonald and Jordan Milich then had Toby Hayman caught by Philip Cockburn.

Devonald then also bowled Matthew Webb as Burton were reduced to 11-3.

Morgan Scale and James Davies shared 21 runs for the fourth wicket but Andrew Pawlett then had Davies caught by Andrew Williams.

Scale hit two fours and a six as he made a good score of 25 but he was then bowled by Pawlett as Burton slipped to 48-5.

Pawlett then claimed his third wicket as he bowled Will Ridge and he soon had his fourth as he had James Scale caught by Williams.

Burton were in trouble on 84-7 but Luke Hayman and Dan Llewellyn shared 42 runs for the eighth wicket.

Hayman hit five fours in his score of 55 but he was then stumped by Jack Nicholas off the bowling of Andrew Williams.

Iestyn Evans was then bowled by Harry Nicholas but Llewellyn finished not out on 17 to ensure Burton batted out their overs.

Peter Bradshaw and Harry Nicholas got Tish off to a steady start in their reply as they shared 38 runs for the first wicket.

Bradshaw made a score of 21 but he was then caught by Iestyn Evans off the bowling of John Scale.

Harry Nicholas made 18 but he was bowled by Morgan Scale. Morgan then claimed his second as he bowled Phil Cockburn.

John Scale then claimed the wicket of Daniel Howells as Tish were reduced to 60-4.

Brennan Devonald and Jack Nicholas then shared 54 runs for the fifth wicket as they looked to put their side in a good position.

Devonald hit eight fours and a six in his score of 49 from 41 balls but he was then caught by Luke Hayman off the bowling of James Davies.

Dan Llewellyn then trapped Jack Nicholas leg before on a score of 15 to leave Tish on 136-6.

Daniel Richards then hit four fours as his score of 18 not out came from only eight balls.

That saw Tish to their target and the win sees them move up to fifth place in the table.

On Saturday (Jun 29), Tish are at home to Saundersfoot while Burton travel to Haverfordwest.

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Sport

Neyland ease past Whitland

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NEYLAND earned their seventh win of the season on Saturday (Jun 22) as they beat Whitland by nine wickets.

The home side won the toss and elected to field which looked to be a good decision as they bowled Whitland out for 155.

Many of their batsmen made good starts but they were unable to go on as Neyland took wickets at regular intervals.

Nick Koomen, Patrick Bellerby and Ashley Sutton then all scored well to see the league leaders to victory in 25 overs.

Daniel Blain and Jack Bowen did share an opening stand of 69 but three quick wickets saw them slip to 78-3.

Bowen was first out as he was caught by Koomen off the bowling of Andrew Miller on a score of 34 which included six fours and a six.

Geraint Jones smacked a six but that was his only contribution as he was then bowled by Ross Hardy.

Hardy then trapped Blain leg before on a score of 24 and soon after, when Matthew Davies was caught and bowled by Miller it sparked a mini collapse.

Miller then had Adam Davies caught by Bellerby for a golden duck before Geraint Rees had Jonathan Thomas caught on a score of 18 by Gregg Miller.

That left Whitland on 111-6 and it was soon 120-7 as Dylan Blain was caught by Koomen off the bowling of Andrew Miller for a 20-ball duck.

Greg Sleep and James Thomas then shared 33 runs for the eighth wicket as their tail wagged but it was Pritchard who came on to break that partnership.

He had Sleep caught by Hardy on a score of 26 that included five fours.

Hardy then bowled Thomas and Harri Jones in quick succession to bring Whitland’s innings to a close.

Nick Koomen and Patrick Bellerby got Neyland off to a great start in their reply as they shared an opening stand worth 99 runs.

Bellerby played well for his half century but he was then caught by Dylan Blain off the bowling of Jonathan Thomas on a score of 51.

Koomen and Ashley Sutton were then untroubled as they blasted Neyland to victory.

Koomen finished unbeaten on 68 while Sutton hit a number of sixes to finish not out on 34.

On Saturday (Jun 29), Neyland are at home to Cresselly while Whitland will look to bounce back against Lawrenny.

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