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Wales name 42-man Rugby World Cup Training Squad

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WALES have named a 42-man training squad to prepare for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which includes 18 players with RWC experience and two uncapped players in prop Rhys Carre and wing Owen Lane.

Thirty-six of Wales’ 2019 Grand Slam squad are named in the training squad which is made up of 23 forwards and 19 backs.

The players will link up with Wales on a rolling start, after each has received four weeks off following their final club/regional game.

Preparations will begin at the state-of-the-art WRU National Centre of Excellence with the whole squad expected in camp by the middle to end of June.

The rigorous schedule will prepare the squad for their first overseas training camp in the Swiss AlpsAs per 2015, the squad will head to Fiesch in Switzerland for an intensive fortnight.

They will ‘live high’ and ‘train low’ in the resort then return to Cardiff for more preparation ahead of back-to-back fixtures against England at Twickenham (August 11) and Principality Stadium respectively (August 17).

The morning after their second clash with England the squad will head to the heat of Turkey for warm-weather training in the purpose built Gloria Sports Arena before flying home for their final two preparation matches. Wales will face Ireland in Cardiff on August 31 and announce their 31-man RWC squad the following week. They then face the return fixture in Dublin on September 7.

Uncapped Carre joins fellow props Leon Brown, Rob Evans, Tomas Francis, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Dillon Lewis and Nicky Smith.

Ken Owens, who featured for Wales at the 2011 and 2015 RWCs is named alongside Elliot Dee and Ryan Elias.

Alun Wyn Jones, who has appeared in three of the game’s showpiece tournaments (’07, ’11, ’15) features alongside Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies and Cory Hill. Taulupe Faletau, who also played in the 2011 and 2015 tournaments returns to the squad from injury alongside James Davies.  Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler and Justin Tipuric complete the back-row contingent.

Wales have named the same 18 backs that made up the 2019 Guinness Six Nations squad with the addition of Lane.

Aled Davies, Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams feature as the scrum-halves with Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans and Rhys Patchell the four fly-halves named.

Wales have named four centres in Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin and Scott Williams (who has featured in two World Cups for Wales).

Lane, who played for Wales U20 with Carre, is one of eight back-three players included alongside Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Steff Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, George North (who played in both the 2011 and 2015 tournaments), Jonah Holmes and Liam Williams.

It is exciting to name our training squad and to get the RWC ball rolling,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

We’ve named a 42-man squad, packed with experience, a good number of the Grand Slam winning squad are in there plus some players who have returned from injury.

The last couple of years have been about building depth and exposing players and we have done that well so we have kept the numbers down to make the squad as manageable as possible.

We have created some great competition in the squad and there are a couple of players on the injury list at the moment that we could add into the squad at a later date depending on their recovery.

We have been really impressed with Rhys (Carre) and with Owen (Lane).  They have both been on our succession plan for a while and it will be good to have them in camp with us and to see what they are able to do.

We are looking forward to the squad meeting up and a hard summer of work ahead of us.  We have planned it meticulously and the plans have been in place for a good while now.  Looking back to 2011 and 2015 we were happy with our preparation so we are hoping to take that into this year and hopefully build on it.”

WALES’ 2019 RWC TRAINING SQUAD:
FORWARDS (23):
Leon Brown (Dragons) (5 Caps)
Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues) (*Uncapped)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (35 Caps)
Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (40 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (12 Caps)
Samson Lee (Scarlets) (40 Caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (12 Caps)
Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (28 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (7 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (64 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (32 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (13 Caps)
Bradley Davies (Ospreys) (64 Caps)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (24 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (125 Caps)
James Davies (Scarlets) (3 Caps)
Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (72 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (31 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (16 Caps)
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (17 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (64 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (8 Caps)

BACKS (19):
Aled Davies (Ospreys) (16 Caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (41 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (7 Caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) (26 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (70 Caps)
Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues) (1 Cap)
Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (11 Caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (73 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (15 Caps)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (13 Caps)
Scott Williams (Ospreys) (57 Caps)
Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors) (10 Caps)
Hallam Amos (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Steff Evans (Scarlets) (12 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (81 Caps)
Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues) (*Uncapped)
George North (Ospreys) (83 Caps)
Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers) (2 Caps)
Liam Williams (Saracens) (55 Caps)

Sport

Scarlets make five changes for Cardiff Blues clash

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Scarlets show five changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash with Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets (15:00; Premier Sports),

Interim head coach Dai Flanagan has reshuffled his side, giving opportunities to centre Ioan Nicholas and lock Josh Helps.

It will be 23-year-old Nicholas’s first PRO14 appearance since October 2019, having been frustrated by injury this season. Helps comes into the starting XV for the first time since November.

In the back three there is one change with Johnny McNicholl replacing fellow Wales international Steff Evans on the left wing. The only other switch behind the scrum is the inclusion of NIcholas for Tyler Morgan to partner Jonathan Davies in midfield. Angus O’Brien and Kieran Hardy continue their half-back partnership.

Up front, Ryan Elias again swaps with Ken Owens and resumes the captaincy after leading the side for the first time in the opening round match against the Dragons. He packs down in between Rob Evans and Alex Jeffries, the scorer of the only try of the game in last weekend’s 22-6 win over the Ospreys.

Helps and Lewis Rawlins combine in the second row, while injuries to Blade Thomson and Uzair Cassiem see Ed Kennedy handed the No. 8 jersey. Kennedy, Aaron Shingler and Jac Morgan make up the back row.

There are two of Warren Gatland’s 2021 Lions selections on the bench in Ken Owens and Gareth Davies. Steff Thomas, Javan Sebastian, Morgan Jones, Iesyn Rees, Dan Jones and Joe Roberts provide the rest of the replacement cover.

Both the Scarlets and Blues have a win apiece after the opening two rounds of the Rainbow Cup.

Scarlets team v Cardiff Blues (Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup; Parc y Scarlets, Sat, May 15, 15:00 Premier Sports)
15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ioan Nicholas, 11 Johnny McNicholl; 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Kieran Hardy; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ryan Elias (capt), 3 Alex Jeffries, 4 Josh Helps, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Jac Morgan, 8 Ed Kennedy.
Reps: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Iestyn Rees, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Joe Roberts.

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Sport

Newtown hold on to beat Haverfordwest

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NEWTOWN secured seventh place in the JD Cymru Premier Play-off conference as they beat Haverfordwest County 2-1 at the Bridge Meadow.

The Robins had beaten the Bluebirds 6-1 at Latham Park a few weeks ago but it was much different this time around.

Newtown took the lead as early as the second minute as they won a corner which was sent into the box for Tyrone Ofori who flicked the ball in.

The Bluebirds battled for a way back into the game and came close when the ball was played over the top for Jack Wilson but it just ran away and the Newtown keeper Dave Jones was able to gather the ball.

On 17 minutes, the Bluebirds won a corner which Elliot Scotcher sent into the box and Danny Williams headed in to the far corner to make it 1-1.

Newtown were then given a free kick in a dangerous position which captain Craig Williams sent into the box. Kieran Mills-Evans chested the ball down at the back post and Bluebirds keeper Wojciech Gajda made a good save to push the ball away.

There was another chance for Newtown soon after as Tyrone Ofori saw his header pushed wide by Gajda.

From the resulting corner, Shane Sutton headed home to put Newtown back in front.

The Bluebirds then had a chance to get level but Dan Summerfield sent a rasping drive just over the bar.

With half an hour gone, Alaric Jones sent a ball into the box but Corey Shephard saw his header saved by Dave Jones.

Both sides battled away with Scotcher sending a drive over from the edge of the box.

However it remained 2-1 to the visitors as the half time whistle went.

Newtown had a great chance to extend their lead at the start of the second half as Williams sent a corner into the box but Mills-Evans headed just wide.

The Bluebirds looked to get back in the game but despite getting into some promising positions, they were unable to test the Newtown keeper.

With twenty minutes to go a Bluebirds throw was headed on to the back post. Danny Williams headed towards goal and thought it had gone over the line but Dave Jones made a fantastic save to keep Newtown ahead.

Sub Cameron Keetch then had a great chance to level for the home side but he headed wide.

As the game entered the final stages, rain became harder making things difficult for both sides. Newtown were still searching for a third and nearly had it when the ball was played in to Breese into the box but he shot wide.

The Bluebirds were also looking for a late equaliser but as time ran out they resorted to long balls which Newtown were able to deal with.

The visitors kept the ball in the corner late on but the Bluebirds were able to get the ball out as they looked for one last chance.

It never came and the visitors held on to secure seventh place in the table.

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Neyland through in Village Cup after beating Bronwydd

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NEYLAND made it through to the next round of the Village Cup as they beat Bronwydd by 98 runs on Sunday (May 9).

No cricket had been possible in Pembrokeshire on Saturday because of heavy and persistent rain but some great work meant that their cup game could go ahead.

Before the game got underway, a minutes silence was held in respect of former Bronwydd CC player Aled John, who recently passed away.

Bronwydd won the toss and elected to field first which came as no surprise and they were able to restrict Neylad to a score of 160-9 in their 40 overs.

After losing Patrick Bellerby and Ashley Sutton early on, to the bowling of Clive Tucker, Neyland were sitting on a score of 23-2.

However, a stand of 54 between Nick Koomen and Brad McDermott-Jenkins put the hosts in a good position.

Koomen had reached 38 with six fours but he was then bowled by Josh Rencken and wickets continued to fall.

Nathan Banner departed for a second ball duck when he was bowled by Matthew Bagshaw and the same bowler then did the same to Ross Hardy.

McDermott-Jenkins had hit six fours in his score of 40 but he then fell to the bowling of Rencken and Neyand had slipped to 99-6.

Andrew Millers (1), George Evans (11) and Lewis Page all fell to the bowling of James Dickson as Neyland were in danger of being bowled out.

It was left to brothers Sean and Patrick Hannon to steady the ship as they shared 29 runs for the final wicket.

Both finished on scores of 15 not out with Sean hitting a six while Patrick’s score came from only 14 balls.

It meant that Bronwydd would need 161 to progress to the next round.

They made a steady start to their reply but when Josh Rencken was caught by Patrick Bellerby off the bowling of Nathan Banner on a score of 19, wickets began to tumble.

Jacob Jenkinson made a score of 15 but he was then stumped by Sean Hannon off the bowling of Andrew Miller.

Miller also picked up the wicket of Oliver Furneaux before Ross Hardy trapped James Dickson leg before to leave the visitors on 51-5.

Hardy then did the same to Carwyn Jones and he also bowled Iwan Davies as the game started slipping away for Bronwydd.

Miller then picked up his third to finish with figures of 3-11 from his eight overs while Hardy returned to pick up his fourth to finish with impressive figures of 4-5 from seven overs, five of which were maidens.

McDermott-Jenkins wrapped the game up with the wicket of Colin Tucker as the hosts secured an excellent win.

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