Henson starts at full back for New Years Eve clash
30 December 2008 13:01
Ospreys coach Sean Holley wants to end an excellent year for his side on a high - by beating the in-form Cardiff Blues at a sold-out Arms Park. (kick-off 2.05pm)
Holley has selected Gavin Henson at full back for the New Years Eve clash, fully aware that taking down Dai Youngs fired up side will be a tough task in front on their home fans.
The Blues may be languishing close to the bottom of the Magners League table, but Holley knows a Welsh derby will be the perfect opportunity for them to translate fine European form to the domestic stage.
But, after a taking down the Scarlets 20-6 in the season encounter Holley is confident. He said: We go into the final Christmas derby on the back of an excellent result at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, and we face a Blues side that has been playing really well this season. They have a settled side and that has resulted in them enjoying a very productive time of late, with some good performances and notable victories. We enjoy a healthy rivalry and we are well aware that the Arms Park is a difficult place to go and get a result. But, we have gone there and won in the past and, with a full house expected, we are excited about the prospect of another big occasion.
"The next two matches, against the Blues and Munster, are very important games for us, in terms of keeping our momentum going in the Magners League. Our focus is entirely on maintaining a strong challenge at the top of the table before attentions turn to European competition again as we want to ensure that we have it all to play for, in terms of the Magners League, by the time the next crucial phase of the season comes around.
"We have had to manage our squad closely over this busy period and the performance against the Scarlets last time out showed the great character within the squad and the belief in our ability that we have. There were some great individual performances, but most satisfying was the all round team showing in the second half to overpower a very determined opposition. We've only had a few days to prepare for this match, but after a quick turnaround, the 22 selected are entirely focused on the challenge that lies in store and are looking forward to enjoying another derby match in front of a big crowd, with a passionate atmosphere."
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.