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Wales Sevens name squad for Dubai and Cape Town

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RICHIE Pugh has named his Wales Sevens squad that will travel to Dubai and Cape Town for his first season as head coach.

The former Sevens World Cup winner, who has stepped up from his assistant role since Gareth Williams took over as Wales U20 head coach, will hand World Rugby Sevens Series debuts to five players in Dubai next week – four of whom were recently part of the U20 programme.

Those four players join the programme from the regions, who view the sevens pathway as key to some of their young players’ development.

“Many will already know about Ryan Conbeer’s finishing exploits from a 15s perspective with Scarlets and Wales U20, and he’ll provide us with good firepower out wide. The Cardiff Blues pairing of Ben Jones and Dane Blacker in midfield are full of confidence and back themselves. Dragons’ Taine Basham up front has got a great skillset and footwork for a carrying back-rower.”

Scarlets’ Tomi Lewis has something of a head-start on his fellow young teammates, given the virtuoso display he put on in Dubai last season in scoring seven tries over the course of the weekend.

As part of their preparations for Dubai and Cape Town, the Wales squad partook in a training camp with European champions Ireland a week ago which saw them compete in live game situations (watch WRU TV’s snapshot of the day).

Eighteen-year-old Jay Jones was originally spotted playing at Rosslyn Park Sevens, and has progressed through the sevens development pathway – much to the delight of Pugh. “We’ve been fortunate to have someone like Jay in the squad, who’s not necessarily an academy player or linked with a region. He was part of the Great Britain U18 squad, has played Rugby Europe for us and is constantly putting his hand up, especially with his attacking performance against Ireland last week.”

Luke Treharne will captain his country, ably assisted by vice-captain Afon Bagshaw. Pugh says: “Luke has got a lot of experience and the players look up to him. He can lead the team well and knows what to expect on the big stage. He’s backed up by Afon, who’s been in the programme over a year now and leads from front. They both set the standards and along with the rest of our core players they’ve been supporting the new players really well.”

Pugh believes there’s a good balance in his squad for the first two legs of the series, with Dragons and Wales U20s’ Joe Goodchild waiting in the wings as a travelling reserve. “When you add in Ben Roach, Cai Devine, Owen Jenkins and Will Talbot-Davies, I’m hoping all their experience will spur the boys on come next Friday. It’ll be completely different to the cold climate we’ve been accustomed to lately, so we’ve got to get used to the heat of Dubai and Cape Town very quickly.”

Wales will have a training game against Scotland on Tuesday next week, and Pugh suggests that come their first pool game against world champions New Zealand, some of his players “will be thrown into the deep end of the World Series”, with USA and Spain also to come.

However, he adds: “We need to expose players to these experienced teams, put them under that level of pressure in a top-level environment. This is what sevens gives them an insight into, and it’s fantastic for their learning.”

Core Players: Afon Bagshaw (Vice-Captain), Cai Devine, Owen Jenkins, Jay Jones, Ben Roach, Luke Treharne (Captain). Cardiff Blues: Dane Blacker, Ben Jones. Dragons: Taine Basham, Joe Goodchild, Will Talbot-Davies. Scarlets: Ryan Conbeer, Tomi Lewis.

Sport

Blues battle to win over Aberaeron in KO Cup

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HAVERFORDWEST booked their place in the quarter finals of the Pembrokeshire KO Cup, where they will meet Pembroke Dock Harlequins, after beating Aberaeron on Wednesday night (Oct 20).

Despite the atrocious weather conditions, which saw rain batter the Pembroke Road playing surface for much of the game, both sides played an excellent game.

In the end it was the Blues who came out on top with a 44-6 win.

Outside Half Jake Morgan got the Blues rolling early on with a penalty and Rhys Baker then scored the game’s first try to make it 8-0.

Second Row Jack Clancy got his name on the score sheet but the conversion was missed.

Aberaeron then got themselves on the board with a penalty but the Blues were soon back on the attack with Will Blackburn next to go over.

That was converted by Morgan to give the home side a 20-3 lead.

Lewis Tingay and Rhys Baker added further tries for the Blues while Aber added a further penalty as the sides went in at half time with the score reading 30-6.

Early in the second half Tingay added his second try of the night and Morgan added the conversion.

That all but ended any hopes the away side had of getting themselves back in the game and the Blues continued to play despite the pouring rain.

Tingay then completed his hat trick with a try under the posts giving Morgan a simple conversion to make it 44-6.

There was no scoring in the final twenty minutes but the Blues had done the job and booked their place in the last eight.

Their quarter final with the Quins will be played on or before January 22.

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Pembrokeshire Schools Under 10s get season up and running

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PEMBROKESHIRE Schools Under 10s played their first game of the new season last Sunday (Oct 17) against a strong OT Academy Squad.

The Pembrokeshire boys played four small sided games, drawing one and losing three. The boys are next in action next month when they hope to play Carmarthenshire Schools.

Pembrokeshire Schools Under 10s: Spencer James (Cleddau Reach), Noah Bicknell (Prendergast), Harri Jones (Holy Name), Jamie Cook (Pembroke Dock), Toby Jones (Holy Name), Isaac Jenkins (Narberth), Iori Williams (Narberth), Cai Price (Ysgol Caer Elen), Celt Edwards (Frenni), Joe Davies (Ysgol Glannau Gwaun), Jaden Petrie (Prendergast), Logan Lewis (Pembroke Dock), Zach Loveridge (Waldo Williams), James Burns (Lamphey).

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Sport

Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League results

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The results for the Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League for Saturday, October 16 were as follows:

• Under 12’s:

Chaos Thunder 11-1 Pembroke 2

Players player:

Chaos: Leah Davies

Pembroke: Holly Jones

Sapphires Whites 0-19 Pembroke 1

Players player:

Sapphires: Orla Maulio Martina

Pembroke: Skye Sutton

• Under 14’s:

Chaos Hurricanes 4-20 Sapphires Black

Players player:

Chaos: Bo Davies

Sapphires: Anya Beynon

• Under 16’s:

Chaos Blue 40-7 Pembroke

Players player:

Chaos: Lucy John

Pembroke: Megan Bowen

Sapphires Black 45-12 St David’s

Players player:

Sapphires: Ella Wainwright

St David’s: Skye Bramley

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