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Wales U20 name squad to face Ireland

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WALES head coach Byron Hayward has announced his squad to face Ireland at Musgrave Park on Friday in the opening fixture of the U20 Six Nations. (KO 8pm, S4C)

Cardiff Rugby flanker Alex Mann returns as captain and is among six starters who are playing in their second campaign along with Ospreys centre Joe Hawkins who starts from the bench.

Mann’s regional teammates Efan Daniel and Nathan Evans return as hooker and tighthead prop respectively while Dragons’ Joe Peard features in the second row.

Scarlets scrum half Harri Williams and regional colleague Eddie James who slots in at inside centre are the only backs who played in last year’s championship.

Hayward is under no illusions at the task that awaits his young side in Cork.

“Ireland are always a strong side. They have a great system bringing players through so it is going to be a massive challenge for us but one we’re looking forward to,” he said.

“It’s simply just great to see how much the boys are looking forward to it – you can see it in the squad, they are so looking forward to just playing rugby in a meaningful game in front of a crowd.

“People forget that the players have lost nearly two years of their development and for a lot of the boys this could be their only chance of playing and representing their country.”

“It has been difficult with the boys not playing [due to Covid] and that can become monotonous, especially when you haven’t got an end game. But we managed to get in two friendly games which was massive for us and I know the boys enjoyed them and performed well in them and all things considering, I’m looking forward to the weekend as much as the players.”

The home side will start as firm favourites and haven’t lost to Wales since a 38-41 defeat at Donnybrook in 2018 but Hayward isn’t letting recent history sway belief within the squad.

“All we’ve talked about this week is focussing on us and what we can control and that has been since the start of the week. We respect Ireland but we’re not really paying too much attention to them and just focussing on getting our game right,” he said.

Wales U20 side to face Ireland, Musgrave Park, Friday, February 4:

15 Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby)

14 Harri Huston (Ospreys)

13 Bryn Bradley (Harlequins)

12 Eddie James (Scarlets)

11 Oli Andrew (Dragons)

10 Daniel Edwards (Ospreys)

9 Harri Williams (Scarlets);

1 Joe Cowell (Cardiff Met)

2 Efan Daniel (Cardiff Rugby)

3 Nathan Evans (Cardiff Rugby)

4 Joe Peard (Dragons)

5 Lewis Jones (Ospreys)

6 Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – CAPT)

7 Ethan Fackrell (Cardiff Rugby)

8 Ben Moa (Dragons)

Replacements:

16 Morgan Vennes (Ealing Trailfinders)

17 Rhys Barratt (Cardiff Rugby)

18 Ellis Fackrell (Ospreys)

19 Benji Williams (Opsreys)

20 Tom Cowan (Bath Rugby)

21 Morgan Lloyd (Dragons)

22 Jac Lloyd (Bristol Bears)

23 Joe Hawkins (Ospreys)

Sport

Division 2: Llanrhian go fourth after beating Herbie

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LLANRHIAN moved into to fourth place in Division 2 after they beat second placed Herbrandston by 79 runs on Saturday (Jul 2).

Herbie won the toss and chose to field but they saw Llanrhian post 251-8 in their 45 overs.

Paul Lewis scored 63 for the home side and Jack Jones added 53 but their top scorer was Jonathan Strawbridge who hit nine fours and three sixes in his score of 72.

There was a score of 14 from Russell Watkins while Simon Bachelor finished unbeaten on 20.

Kristian Bennett took 2-38 for Herbie while Dean John also finished with two wickets to his name.

In reply, Dai Malloy scored 19, Charlie Malloy scored 33 while Alan McLelland added 31. Jack Nicholas scored 15 and Jack Wilson scored 35.

Gwyn Watson took two wickets for the loss of 20 runs while Gareth Davies finished with figures of 2-33 and Tom Clarke had 2-37.

Herbie’s scores were not enough as they were bowled out for 172.

Llanrhian now sit just seven points behind the leaders and six off second place with seven games still to play.

On Saturday, July 9, Llanrhian travel to Llechryd while Herbie are at home against Johnston.

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Sport

Division 2: Whitland win to close gap on top two

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WHITLAND closed the gap to the top two as they beat leaders Burton by 79 runs on Saturday (Jul 2).

Burton won the toss and chose to field but WHitland scored 193-9 in their 45 overs.

Kevin Pearce scored 33 and Wayne Howells scored 31. Scott Newton reached a half century before falling on a score of 61 while there was a score of 30 from Gethin Scourfield and 19 from Harry Fuller.

Matthew John took 4-29 for Burton while Martyn Tweedie finished with figures of 2-32. Dan Ridge also bowled well to finish with 2-33.

In reply, Tweedie scored 48 and Dan Ridge added 36 while the only other batsman to make it into double figures was Dan Wilks who scored 14 before being run out.

Wayne Howells bowled well for Whitland as he took 3-33 while Conor Bowen had figures of 2-27.

Cian Rees also bowled well for his figures of 2-16 while Scott Newtown claimed one wicket.

It saw Burton bowled out for just 119 as they suffered just their second defeat of the season.

It moves Whitland to within five points of second placed Herbrandston and to within six of Burton.

On Saturday, July 9, Whitland host Lamphey while Burton host Hook.

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Narberth keep pressure on with win over Pembroke Dock

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NARBERTH kept the pressure on league leaders Neyland as they beat Pembroke Dock by four wickets on Saturday (Jul 2).

Narberth had lost to Neyland the previous week and were looking to bounce back and when they won the toss they chose to field first.

It proved a good decision as the Dock struggled before being bowled out for just 79.

They lost Rhys Daley early on when he was run out by Rhodri Dyer. Jake Davies and Scott Griffiths added 24 runs for the second wicket but Davies was caught off the bowling of Lewis Hough.

Wickets then began to tumble as Jake Griffiths was trapped leg before by Loui Davies and with the next ball he did the same to Tom Grimwood.

There was no hat trick for Davies but his wickets had seen the Dock slip to 32-4.

That soon turned into 39-6 as Billy Wood was bowled by Hough and soon after Scott Griffith was bowled on a score of 22 by Davies.

It was then Hough’s turn to take two wickets in two balls as he bowled Nick Daley before trapping George Smith leg before, leaving the Dock in trouble on 41-8.

Anton John was out to the bowling of Ben Hughes to reduce the home side to 54-9.

Euan McDonald and Rob Hearn added 25 runs for the final wicket as they looked to give their side a total they could defend.

Hearn hit three fours in a score of 15 but he was out to the bowling of Ben Hughes. It left McDonald not out on 12 (two fours) but Narberth would need just 80 to win.

McDonald bowled Richard Adams early in Narberth’s reply but Loui Davies and Lewis Hough shared 33 runs for the second wicket.

Davies hit two fours in a score of 13 but he was caught by Tom Grimwodd off the bowling of Billy Wood.

That sparked a mini collapse as Narberth soon slipped to 48-5.

Jordan Howell was caught by Scott Griffiths off the bowling of Wood and the same pairing combined to dismiss Hough on a score of 21 (one four, two sixes).

Wood then removed Dan Hughes for a duck as the Dock’s tails were up.

Will Nicholas and Ben Hughes stopped the flow of wickets though as they 22 runs for the sixth wicket.

Nicholas scored 15 but was then caught and bowled by Scott Griffiths. Hughes then saw Narberth to their total as he finished unbeaten on 19 (four fours).

Despite the win, Narberth dropped to third place in the table but they are now only two points behind leaders Neyland.

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