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Toby Booth appointed new head coach at the Ospreys

The Ospreys have appointed Toby Booth as their new head coach on a three-year contract.

Booth enjoyed four successful seasons as head coach of London Irish before coaching at both Bath and Harlequins respectively. The 50-year-old comes to the Ospreys with a reputation as a deep rugby thinker, good communicator and as a charismatic coach who has a reputation for player and coach development.

“When the opportunity was presented to join such an iconic Welsh team, based in an area that has a deep passion for the game, it made it an extremely attractive proposition,” said Booth.

“The Ospreys is a side full of rich talent and international experience. It is an ambitious group and has good potential to improve.

“Having developed players throughout my career, I look forward to adding value to this squad of players and developing their performances on the pitch. This rich rugby region has always produced young talent.

“The ability to help players reach their potential was a contributing factor in wanting this role.  A team that has high numbers of home-grown talent is exciting for coaches and supporters.

“It helps achieve greater levels of consistency in effort as they are emotionally connected to the team.”  A common theme throughout his career has been player development.

Over his 15 years coaching, Booth has helped produce over 20 international players. Many of which have been home-grown from the club’s Academy. He has a degree in Sports Science and is accredited in Coaching Mind-set and Performance Profiling.

“We are pleased to announce Toby Booth as the Head Coach of the Ospreys,” said Ospreys Performance Director Mike Ruddock. “Toby is a vastly experienced coach who has proven himself over many years in the English Premiership with London Irish, Bath and Harlequins.

“He is an excellent communicator and an innovative coach. His track record of developing a high performance rugby programme impressed the interview panel and the senior players that met with him during the recruitment process.

“There were a number of outstanding candidates on our short list however Toby’s ability to outline his impressive coaching philosophy and his rugby specific knowledge marked him out as a stand out coach. The Ospreys Board would like to thank the WRU for their involvement and support for our recruitment process and we look forward to Toby taking charge next season.”

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Josh Adams will see no more Six Nations 2020 action following Saturdays Ankle Injury 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏉📰

Josh Adams will play no further part in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations following an ankle injury sustained in the 3rd round narrow defeat against France.

The in form Welsh Rugby and Blues winger is likely to be out for up to 3 months.

He is due to have surgery this week and it is envisaged that he could return in 12 weeks for the latter stages of the Guinness PRO14.​

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

How Wales Could Still Win The Six Nations – as per Wales Online…

According to a recent Article on Wales Online – Here how Wales could still Win the Six Nations title in 2020, although it’s a bit unlikely…

Wales v England

The first thing Wales need to do is win their remaining games, preferably with maximum points, starting with England at Twickenham.

Yes, it’s a tough ask, but this is England v Wales. Anything could happen, Pivac’s attacking game-plan might click and Wales run in four tries for a bonus point in a thrilling clash with England not getting anything.

They would, of course, need other results to then go their way too.

Scotland v France

That means Scotland to triumph over France at Murrayfield. Yes, some might view that as a little unlikely we accept, but if Gregor Townsend’s men click anything can happen.

Italy v Ireland

The other result Wales need would be more seismic, Italy beating Ireland.

On the surface that may look nigh on impossible, but Italy troubled France in Paris, are desperate to end their losing streak in the Six Nations and won’t travel without hope.

Also, this is an Ireland team who have been heavily criticised by former players, the media and the public on the Emerald Isle with calls for wholesale changes, in Dublin. Conor Murray and skipper Johnny Sexton, key figures for so many years, are under fire.

The pressure is on.

Sport is a funny game. If Ireland get a player sent off early on, or a couple in the bin, who knows?

Buster Douglas, Wimbledon FA Cup final v Liverpool, Leicester winning the Premier League… sporting shocks do happen.

Such a sequence of results would mean France remaining on 13 points, and England and Ireland on nine.

The big movers would be Wales with a maximum points haul in a smash and grab raid on their neighbours taking them to 11, just two points behind the French.

Scotland could be on the same number, or a point behind, if they beat France without securing a bonus.

That would leave a situation of their top five being covered by just four points, each retaining hopes of the title, and setting up a truly Super Saturday.

What needs to happen in Round Five

(Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)

 

Wales v Scotland

Again, Wales have to take care of their own business. They are first up, at home to Scotland, and can pile the pressure on the other teams with a bonus point victory which would take them to 16 points.

Wales have the wood over the Scots in Cardiff, so a bonus point haul from this one is certainly not unfeasible.

Italy v England

England could only get 14 points if, as expected, they run up four tries and beat Italy.

That match is due to take place in Rome but emergency measures taken by the Italian government to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country have already caused sports events to to postponed or cancelled and could put it in doubt.

There is also a question-mark over Ireland’s previous round fixture with the Azzurri, with the Irish government monitoring the situation. It hasn’t ruled out postponing the fixture.

France v Ireland

An Irish triumph, with a bonus point, could only take them to a maximum of 14 points.

France could still finish on 16 points if that match finished in a draw and they scored four tries to pick up a bonus point.

But if they lose, the title would be Wales’.

Wales could even still win the title if they fail to pick up a bonus point in one of the games against England or Scotland and finish the Championship with 15 points.

That would be enough for them to finish above England and Ireland with only France able to match or better it through one or two draws, or losing bonus points.

Wales could even still win the title if they fail to pick up a bonus point in one of the games against England or Scotland and finish the Championship with 15 points.

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Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Welsh Rugby Union | Wales & Regions | Wales Women heavily beaten by France

Wales were beaten 50-0 by France in their third game of the 2020 Women’s Six Nations.

Chris Horsman’s side had their moments, but it was Les Bleus who wew fully deserved winners at Cardiff Arms Park as they racked up a half century of points.

There were eight French tries in total with Cyrielle Banet and Laure Sansus both scoring twice.

Safi N’Diaye, Marine Menager, Julie Annery and Camile Boudaud added further efforts for Les Bleus as they kept Wales scoreless in the capital.

France fly-half Jessy Tremouliere kicked five conversions as player of the match Pauline Bourdon ran the show from fly-half.

Wales fell behind to an early French try as wing Banet raced clear to score in the corner and the conversion attempt from out wide was unsuccessful.

After that the home side responded well.

Wales had plenty of possession and territory as they camped themselves in the French half with flanker Alisha Butchers impressing with one huge tackle.

Butchers was putting herself about physically, but she also showed deftness of hand with one nice pass out of the tackle.

Wales’ problem was they could not convert their field position into points as captain Siwan Lillicrap brushed off a knock.

France finally got some possession after long periods of Wales dominance and they showed the home side how to be clinical.

The away set-piece had been very good all day and from a scrum close to the Welsh line, French scrum-half Sansus was the one to pick up and dart over.

The conversion from Tremouliere was good.

It was a cross-kick to the corner which led to France’s third try.

Banet grabned her second after the excellent Bourdon had booted the ball to her in space. Tremouliere’s conversion attempt was successful as Wales turned around 19-0 down.

Wales had also lost back Kerin Lake in the first half as she departed for a head injury assessment to be replaced by Lauren Smyth.

Unfortunately for Wales, France only moved further clear in the second half.

Lock N’Diaye crashed over from close range and Tremouliere converted.

Sansus then grabbed her second of the afternoon as she picked up from a pack surge and went down the blindside to score with ease.

The conversion went wide, but the French scoring continued.

Menager raced clear down the left wing to score and Tremouliere converted from wide out.

Flanker Annery and replacement back Boudaud completed the scoring late on.

— Read on www.wru.wales/report/wales-women-beaten-by-france/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Welsh Rugby Union | Wales & Regions | Dragons lose out in Glasgow

Rhodri Williams grabbed two tries, but the Dragons still went down 34-19 at Scotstoun against a Glasgow Warriors side that moved into third place in Conference A with a bonus point win.

Acting skipper Williams gave the visitors the perfect start with an interception try in the opening minute. That forced Glasgow to dig deep and they led 17-7 at the break thanks to tries from Tim Swinson and the first of a brace from hooker Grant Stewart.

Sam Davies made a brilliant break to pave the way for his half-back partner Williams’ second try and the Dragons did well to stay in touch. In the end, though, they were outgunned by five tries to three and headed home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Davis converted two of the tries and the third came from Ashton Hewitt on the wing. Glasgow responded with a second try from Stewart in the second half and further touchdowns from centre Huw Jones and Fijian Mesu Dolokoto.

Peter Horne converted three of the home tries and added a penalty to complete the scoring and the defeat leaves the Dragons 13 points behind the Cheetahs, who were also beaten in Ulster, in the race for fourth place. The Dragons have a game in hand.

The two sides meet at Rodney Parade on Saturday in a crucial game (kick-off 5.15pm).

— Read on www.wru.wales/report/dragons-lose-out-in-glasgow/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Welsh Rugby Union | Wales & Regions | Wales duo back for Blues

Wales duo back for Blues
WRU 8 hours ago PREVIEW
Hallam Amos has returned after his call-up to the squad.
Wales Guinness Six Nations squad members Hallam Amos and Seb Davies will return to lend their weight to Cardiff Blues’ playoff bid in their crunch clash with Benetton Treviso this evening.

The Test pair have been thrust into the starting lineup as John Mulvihill’s men eye a vital victory that could close the gap on their Guinness PRO14 Conference B rivals. The clash with the Italian side takes on added significance for the Blues players, who will all be wearing their home club socks to celebrate he grassroots game on Regional Clubs Day.

There are a total of five changes made to the starting line-up, as lock Davies is drafted into the second row to partner James Ratti, having featured as a replacement in the defeat to Connacht last time out.

Ryan Edwards is handed his first Guinness PRO14 start on the wing, which sees 22-times capped international Amos switch to the number 15 jersey. The final change amongst the backline sees Ben Thomas returning to the centre, replacing Rey Lee-Lo who is ruled out with concussion.

Having missed out on the trip to Ireland through injury, Shane Lewis-Hughes returns to the back-row, combining with Olly Robinson and Josh Turnbull. A front row of Rhys Gill, Liam Belcher and Scott Andrews complete the pack.

Head coach Mulvihill said: “We’ve had a very honest week as a group, and we’re desperate to put things right in front of our own crowd after last week’s disappointment.

“The whole group has been really focused on the task ahead this week, and that’s been clear to see from the work we’ve put in on the training ground.

“Benetton will be coming here looking from revenge after the reverse fixture earlier this season. We won at the death on that day, and it really showed the resilience and mental strength of this
team to dig deep and get a result.

“We can take confidence from that match heading into this game, but we’re fully aware of the threats that Benetton pose.

“There’s a fantastic weekend of rugby ahead, and we’re really looking forward to celebrating our grassroots game by welcoming clubs from across the region down for what should be a great occasion.”

— Read on www.wru.wales/preview/wales-duo-back-for-blues/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

England v Ireland: ‘No-one argues with a Farrell’ as father and son prepare for Twickenham game

There is an arc in the competitive relationship between most fathers and sons.

Stage one: father teaches son. Stage two: father lets son win. Stage three: equally matched. Stage four: son unrepentantly triumphant. Stage five: son patronises father by throwing him occasional bones.

Andy and Owen Farrell are not most fathers and sons. Which is why, when they come up against each other at the elite level once again this weekend, the dynamic between them will be so perplexing to the majority of those watching.

England v Ireland is always a huge game. With Ireland two games unbeaten and England on the rebound from World Cup final disappointment there is extra weight on this one, but you can find subplots anywhere you care: Farrell senior returning to Twickenham as head coach for the first time; Eddie Jones with a new-look coaching staff containing only a solitary Englishman; both looking to move their teams on as a new World Cup cycle begins.

But it is the Farrell against Farrell narrative that will draw the eye, because each is so integral to everything their side is, and because their characters are reflected in the style and attitude of the teams around them.

— Read on www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/51560161

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

England vs Ireland preview:

England vs Ireland preview:

This is going to be a massive game and probably the game to watch this weekend. If the conditions are better than what they were against Scotland this game is going to be a thriller. The English who bounced back against Scotland after losing to France in their first game are coming in onto this game with some confidence.

The Irish who are unbeaten this far are going to Twickenham on a high and will want to keep their grand slam hopes alive. Neither one of these teams have found their best form, but if there was ever a game to do so, this would be it. The English are going to try and use their forward pack to set up a good base to attack from and in free play they will want to clean out rucks quickly and give quick ball to their very dangerous backline.

Ford who is playing at 10 again will have a massive job on his shoulders because he is the person that is responsible for distributing the ball to his outside backs. If the Irish are able to put him under pressure like the Bokks did in the World-Cup final he will not be able to get the ball out wide and it will make it easy to defend against them. The Irish will look to do the same and their flyhalf Sexton is also the key to their attacking structure. He will direct the traffic and if his team can’t get go forward he has the know how to put the ball on the boot and start playing deep inside the English half again. Both teams are matched up perfectly and it is very hard to see one team dominate one faze of the game. That is why this is going to be one of the most exiting games to watch this far in the comp.

Key match ups:

Maro Itoje vs James Ryan: These two are two of the best locks in the northern hemisphere and they will battle it out for supremacy. They are both great line out jumpers and are two of the best defenders in the world. Maro is a very great defender and one of the things that he brings to the game that not a lot of locks do is his work at the breakdown. He gets more than his share of turnovers and penalties and that makes it easier on the teams loose forwards and they share their work load between all of them. James gives this team a hand up in the physical part of the game and will carry hard and try to get over the gain line. He will also help his team clean out the ruck quickly so that they can get quick ball and get their backline moving.

George Ford vs Johnny Sexton: The teams play makers. These two will have to control the game with the boot and their decision making. Both of these are world class 10’s and can take the game away from the other team in a matter of seconds and that is why the defending team will have to keep an eye on them. I believe that these two players are going to be the vital point of each team. They will control the game and the player who gets the upper hand in that department of the game will give their team a great chance to win.

Teams:

Starting XV

Joe Marler

1

Cian Healy

Jamie George

2

Rob Herring

Kyle Sinckler

3

Tadhg Furlong

Maro Itoje

4

Devin Toner

George Kruis

5

James Ryan

Courtney Lawes

6

Peter O’Mahony

Sam Underhill

7

Josh van der Flier

Thomas Curry

8

CJ Stander

Ben Youngs

9

Conor Murray

George Ford

10

Johnny Sexton

Jonathan Joseph

11

Jacob Stockdale

Owen Farrell

12

Bundee Aki

Manu Tuilagi

13

Robbie Henshaw

Jonny May

14

Andrew Conway

Elliot Daly

15

Jordan Larmour

Bench

Luke Cowan-Dickie

16

Ronan Kelleher

Ellis Genge

17

Dave Kilcoyne

Will Stuart

18

Andrew Porter

Joe Launchbury

19

Ultan Dillane

Charlie Ewels

20

Caelan Doris

Ben Earl

21

John Cooney

Willi Heinz

22

Ross Byrne

Henry Slade

23

Keith Earls

My Prediction:

I think this is going to be a thrilling game and definitely worth watching. I also think that the Irish are going to win the game and keep their hopes of a grand slam alive.

— Read on rugbydissect.sport.blog/2020/02/23/england-vs-ireland-preview/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Six Nations RESULTS: France see off Wales to keep Grand Slam hopes alive, Scotland cruise to victory against minnows Italy

Six Nations RESULTS: France see off Wales to keep Grand Slam hopes alive, Scotland cruise to victory against minnows Italy

Shaun Edwards was given a Cardiff return to remember as France stayed on course for a Six Nations Grand Slam as they got the better of Wales with a 27-23 win.

Former Wales defence coach Edwards, who is now performing the same role with France, looked on as his team ran in tries from full-back Anthony Bouthier, lock Paul Willemse and fly-half Romain Ntamack.France are looking more and more like Grand Slam winnersNtamack added three conversions and two penalties for a 17-point haul, with Les Bleus claiming a first win on Welsh soil since 2010.And it proved richly deserved despite Wales clawing back to one point behind early in the second period through prop Dillon Lewis’ first try for his country and fly-half Dan Biggar touching down late on.

Biggar booted two conversions and three penalties, collecting 18 points, yet Wales could have few complaints after falling to a second successive defeat under new head coach Wayne Pivac.The reigning Six Nations champions suffered a first home reversal in the tournament since England toppled them three years ago.

They now have to pick themselves up for a Twickenham appointment with England in two weeks’ time, while resurgent France will complete a Six Nations clean sweep if they see off Scotland at Murrayfield, followed by Ireland in Paris.France looked like they were going to run away with things but Wales stayed in touch with a late fightbackScotland cruised to a straightforward 17-0 victory over Italy to claim their first victory of the 2020 Six Nations campaign.Scotland had failed to score in either of their opening defeats to Ireland and England, but Stuart Hogg – guilty of horror spills in both those losses – made amends after 23 minutes with a brilliant individual solo try as he darted 50 yards to score in the corner.

Scotland celebrate their first victoryTomasso Allan then fired a penalty against the post as Italy wasted a late chance just before the break to trim Scotland’s 5-0 lead.The visitors got their second score on 47 minutes as Chris Harris squeezed over as Italy’s brave resistance gave way after 17 phases of sheer Scottish grunt.Italy had to play out the final stages a man light after Federico Zani was sin-binned for a tip-tackle on Grant Gilchrist.

— Read on talksport.com/sport/rugby-union/673016/six-nations-results-france-wales-grand-slam-scotland-italy/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Six Nations 2020: Lawes sports spectacular shiner and stitches ahead of England’s huge Ireland clash

Six Nations 2020: Lawes sports spectacular shiner and stitches ahead of England’s huge Ireland clash

COURTNEY LAWES denied that he had already been scrapping ahead of tomorrow’s massive fight with Ireland.The England lock turned flanker is nursing a massive black eye and needed stitches after a clash in training on Thursday.

Courtney Lawes has been sporting an impressive shiner but will be keeping an eye on Ireland in the massive Six Nations testEngland face Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in the Six Nations, hoping to light up Twickenham for the first time since reaching the World Cup final.Tough-tackling Lawes equals legendary World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson’s 84 caps at Twickenham, sporting a war wound that Johnno would be proud of.Lawes, 31 tomorrow, said: “It’s just a boo boo. Nothing too serious, it is all fine. . . just a clash, my head on something, not sure what.“I am hoping it will go down a bit. It’s all right – I got through today so I was all right.“We’re expecting a pretty physical battle. Up front Ireland have got a really good pack, a big pack, so that is a big area for us to front up and show we want it.“We want to get out there and get at them.

I’m really looking forward to it.”Ahead of Lawes’ milestone game, ex-England captain Steve Borthwick, Eddie Jones‘ skills coach, remembers the Northampton Saints enforcer making his debut alongside him.He added: “I remember Courtney when he first started coming into the England squad and the way he carried, hit and the line out force he was. That was twelve years ago.“Also the way the other players follow him is absolutely magnificent.“To still be doing it at this level as long as he has is a testament to him and how hard he has worked on the field but more importantly off the field to make sure that his body is in the best condition to play at the elite level every week.“I hope there are going to be many more years of him representing England.[article-rail-section title=”SIX NATIONS NEWS” posts_category=”350″ posts_number=”10″ query_type=”popular” /] “As an England coach and supporter to see a player who plays with such passion, determination and ferocity.“As a supporter that’s what you want to see.“Courtney embodies that every time he walks out onto the field.”Ireland can win a Triple Crown having already swept aside Wales and Scotland.And recalled second-row Devin Toner said: “It is the pinnacle of your career to play a game for Ireland at Twickenham.“We won the Grand Slam here, which was huge. They obviously got on top of us the last time.“There is always going to be a fear factor away from home and this is their first game back here so will have something to prove.“They haven’t fired a shot yet with the weather against Scotland and the loss to France.“We will have to get everything right as we know they are a hugely physical team from the one they have picked. They will come after us early.”

— Read on www.thesun.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/11018717/six-nations-courtney-lawes-shiner-england/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Six Nations 2020: Wales ratings as North’s concussion hell strikes again but Biggar shows heart of a dragon vs France

Six Nations 2020: Wales ratings as North’s concussion hell strikes again but Biggar shows heart of a dragon vs France

WALES came up just short as France recorded their first win at the Principality Stadium for a decade in a Six Nations thriller.

There were massive performances for some of Les Bleus’ young stars but how did the home side get on?George North went off with another concerning concussion scare, while Dan Biggar kept a cool head for the home sideHere is how SunSport’s Alex Terrell rated the Welsh in Cardiff.

BACKS – Leigh Halfpenny 7Has been almost faultless under the high ball and again did so little wrong under the closed roof.Perhaps the only difference between Halfpenny and absent Liam Williams is the extra finesse the latter gives the side at full-back.George North 5The winger is a legend in these parts, but he went off with another concussion.North has to start asking the question — is his future life and looking after his unborn child worth taking all these hits to the head?

Fingers crossed we see North back and he is OK, because that is the biggest concern for him right now.Nick Tompkins 8Close to being a top drawer test match player, but still little bits to work on, like passing the ball to an opposing player.His pass was the one that Ntamack ran on to and scored, the move that turned out to be the game changer.Was unlucky to get turned over by Camille Chat at the end.Hadleigh Parkes 6When he doesn’t kick, he’s fine, but maybe the centre should avoid getting boot to ball for a while.Josh Adams 6Unlucky to be kept quiet, or did he just not do enough?Looked in the groove and his battle with Teddy Thomas was a fascinating one.Dan Biggar 8Has the heart of a dragon, does the fly half.A dogged performance, chasing down his own kicks and trying to turn the momentum of the game.Gareth Davies 6Probably hasn’t done enough to wrestle the No9 jersey off Tomos Williams for the next game.

FORWARDS – Wyn Jones 6Solid in the scrum after last week’s uncertainty against Ireland.Ken Owens 6Hart to criticise the hooker, when the home side won 12 out of 13 line-outs and nine out of 10 scrums.Dillon Lewis 7Superb try from the prop, who is blossoming into a real talent in a red jersey.Just needs to keep his head in defence though, his penalty count was the highest among the Welsh players and that was costly.Jake Ball 7Just works so hard and doesn’t give an inch.Underrated outside Wales, but not west of the Severn.Alun Wyn Jones 6Not reached the giddy heights of last year and he could not convince the referee that it was a penalty try when Willemse appeared to palm the ball during a backs-to-the-wall passage.Ross Moriarty 7Was shifted around from blindside flanker to No8, but 13 tackles was the joint-highest among the Wales players.[article-rail-section title=”SIX NATIONS NEWS” posts_category=”350″ posts_number=”10″ query_type=”popular” /]Justin Tipuric 7Has been Wales’ best player this Six Nations and possibly the best openside in the competition, alongside Charles Ollivon.Taulupe Faletau 6Not back to his best since returning, but he is close and bubbling under the surface.Taken off after the hour and replaced by Aaron Wainrwight, with Moriarty shifting to No8, who brought more explosive running into the Wales back-line.

— Read on www.thesun.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/11017744/six-nations-wales-ratings-france/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Come on Wales

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Scottish 6 Nations News

Scottish 6 Nations News 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏉📰

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— Read on mikearmstrong.me/scottish-6-nations-news-🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏉📰/

England Six Nations Team News

England Six Nations Team News 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏉📰

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— Read on mikearmstrong.me/england-six-nations-team-news-🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏉📰/

Pro14: Ospreys 13-21 Leinster – BBC Sport

Pro14: Ospreys 13-21 Leinster

Leinster kept their unbeaten season going with a 21-13 victory over struggling Ospreys at the Gnoll.

It was a 12th successive Pro14 win for the Irish province and an 18th victory of the season.

Tries from Tommy O’Brien, Josh Murphy and Cian Kelleher clinched the win, while Ospreys responded with a Luke Morgan try and eight points from Luke Price.

Leinster’s victory took them 19 points clear in Conference A.

Ospreys continue to prop up this section with just two wins in 12 league matches this season.

Ospreys had Wales pair Owen Watkin and Adam Beard starting again while there was one change from the side that defeated Ulster and halted a four-month losing sequence.

— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/rugby-union/51573038

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Wales under pressure to get back on track against inexperienced France

Wales under pressure to get back on track against inexperienced France | Wales rugby union team

There was an echo of the Warren Gatland era this week when the prop Wyn Jones accused France of cheating in the scrum. It was a calculated attempt to provoke the Six Nations leaders, whose indignant response went over the top, but it also showed the pressure the champions are under.

Defeat would surrender their interest in the title and end the longest unbeaten home record in the competition. It is three years since Wales lost in Cardiff and 10 since France last won there, but there is a sense that after a decade in which Wales, Ireland and England dominated the Six Nations, the balance of power may be shifting.

— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/21/wales-under-pressure-to-get-back-on-track-against-inexperienced-france

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Six Nations 2020: Wales v France preview, team news & key stats – BBC Sport

Six Nations 2020: Wales v France preview, team news & key stats –

With fly-half Dan Biggar fit to start, Wales have made two changes to their starting XV for Saturday’s game against unbeaten Six Nations leaders France.

Gareth Davies and Ross Moriarty come into the side to replace Tomos Williams and Aaron Wainwright respectively.

Virimi Vakatawa is the only fresh face in the France line-up.

The centre has recovered from a triceps injury and replaces Vincent Rattez, who suffered a broken fibula against Italy, with Gael Fickou switching to the wing.

Biggar has come through his latest concussion protocols after bashing heads with Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw during Wales’ 24-14 defeat in round two, a result that ended any Welsh hopes of back-to-back Grand Slams.

— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/rugby-union/51574195

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Five changes for Cardiff Blues in bid to bounce back from being nil’d

Five changes for Cardiff Blues in bid to bounce back from being nil’d

John Mulvihill has made five changes to the Cardiff Blues team that lost 29-0 to Connacht last week as a return to winning ways is sought against Benetton at the Arms Park on Sunday, 5.15pm kick-off.

One of the changes is an enforced one as Rey Lee-Lo has been ruled out with a head injury, with Ben Thomas taking his place in midfield. Garyn Smith moves from inside to outside centre to accommodate the change.

The others are all tactical as Scott Andrews and Dmitri Arhip trade places at tighthead with the latter starting, Seb Davies is released from the Wales squad and starts this week, packing down at lock with Josh Turnbull dropping to number eight and Shane Lewis-Hughes recovers from a knock to start on the blindside flank.

Will Boyde drops to the bench with Filo Paulo and Nick Williams missing out on the matchday 23 entirely.

Hallam Amos is also released from the Wales squad and moves from wing to full-back as Dan Fish is on the bench and Ryan Edwards promoted to make his first Guinness Pro14 start.

Olly Robinson recovers from a head injury of his own to stay on the openside flank while Lloyd Williams will once again lead the side from scrum-half.

On the bench Brad Thyer will cover loosehead in place of Corey Domachowski, while Rory Thornton returns from injury to back up the second row, his first appearance since October.

There is also a potential Pro14 debut for Max Llewellyn as a replacement.

Cardiff Blues: Hallam Amos, Jason Harries, Garyn Smith, Ben Thomas, Ryan Edwards, Jason Tovey, Lloyd Williams (c); Rhys Gill, Liam Belcher, Scott Andrews, James Ratti, Seb Davies, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Olly Robinson, Josh Turnbull

Replacements: Kris Dacey, Brad Thyer, Dmitri Arhip, Rory Thornton, Will Boyde, Lewis Jones, Max Llewellyn, Dan Fish

— Read more on cardiffbluesblog.com/2020/02/21/five-changes-for-cardiff-blues-in-bid-to-bounce-back-from-being-nild/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Scottish 6 Nations News 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏉📰

Captain Stuart Hogg says Scotland must “learn quickly” if they are to become Six Nations contenders.

His side takes on hosts Italy on Saturday looking for a first win in the 2020 tournament after bonus-point defeats against Ireland and England.

Hogg, 27, believes the team are still moving in the right direction despite once again failing to threaten a Six Nations title challenge.

“We need to get our stuff spot on,” said Hogg.

“We are constantly learning, but we need to learn quickly. We can’t be sitting here in a couple of years’ time saying exactly the same things. We’ve said that for a while now.

For more on this or other news please follow the link.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Rugby News 🏉📰

Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs are set to return to England’s starting XV for Sunday’s pivotal Six Nations showdown with Ireland at Twickenham, according to reports.

The Leicester pair are expected to take over from outside centre Jonathan Joseph and scrum-half Willi Heinz when head coach Eddie Jones names his side late on Friday morning.

Tuilagi is likely to be included in the wider midfield channel, rather than at inside centre, even though Henry Slade is back in selection contention after injury.

That means George Ford and Owen Farrell will continue their 10-12 alliance despite the physical threat posed by Ireland’s imposing centres Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw.

Italy 🇮🇹 make one change for their game against Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Italy have made one change to the starting line-up for this weekend’s game against Scotland.

Alessandro Zanni comes back in at at lock for Dean Budd, who now drops to the bench.

Zanni has played 118 Tests for Azzurri and played against Wales.

Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Carlo Canna, 11 Matteo Minozzi, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Sebastian Negri, 6 Jake Polledri, 5 Niccolò Cannone, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Giosuè Zilocchi, 2 Luca Bigi (c), 1 Andrea Lovotti; Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Marco Lazzaroni, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Giovanni Licata, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Giulio Bisegni.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Alun Wyn Jones caught in row over scrummaging with the French Coach 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🇫🇷🏉📰

Tensions are high as Wales prepare to take on France in Cardiff on Saturday, and Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has hit back at France’s claims that Wales were disrespectful with their scrum “cheat” claims.

France coach Fabien Galthie responded to Wales prop Wyn Jones’ suggestion the visiting scrum will “cheat” when the sides meet in Cardiff this weekend, saying the comments demonstrate a lack of respect for the whole country.

“It’s a lack of respect for our scrum, a lack of respect for our team, a lack of respect for French rugby but also for our nation,” he told a press conference.

“This is the Six Nations tournament and in the Six Nations tournament there is no room for these kind of remarks.”

But Alun Wyn Jones is not in agreement, admitting he felt the comments were born more out of respect than a lack of.

For more on this or other news please follow the link.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

England Six Nations Team News

Centre Jonathan Joseph is on the wing for his 50th cap as head coach Eddie Jones shuffles England’s backline for Sunday’s Six Nations game with Ireland.

Elliot Daly moves to full-back for the Twickenham match with George Furbank, who began the first two games, injured. 

Centre Manu Tuilagi is back after recovering from a groin niggle.

Prop Joe Marler replaces the unavailable Mako Vunipola, with Ben Youngs returning at scrum-half and Courtney Lawes starting on the flank.

For more on this story or other news please follow the link.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Introbiz Breakfast Networking Event in Cardiff, with Jonathan Davies 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿💼📰

Introbiz are delighted to share their latest Introbiz Expo news, where they will have all brand new top entrepreneurs and sporting legends speaking on stage in Wales’ Biggest Business Expo.

Their latest Introbiz Expo News day;

“It gives us great pleasure to announce that we wilk have Welsh Rugby Legend and TV Personality Jonathan “Jiffy” Davies and MC Rugby Legend Sean Holley to open Wales National Business Exhibition 2020 at the sit down Networking Breakfast Event prior to the Expo, at Cardiff City FC Stadium on Thursday 12th November from 7.am-10am.

What else can you expect from the networking breakfast event at Wales’ Biggest Business Expo:

*Listen to a live Q&A with Rugby legends Jonathan Davies and Sean Holley on stage.

* Enjoy a Delicious Cooked Breakfast with refreshments.

* Network with Keynote Speakers Sponsors and Exhibitors.

* Be connected to over 150 businesses.

* Ask questions at live Q&A.

* Learn all about upcoming Rugby Autumn Internationals.

*Photo opportunities with keynote speakers.

* Want to join Introbiz – Tickets are now on sale here..

https://expo.introbiz.co.uk/homepage/17419-2/

Introbiz Expo's

Introbiz Expo's

#wales #rugby #business #networking #entrepreneurs #networkingbreakfast #Introbizexpo

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

WRU pledge £100,000 for rugby clubs devastated by Storm Dennis as collection planned for Wales Six Nations match 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿💼🏉📰

The WRU have drawn up an action plan to support rugby clubs around Wales affected by Storm Dennis, setting the ball rolling with a £100,000 fighting fund.

A number of clubs were seriously affected by flooding caused by the storm, including the likes of Bedwas, Blackwood, Cross Keys, Rumney and Newport HSOB.

There have been dramatic images of the extent of the damage, both with flooded pitches and wrecked clubhouses.

— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/wru-pledge-100000-rugby-clubs-17783547

MA News

MA News

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me