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Touch Association announce six new patrons

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New Patrons: Welsh sporting legends unite

New Patrons: Welsh sporting legends unite

FIVE Welsh sporting legends and the leader of the Wales Commonwealth Games Squad are the new patrons of Wales Touch.

Former Wales rugby stars Shane Williams, Jonathan ‘Jiffy’ Davies and Tom Shanklin will be lending their support to the growing sport along with Olympic athlete Jamie Baulch and Non Evans, who has represented Wales at rugby, judo, wrestling and weightlifting.

Professor Nicola Phillips, recently announced as Wales’ chef de mission for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and currently supporting former Wales rugby union international Richard Parks’ latest expedition to Everest, is also on board.

All patrons have played or been involved with touch rugby and are big fans of the game.

So much so that former Welsh rugby union international and Ospreys wing Shane Williams is tempted to come out of retirement to play again for the Wales Touch side.

He said: “Touch rugby was always an important part of my training and rugby growing up and I don’t think we see enough people playing it in the northern hemisphere.

“I used to play a lot of touch as a warm up for Wales and the Ospreys and it’s such a great sport. Anyone can play it, it’s for men, women and children, it’s not physical and it doesn’t matter what standard of rugby you are, you can all play together.

“I love the game and as patron I really want to get involved both on and off the field, so may be dusting my boots off as time goes on.”

Touch is a fast, six-a-side, noncontact sport that can be played by men and women of all ages from juniors to veterans, including uniquely mixed teams of men and women.

There are five regions currently run by Wales Touch Association, which have individual clubs and leagues;

  • Cyclones and Warriors (Cardiff, Caerphilly, Merthyr, Rhondda, south Powys and Vale of Glamorgan)
  • Rangers (Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flint, Gwynedd, north Powys and Wrexham)
  • Rebels (Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea)
  • Red Kites (Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion)
  • Titans (Monmouth, Newport, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent) It is a good way to stay fit and is particularly popular with rugby union and league players to keep fitness and skills levels up in the summer months.

It’s also ideal for total novices and can be played by anyone. Patron and former Wales and Cardiff Blues outside centre, Tom Shanklin, said:

“Touch is incredible and I used to play it loads to warm up, develop my skills, keep fit and have fun. It’s based on the basic principles of rugby, it’s all about creating space, attacking, catching, passing, handling and agility but without the physicality of tackling.

“I love that it’s a mixed sport that can be played by all ages, shapes and abilities and I would encourage everyone to give it a go, it’s just a top sport.”

Former Wales rugby union and league star and broadcaster Jonathan Davies believes that playing touch rugby at a young age, like they do in the southern hemisphere, has a big impact on improving rugby players’ core skills.

He said: “If you look at players in the Southern and North hemisphere it’s like European and British football. They look comfortable on the ball, they try things they wouldn’t normally do, it’s just in their nature and that’s because they play Touch.

“It’s about assessing situations, looking for opportunities and space, and having the core skills to finish it off. That’s what the difference was between Australia and New Zealand in the World Cup and it’s down to playing Touch from a young age.”

Wales has a good standing in Touch and are currently European Champions in the over 40s and junior categories.

Wales Touch Association Managing Director John Francis said:

“We are delighted to have secured the support and enthusiasm of six such great patrons.

“Their profile and genuine love for the game will help us to encourage more people to get involved with Wales Touch Association.

“Clubs across Wales are always on the look out for new players and I would encourage anyone interested in sport to get involved. It’s a fun to way meet new people, develop new skills and even play for your country.”

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Sport

Signed Wales shirts gifted to RNLI go up for auction

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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 https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/rnliwru.

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Sport

Five subs to be allowed for JD Cymru Premier clubs

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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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Sport

Haverfordwest County’s remaining phase 1 fixtures released

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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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