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Wales Women continue to build with key appointments



FORMER Wales back row Geraint Lewis and former Bristol Bears’ Athletic Performance Coach Sam Dodge have joined Warren Abrahams’ Wales Women coaching team as assistant coach (forwards) and physical performance lead respectively.

Lewis, who, as a WRU performance coach was part of the Wales Women coaching team throughout last season alongside other performance commitments, will now focus solely on this role as Wales Women prepare for the rescheduled Women’s Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup later this year.

Prior to joining Bristol Bears, where he played a key part in their European Challenge Cup and domestic success in recent years, Sam Dodge worked as a WRU strength and conditioning coach for RGC academy and also supported Wales Women.

WRU General Manager, Women and Girls, Charlotte Wathan said, “As we look to accelerate the development of the women’s performance programme, building a strong, dynamic team is a key objective. We’re recruiting people with expertise and knowledge within their field in order to support our long-term aim of closing the performance gap with the top nations in international women’s rugby.

Wales Women head coach Warren Abrahams said, “These are very exciting appointments. Geraint is experienced in the women’s programme already and his in-depth knowledge as a forwards coach, and his line-out nous in particular will be vital for the programme going forward. He brings an added dimension to the coaching team and the more diverse we are as a unit, the more exceptional we will become as a coaching group.

“Sam too is a brilliant appointment. He is an exceptional strength and conditioning talent with a solid philosophy and has experienced a winning performance environment at Bristol which we will gain from in the women’s game. Having cut his teeth with Wales Women’s as an intern, it’s great to see him back in the programme as we strive to raise standards across the women’s game in Wales.”

Geraint Lewis said, “I always feel honoured to be part of any Welsh national side and I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to be part of Warren’s coaching team at such an exciting time for the women’s game internationally.

“I learned a lot from my time with the women’s programme last season and I hope to use that experience to make a greater impact this time around. I’ve worked with some fantastic individuals in my career but it’s always good to work with new people as I continue to develop as a coach.”

Lewis is looking forward to being part of the new-look Women’s Six Nations in April.

“It will be exciting to play in a stand-alone tournament and in a new format too. Playing France will give us a great benchmark as to where we are as a team and Ireland are improving all the time. With the play-off game at the end too, these games will be vital after a year without international fixtures and ahead of the Rugby World Cup in September.”

Sam Dodge, who will work with WRU Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon with the aim of creating a world-class physical performance programme for female players said, “Having thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bristol, I’m very excited by the new challenge of this role.

“There is enormous potential in the women’s game in Wales, and with the new coaching team in place and the WRU’s investment into the female game, there is huge scope to make a big difference in a relatively short amount of time. We have some talented players and excellent athletes in Wales and my aim is to build a world-leading national programme to ensure there is no stone unturned to help the players reach their full potential.


Signed Wales shirts gifted to RNLI go up for auction



FOLLOWING a winning start to the Six Nations Tournament, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have scored a winning try for the RNLI, gifting six signed rugby shirts to help save lives at sea.

Each rugby shirt has been signed by the full WRU squad and are accompanied by a certificate of authentication – a winning prize for any Welsh rugby fan.

To avoid a ruck for the WRU shirts the charity has placed all six signed shirts on an online auction, ensuring a fair game for all who wish to win the golden prize. The auction will be live until Wednesday, March 31, which allows plenty of time for supporters to bid for the team in red.

Each signed shirt includes Wales Captain, Mumbles RNLI supporter and the most capped international player of all time Alun Wyn Jones; as well as Louis Rees-Zammit, the Man of the Match in the nail-biting Scotland v Wales game.

Nick Evans, RNLI Fundraising and Partnership Lead said: ‘On behalf of the charity I would like to say a big thank you to the Welsh Rugby Union for donating these fantastic prizes to the RNLI. RNLI volunteers are on call 24-7 and are often called away from important events such as family celebrations – or international rugby tournaments – to respond to the pager if someone is in trouble at sea.

‘Like all charities, 2020 was a challenging year for the RNLI when all traditional fundraising had to stop – all our shops were closed, there were no collections and all events had to be cancelled. This is why we at the RNLI are so grateful to all the team at WRU for their ongoing support. The auction is now live and we would like to encourage all Wales rugby supporters to throw the RNLI a lifeline and place their bid for the winning prize.’

To place a bid or find out more about the charity auction please visit

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Five subs to be allowed for JD Cymru Premier clubs



THE FAW’s National Leagues Board has confirmed that JD Cymru Premier clubs will be permitted to make five substitutions in matches, in accordance with the Laws of the Game, until the end of the 2020-21 top-flight season.

FIFA extended the use of the rule, which was first introduced following the COVID-19 outbreak, citing “player welfare” as part of the reason for the temporary amendment to Law 3 of the Laws of the Game.

FIFA stated that “Some competitions which resumed in 2020 may have a shorter-than-usual recovery/preparation period before the start of their next season.”

“For many competitions, the 2020/21 season will involve matches being played in a condensed period due to a delayed start and the inability to end later than usual because of major international tournaments.”

With the JD Cymru Premier set to restart on March 2, the National Leagues Board has approved the use of the rule in the JD Cymru Premier until the end of the current campaign.

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Haverfordwest County’s remaining phase 1 fixtures released



HAVERFORDWEST County will return to action on Saturday, March 6, with a home game against Cardiff Met University.

The JD Cymru Premier has been granted elite status by the National Sports Group once again and the FAW has announced the rescheduled fixtures.

The first fixture upon the return will see Newtown AFC host Penybont on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 live on Facebook via Sgorio’s platforms.

Bala Town travel to The New Saints on Sgorio on March 6, 2021 with a 5pm kick off.

This will be followed by a full host of fixtures on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

The new calendar sees clubs play their final six matches of Phase One, which is now due to be completed on April 4, 2021.

Haverfordwest County’s remaining fixtures for phase 1 are listed below.

March 6 – 14:30

Haverfordwest County FC v Cardiff Met University FC

March 9 – 19:45

Aberystwyth Town FC v Haverfordwest County FC

March 13 – 14:30

Haverfordwest County FC v The New Saints FC

March 20 – 14:30

Connah’s Quay Nomads FC v Haverfordwest County FC

March 27 – 14:30

Newtown AFC v Haverfordwest County FC

April 2 – 17:00

Penybont FC v Haverfordwest County FC

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