(Main & Thumb) Michael Owen as captain of the Lions against Argentina
Michael Owen will return home to Wales on Sunday to share in the birth of his second child with wife Lucy.
Owen, who plays his first game on tour against Taranaki in New Plymouth on Wednesday, has agreed with the Lions management to come home for three days. He will return five days later when he hopes to push his case for a place in the first Test against the All Blacks on June 25th 2008.
"It was something that has been agreed and the management have been very supportive of me," said Owen. "They told me how important it is that I go home to be with my wife and that certainly helped. Hopefully I can play well this week and maybe get a chance to further prove myself ahead of the Test selection."
Owen, who captained the side against Argentina in Cardiff two weeks ago, has been relieved of that role for Wednesday's game in New Plymouth although the coaching staff have assured him that it does not reflect anything he did or did not do in that game at the Millennium Stadium.
Gareth Jenkins, who will coach the side on Wednesday alongside Ian McGeechan said: "It has been decided to switch the captaincy around and that is exactly what has happened this week. Michael did a fantastic job in leading the side in Cardiff and he is very much one of the key members of this side this week."
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.