WALES UNDER 21 22
FRANCE UNDER 21 30
Wales Under 21, on a high after their 38-36 win in Ireland a fortnight ago,
were brought crashing down to earth at Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale, when they lost at home to France for the first time at this level.
The French led all the way and not even a late Welsh flurry, including their
third try in the sixth minute of injury time, could deny the visitors their
first win on Welsh soil in four attempts.
Wales were up against it from the moment fly half Nicolas Laharrogue landed a penalty goal and centre Mickael Mabilon crossed for the first of their four tries for a quick-fire 10-point lead.
All that Wales could muster in the first half in front of a 2,000-strong
crowd was a penalty goal by Swansea fly half Gavin Henson.
Left wing Jean-Baptiste Gobelet crossed for a brace of tries in the third
quarter, sandwiching Wales' first when Cardiff wing Liam Roberts capitalised on good work by Swansea centre and captain Matthew Brayley.
Henson added a touchline conversion before being replaced by Cardiff's Nick
Robinson, who promptly put full back Gareth Swales over to keep flickering Welsh hopes alive.
But France held out until deep into injury time, Brayley's late try to
late to save that Welsh home record.
Wales Under 21: Tries: Liam Roberts, Gareth Swales, Matthew Brayley; Cons:
Gavin Henson, Nick Robinson; Pen: Gavin Henson.
France Under 21: Tries: Jean-Baptiste Gobelet 2, Mickael Mabilon, Geoffroy Messina; Cons: Nicolas Laharrogue, David Bortolussi; Pens: Nicolas Laharrogue 2.
The on and off-field benefits of schools and colleges employing a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub initiative continue to grow with the publication of the first half term figures of the current academic year.
Despite being in a tough group for the World Series opener in Dubai, Wales 7s head coach Gareth Williams says it is an exciting challenge and his squad are in a positive frame of mind, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
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