James Out, But Forster's Men Raring To Go At Games
1 August 2002 13:42
Dafydd James is out of the Welsh sevens squad at the Commonwealth Games. The
British Lion has suffered a recurrence of the elbow injury that dogged him
Swansea's Under 21 international Gareth Swales has come into the 12-man squad which kicks-off its second Commonwealth campaign against Sri Lanka at the City of Manchester Stadium on Thursday night.
"It was abig blow losing Dafydd because he gave us so many options. But Gareth
has played on the IRB World Series circuit with us and is an experienced sevens player," said Welsh team manager David Rees.
"We've had two good practice sessions with England and New Zealand and we are targetting a place in the semi-finals. To have the best possible chance of doing that we must win all three of our pool matches."
Jason Forster's men start with what should be an easy task against Sri
Lanka at 7.20pm tomorrow nigh. They then go on to face a Tongan side that includes Neath centre Dave Tiueti at 10.10pm.
Their third pool game is against South Africa on Friday at 3.20pm, with the
quarter-finals taking place later in the day. The semi-finals and finals
take place on Sunday.
"The South Africans have lost a couple of players because of Tri Nations duty
but they will still be very strong. They were among the top sides in the
recent IRB World Series and it will take a huge effort to beat them," said
"But all the players realise that the best route to the medals is by winning
the pool. That could put us on course for a clash with Scotland, rather than
a match up with the reigning champions New Zealand for the second placed
The Commonwealth Games will provide Wales' most capped scrum half, Rob Howley, with his swan song in the Welsh jersey.
Wales Sevens Squad: Jason Forster (Newport, captain), Gareth Gravell (Newport), Gareth Thomas (Bridgend), Gareth Williams (Llanelli), Rob Howley (London Wasps), Gareth Baber (Pontypridd), Arwel Thomas (Swansea), Gareth Swales (Swansea), Emyr Lewis (Pontypridd), Craig Richards (Bridgend), Matthew Robinson (Swansea), Gareth Wyatt (Pontypridd).
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.