Adam Jones has picked an impressive squad for his Testimonial Game against Neath this Friday
Wales, Ospreys and Lions star Adam Jones has named his squad to take on Neath RFC in his Testimonial Game at The Gnoll this Friday at 7.45pm.
The 35-man squad, which will be captained by Jones, is set to include four Welsh British and Irish Lions and the experience of 22 international rugby players from past and present.
Former international hooker Barry Williams, current Wales U20s coach Mark Taylor and rugby league and union legend Alan Bateman will add their experience of wearing the famous red jerseys of Wales and the Lions to the side.
Former Canada flanker and Wales' Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Baugh and Ospreys player turned Head Coach Steve Tandy will be swapping their coaches' whistles for rugby boots to face Neath.
Representing the southern hemisphere, Tongans Kati Tu'ipulotu and Dave Tiueti will take the field as well as Samoan flanker George Stowers who will be released from the Ospreys.
The region will also offer the services of Wales' age-grade talent Daniel Suter, Morgan Allan, Sam Davies and Lloyd Peers and the experience of second-row James Goode and full-back Barry Davies.
Speaking about his Testimonial team mates and the challenge that awaits them on Friday, Jones said:
"To be able to share the field with so many great players for my Testimonial Game is an absolute privilege. I am overwhelmed at the response and enthusiasm of the boys wanting to pull on a jersey again. I haven't seen some of these boys for a very long time so I'm just looking forward to playing with them once more."
The squad will play in honour of the Testimonial Year of Wales' three-times Grand Slam winning prop at the venue which launched Adam's career with both Neath and the Ospreys.
"I am very excited about going back to The Gnoll. It was where it all started for me and to be able to go 'home' and hold my Testimonial Game there is an honour. In 2000, when I first pulled on that Welsh All Black jersey, albeit a little snug, and replaced 'Bully" (Andrew Millward) to run out in front of a home crowd against Connacht is something I will always hold dear. Never once did I think I'd be here 12 years later playing a game in my honour.
"The Club and my region have provided great support and I'm looking forward to playing alongside Steve Tandy once more while many of my Ospreys team mates make themselves available for autograph signings in the crowd ahead of their first regional league game of the season.
"I'd like to say a special thank you to Neath Chairman Phil Davies, Mike Cuddy and Geraint Hawkes. Without their support the Testimonial Game would not have been possible."
Tickets to watch Adam Jones Testimonial Select XV are still available at £10 for adults, £5 for children and FREE for Under 11s at Neath RFC ticket office and will be available until kick off on Friday 24 August.
"Ticket sales have been going really well for the game and with the walk-up on the night I'm confident there'll be a good turn out on Friday. Neath have some of the best, if not the best supporters in rugby. They have always showed unbelievable commitment to their team and I'll always remember the 1,000 plus crowd that turn out to watch when I was playing for Neath under 21s. It was an amazing crowd in comparison to other clubs at that time."
Neath RFC chairman Davies said: "Neath RFC are delighted to be hosting Adam Jones' testimonial match on Friday 24th August. Adam is a Welsh legend and one of our most decorated players with caps for Wales and the Lions. We are very proud of the fact that he started his career at Neath RFC which is why The Gnoll is the best place to hold such a memorable game.
"Neath are looking to field a strong first team squad to take on Adam's select XV. This is our only hit-out before the league season starts when we take on Swansea on Saturday 1 September at The Gnoll so, while this is a testimonial match, coach Pat Horgan and his team will be treating the game very seriously. You can expect a competitive game and we will successfully showcase the quality of player in the Welsh Premiership."
As well as all the action on the field, fans can expect a special performance from the official Ospreys' choir, some star raffle prizes and the chance to get autographs and photos with Wales and Ospreys stars including Duncan Jones, Ian Evans, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Bevington, Jonathan Thomas and Ryan Jones.
The full range of Adam Jones Testimonial Merchandise, including the Adam Jones wig, will also be on sale.
The squad to face Neath is as follows:
Forwards: Adam Jones (Ospreys, Wales, British & Irish Lions), Andrew Howells (Neath), Andrew Millward (Neath, Ospreys, Wales A), Daniel Suter (Ospreys, Wales U20s), Paul Jones (Neath), Mefin Davies (Neath, Ospreys, Gloucester, Leicester, Wales), Barry Williams (Neath, Ospreys, Wales, British & Irish Lions), Osprey Hooker (TBC), Lyndon Bateman (Neath, Ospreys), Steve Martin (Neath), Andrew Newman (Neath, Northampton, Ospreys, Wales A), James Goode (Ospreys, Manawatu, Newcastle Falcons), Lloyd Peers (Ospreys), Sam Williams (Ospreys), Richard Francis (Neath, Wales A), Dan Baugh (Cardiff, Canada), Steve Tandy (Neath, Ospreys), Hywel Jenkins (Llanelli, Neath, Ospreys, Wales A), Kati Tu'ipulotu (Neath, Tonga), George Stowers (Ospreys, Samoa), Morgan Allan (Ospreys, Wales U20s)
Backs: Gareth Morris (Neath), Cellan Edwards (Abercrave), Carwyn Owen (Abercrave), Nathan Brew (Neath, Wales), Dave Tiueti (Neath, Ospreys, Tonga), James Storey (Neath), Allan Bateman (Maesteg, Neath, Wales, British & Irish Lions), Mark Taylor (Pontypool, Swansea, Wales, British & Irish Lions), Leigh Davies (Neath, Llanelli, Ospreys, Wales) Andy Williams (Ospreys, Bath, Dragons, Wales), Lee Jarvis (Cardiff, Wales), Dylan Pugh (Neath), Sam Davies (Ospreys, Wales U18s, U20s), Barry Davies (Scarlets, Brive, Ospreys, Wales)
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.