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Wales Women continue to build with key appointments

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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.

Sport

Neyland Town council to meet cricket clubs’ Village Cup expenses

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NEYLAND TOWN COUNCIL has agreed to donate £250 to the town’s cricket club as they continue their National Village Cup campaign.

Neyland beat Cresselly in the Dyfed Area final earlier this month to progress to the last 32 of the competition.

This Sunday (Jun 20), they travel to the West Midlands to take on Milford Hall and the town’s mayor has agreed to meet their expenses.

If Neyland can continue their journey in the Village Cup a final at ‘the home of cricket’, Lords awaits in September.

Mayor Simon Hancock said: “As Mayor, in consultation with the clerk, we have agreed to make a donation of £250 to Neyland Cricket Club to help meet their expenses in travelling to Stafford in the West Midlands on Sunday.

“They are down to the final 32 teams left in the Voneus Village Cup originally drawing 350 teams from England, Scotland and Wales.

“The Neyland Cricket team have achieved astonishing success over recent years and Neyland Town Council want to assist them in reaching Lords, ‘the home of cricket’ in September. Good luck for Sunday’s fixture.”

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Crymych cricket club face folding if players don’t come forward

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CRYMYCH Cricket Club has launched an appeal for new players to join the club as it looks to fulfil its fixtures.

The club, founded 40 years ago, plays in Division 4 of the Pembroke County Cricket Club league but has seen several players unable to commit to playing due to family or other reasons.

They also play games in the Ken Morris Cup and in the Tivy Valley League during weekdays.

On their social media, the club has warned that they face folding if they are unable to find new players.

Crymych’s latest fixture on Saturday, June 12, had to be cancelled because they were unable to raise a team.

It meant that there opponents, Llechryd Seconds, were awarded the 20 points as Crymych were unable to fulfil the fixture.

This Saturday (Jun 19), Crymych are scheduled to visit Whitland seconds and the following week (Jun 26) they are scheduled to face Carew thirds on home soil.

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Cresselly see off Pembroke Dock to reach Alec Colley quarters

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CRESSELLY booked their place in the quarter finals of the Alec Colley Cup on Wednesday night (Jun 16) as they beat Pembroke Dock.

The Dock won the toss and elected to field but they saw the home side reach 183-5 in their 20 overs.

Scott Arthur and Mike Venables shared 62 runs for the opening wicket as they batted well together.

Bowyn Clark made the breakthrough for the Dock as he bowled Arthur who had hit a four and two sixes in his score of 26.

Soon after, Rhys Daley trapped Julian Arthur leg before wicket and he also bowled Venables on a score of 32 (three fours, one six) to leave the hosts on 72-3.

However, Simon Cole and Damian Arthur shared an excellent fourth wicket stand worth 101 runs.

Arthur his six fours and a six in his score of 43 from 28 balls but he was caught by Chris Owen off the bowling of John Camani.

Simon Cole hit ten fours in a score of 66 from 40 balls as Cresselly set the Dock an imposing target.

Needing 184 to win, the Dock lost Rhys Daley early on when he was bowled by Morgan Lewis.

Archie Hillier-Wood and Anton John shared 30 runs for the second wicket but it was Lewis again who made the breakthrough as he had John caught by Josh Lewis.

Hillier-Wood and Peter Kingdom shared another 30 runs for the third wicket before Josh Lewis had Kingdom caught by Julian Arthur.

Matthew Lewis then trapped Hillier-Wood leg before on a score of 30 to reduce the Dock to 73-4.

Corey Lewis bowled John Camani before Simon Cole bowled Adam Phillips on a score of 18.

The Dock’s score had been helped along by 25 extras but time began to run out for them and Corey Lewis picked up his second wicket late on to reduce the Dock on 116-7.

It meant that Cresselly picked up the win by 67 runs.

Elsewhere, Herbrandston booked their place in the quarter finals as they beat Llechryd.

Llechryd scored 100-9 in their innings before Herbie passed their target with only two wickets down.

The nights’ other match saw Saundersfoot take on Stackpole.

Stackpole reached a score of 85-7 in their innings before Saundersfoot eased to a 10-wicket win.

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