Leigh Halfpenny: Scarlets and Wales full-back rekindles rugby love affair – BBC Sport
Pivac springs surprises in first Wales squad selection
The Cardiff Blues players in contention to play the Barbarians
Proof That Wales Are a Nation of Patriots, How Did You React to the 2019 Rugby World Cup?
Liberty Marketing, a Cardiff digital marketing agency, kept a closer eye than most on this year’s Rugby World Cup, pulling data and statistics to share how ‘Wales Reacts’ game-by-game.
After what has been a rollercoaster ride to the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup, a patriotic Welsh nation didn’t falter.
The four pool matches were tough, especially the nail-biting game against Fiji.
And who could forget the giant collision between Dan Biggar and Liam Williams.
Then, there was Hallam Amos’ bad, BAD game v Uruguay, with three frighteningly bad handling errors. You know they’re rookie mistakes when even the ref has a giggle.
And although there was a lot of talk online of his missed hattrick, it seems our great nation were more interested in Leigh Halfpenny’s return to our screens.
Wales then faced another nail-bitingly close match against France, where Aaron Wainwright took a blow to his chin by a giant Vahaamahina.
And Dan Biggar takes another smash.
This is all before we’ve even touched upon the Welsh injuries.
Gareth Anscombe, Cory Hill, and Adam Beard all missed the tournament due to various pre-Rugby World Cup injuries. Josh Navidi suffered a hamstring injury against France, missing the semi-final match, and Liam Williams who suffered an ankle injury during training.
George North was injured during the semi-final match, along with teammate Tomas Francis who was feared to have dislocated his shoulder.
Jonathan Davies and Hadleigh Parkes were also carrying injuries, and there were concerns for Dan Biggar after taking so many hits.
But our proud country stood together, as patriotic as ever… Especially Carol Vorderman.
And were all crushed when it came to a bitter end Sunday morning.
We blamed the ref.
Enjoyed the rivalry.
And really felt the bois’ heartache.
Our patriotic nation stood together throughout, and although we won’t be bringing the Webb Ellis Cup home this Rugby World Cup, we’re still incredibly proud of the team.
Liberty Marketing recorded over 300,000 conversations using the official hashtag for each match over Wales’ entire tournament.
See how ‘Wales Reacted’ game-by-game throughout the Rugby World Cup for a sense of accomplishment, a tug at the heartstrings or for a simple giggle!
Can you guess who was Wales’ favourite player for majority of the games…?
Warren Gatland’s daughter has written a moving message to Wales fans, calling them the “most kind, welcoming and passionate people” her family have ever come across.
Gabby Gatland spoke about how Wales will always have a special place in her family’s heart following Wales’ exit from the Rugby World Cup.
Although Warren Gatland’s reign as Wales coach ended in defeat as New Zealand ran in six tries in the World Cup bronze medal match in Tokyo, his 12 years as head coach have transformed the fortunes of our national side.
— Read more on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/warren-gatland-daughter-gabby-wales-17189136.amp
Rugby-New Zealand take third place with six-try win over Wales
The third/fourth place play-off match at the World Cup is a game that applies salt into the wound of losing a semi-final.
Wales made nine changes for today’s clash with New Zealand. Injuries and fatigue lie behind most of the changes in what has been a draining World Cup run.
— Read more on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/gatland-made-wales-proper-test-17179727.amp
Blink and you might miss it. Shows of emotion from Warren Gatland are a rarity.
His public persona mirrors the style of rugby which has made him one of the world’s most respected coaches: pragmatic, methodical, occasionally blunt.
But at the end of some matches, you might see Gatland on the pitch with his arms outstretched, searching for someone in the crowd.
He is looking for his wife, Trudi, and his children, Gabby and Bryn.
Lane starts as Wales make nine changes
Hansen v Gatland: What’s at stake in Tokyo
Smiles and pride – the Gatland legacy
“He does this thing out on the field when he can see us out in the crowd, he puts his arms out and it means ‘big much’ which means as much as you can love anyone,” Trudi says.
“He does have that persona and part of his job is to take it very seriously.
“But he’s quite a different character actually. He’s got a great sense of humour and he likes to have a laugh, especially with the children.
“He’s a bit quirky, he loves to sing. He doesn’t sing very well but he loves to sing. His go-to song, if he’s made to sing on the team bus or whatever, is ‘Durham Town’ by Roger Whittaker. But he won’t do karaoke!”
Trudi, Gabby and Bryn can expect a particularly big air hug in Tokyo on Friday when Wales face New Zealand in the World Cup bronze medal match.
Image copyright REX FEATURES
Image caption Wales coach Warren Gatland and New Zealand coach Steve Hansen will both end their tenures after Friday’s third place play-off
This will be Gatland’s final match in charge of Wales, bringing to a close the most successful coaching tenure in the country’s history, his 12 years yielding four Six Nations titles – including three Grand Slams – and a first stint as the world’s number one-ranked side.
Gatland has also led Wales to two World Cup semi-finals, though how dearly he wishes his last game could have been a final against England – even if Friday’s encounter pits him against his native New Zealand and gives him the opportunity to sign off with a first Welsh win over the All Blacks for 66 years.
With the pain of a 19-16 semi-final loss to South Africa still raw, Gatland is bound to be contending with a heady cocktail of emotions this week.
Beyond the steely veneer, even he will feel moved.
“The emotions will be there for his last game,” Trudi says.
“When you see him in the stands and the camera’s on him and he’s very much the same whether they’ve scored points or had a yellow card, it’s all going on inside. We usually have a joke with him about how he’s smiling on the inside.
“He’s really good at knowing when you can be emotional and when you need to be tough on people, rile them up or trust they know how to do the job.
“He’s usually pretty even – the players talk about the confidence he gives them – but there is a bit of emotion there.”
— Read more on www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/rugby-union/50245173
Alun Wyn Jones speaks about his Wales future as the era that defined him comes to an end – Wales Online
— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/the-show-must-go-on-17180347.amp
positive rugby star Thomas’ UK magazine cover hailed for tackling stigma
Injury-hit squad for Warren gatland’s final game as Wales head coach
Wales to turn ‘disappointment into fire’ as Gatland signs off against All Blacks
— Read on www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/oct/29/wales-gatland-new-zealand-all-blacks-rugby-world-cup-bronze-playoff
Hate to be proved right about this, but in my opinion kicking the ball away too often, I believe was Wales’ downfall in the Rugby World Cup!
You spend ages perfecting a line out and a scrum in order to win the ball and play some rugby and then simply kick it back to the opposition, What’s the point! I understand kicking in defence and for Territory, but just giving the ball away in the middle of the park seems completely pointless to me. Especially when you have fantastic World Class backs like Hadleigh Park, Jonathon Davies, George North and Josh Adams who are hardly getting their hands on the ball.
I feel that this loss was a result of poor tactics and a poor performance rather than being beaten by a better side, which is hurting for all of Wales’ and most be even more so for the players who had there best chance of a final place or even better!
We would have been beaten by more had it not been for South Africa kicking the ball straight back to us (even when there wasn’t much time on the clock), the donuts!
Two poor teams, kicking the ball away and if they persist with the same tactic against England, they will get stuffed (and deservedly so)!
See earlier article for more on way I think this tactic needs to be ended.
Why do some scrum half’s consistently give the ball away to the opposition???
— Read on welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/why-do-some-scrum-halfs-consistently-give-the-ball-away-to-the-opposition/
Heartbreak for Wales as World Cup dream ends
What is Warren Gatland’s next job and why is he leaving Wales after Rugby World Cup?
Wales vs South Africa FREE: Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time and team news for Rugby World Cup semi-final
— Read on www.thesun.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/10214044/wales-vs-south-africa-free-live-stream-tv-channel-kick-off-time-team-news-rugby-world-cup-semi-final/
Wales vs South Africa: Caps, scrum weight, tries and history – Welsh edge scrum but firing Springboks are a try machine
— Read on www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/4879323/wales-vs-south-africa-caps-scrum-weight-tries-and-history-welsh-edge-scrum-but-firing-springboks-are-a-try-machine/
2019 Rugby World Cup Semifinal: Wales vs South Africa
Gareth Thomas slams Sebastien Vahaamahina over ‘intentional act of violence’ for red card
Sebastien Vahaamahina red card gives Wales dramatic win over France
Controversial Moriarty try leads Wales into World Cup semi-finals
Wales have been left furious with Japanese rugby team Suntory Sungoliath after their relationship with England boss Eddie Jones was revealed.
Wales flung open their doors for coaches from Sungoliath on two separate occasions last season, including a week during the successful Six Nations campaign.
Coaches from the Japanese outfit spent a week embedded in the camp, observing different coaching techniques and will have been privy to tactical details Wales were using to prepare for games.
Sam Warburton tips Wales for 12-point Rugby World Cup win and names the one France player who worries him – Wales Online
— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/sam-warburton-tips-wales-12-17111343.amp
There’s just one more day until Wales face France in the Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter final.
The squad have already been out for the Captain’s Run training session this morning and Josh Adams, Jake Ball and Tomas Francis were up for questioning at the latest press conference.
We’ve got what they had to say as well as new from the England camp ahead of their spiky clash with Australia – Billy Vunipola has given his teammates a warning and some news from the French camp.
This morning’s first game is the England v Australia game at 8.15am and then we’ve got New Zealand taking on Ireland.
You can get all the up-to-date news on those in our Rugby World Cup live blog .
Here are your morning headlines from Japan on October 19.
Jonathan Davies’ leg heavily strapped
(Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency)
Alun Wyn Jones has this morning led his player’s out for the Captain’s Run ahead of tomorrow’s quarter final with France.
All players were present, including Jonathan Davies, who still has that left leg heavily strapped. Conditions were muggy after a heavy rainfall yesterday in Beppu but players looked calm and relaxed ahead of tomorrow’s quarter-final.
Josh Adams has Shane Williams record in his sights
With just one try behind the Amman Valley-born wing, Josh Adams could claim (or equal) Shane’s Rugby World Cup record.
Back in 2007 the iconic winger scored six tries, the most scored by any Welshman in a Rugby World Cup. And this year, so far, Adams has gone over the line five times.
Can he beat him? We asked the Blues fullback.
“I wasn’t aware of that until after the Uruguay game,” said Adams.
“Now I know I’m one behind him, it would be nice to level or overtake him.”
JOSH ADAMS, JAKE BALL AND TOMAS FRANCIS FACE THE CAMERAS AHEAD OF QUARTER FINALS
Adams also answered criticism from French winger Yoann Huget who called Wales’ game plan ‘dull’.
“Everyone has an opinion,” he said.
“Maybe in the past we’ve kept things a bit tighter and kicked a little more ball. But that’s just all about the gameplan. We ID areas of the game where we can put teams under pressure.
“I think in the past four games we’ve moved the ball quite well and scored some good tries actually. It’s another string to our bow. We can grind teams down but we can move the ball around.
“It’s nice to keep teams guessing sometimes.
“It’s all about trying to get a complete game.”
All the Rugby World Cup quarter-final predictions from around the globe in one place
Wales has an ‘edge’ in training
(Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency)
The camp has been as relaxed as ever this week, remarks Adams, but he admits that the intensity has been building as Sunday approaches.
“I think this week we’ve all been relaxed like we have most weeks to be honest with you,” he said.
“I don’t think you can get worked up too early. The game is on Sunday not Tuesday. It’s been slowly building, there’s been an edge to us in training.”
A team of Rugby World Cup analysts just worked out which quarter-finalist is best-placed to win the tournament
The text message Wales’ new hero Aaron Wainwright gets after every game
Fast-tracked Wales star Aaron Wainwright has revealed the first feedback he receives after every game comes from his old coaches at Cardiff Met and Whiteheads RFC.
Wainwright was part of Cardiff City Football Club’s academy as a teenager but made the transition into rugby in his late teens.
He has only been playing rugby for four years and started playing youth rugby at Whiteheads RFC in Newport.
In the 2016/17 season he was playing Championship rugby for Cardiff Met RFC and only made his Dragons debut in October 2017. He made his Wales debut on the 2018 summer tour of Argentina.
On Sunday, he starts a World Cup quarter-final but he reveals his old coaches and mates back home are still the first to let him know if he plays well or poorly.
“I’ve had a lot of messages – some from the coaches of Cardiff Met and some from coaches and friends at Whiteheads,” said the 22-year-old.
“Every week in the few days before the games I get messages coming through and it gives me a lot of confidence going into the games.
“They’re the first ones to feed back to me afterwards in terms of whether I’ve had a good game or a bad one. If it’s good they congratulate me and if it’s bad they’re the first ones to pick me up.
“The support has been great from back home.”
WALES TRAINING AHEAD OF RUGBY WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINAL AGAINST FRANCE
Fully fit and experienced Wales better prepared than 2015
Four years ago, an injury hit Wales exited the Rugby World Cup at the quarter-final stage.
It was heartbreak for Wales as South Africa’s Fourie du Preez scuttled over in the closing stages to send the men in red packing.
But Warren Gatland’s current crop are different, according to flanker Justin Tipuric, who came off the bench that day at Twickenham but will start against France in Oita on Sunday.
“It is different and going undefeated as well helps building that confidence, and to be able to pick from a fully fit squad is another positive,” said Tipuric.
“Boys want to get out on the training paddock and put things right and get ready for the game on the weekend.”
“It’s been quite relaxed in camp to be honest. Everyone is excited and looking forward to playing in a quarter final of the World Cup and just want to get out there and perform on the big stage.”
He added: “If you’ve been there before and you’ve learnt from those experiences it is going to help in big games, and big players normally make a difference in those games.
“You don’t want to lose any game, but unfortunately in rugby there are lots of ups and downs in your career. 2015 was one of those frustrating times when we lost that quarter-final with South Africa.
“The boys have to learn from that and we don’t want to feel disappointment like that again.
“Fingers crossed it won’t happen again.”
Billy Vunipola warns England: ‘Turn up or we go home’
Billy Vunipola looks on during the England training session(Image: Getty Images)
England go into today’s win-or-bust Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia with Billy Vunipola warning his team mates: “Turn up or we go home”.
For the first time since the Wallabies eliminated them from the last tournament in 2015, England face a straight knockout match.
The Saracens star said: “I told the lads, ‘this could be our last session’. I said it just to check the boys and I had a few stares. They laughed it off, but I was, like, ‘I am being serious, if we don’t turn up, we are going home’.
“You don’t want to live in fairyland because you get to Sunday and it’s done, and that’s when the excuses come up.
“But if you just take it head on… we have talked about it already, made sure we know what the consequences are.
“We know if we can keep playing the way we have been playing, but just that little bit better, we will be in a good place.”
The bad boy of French rugby picked to play against Wales
Wales will face French rugby’s bad boy Bernard le Roux when they clash with Les Bleus in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
The back-row or lock forward was sent off and suspended for a cynical stamp on Phil John during a Champions Cup clash between Racing 92 and the Scarlets in Llanelli.
South African-born le Roux, who kept Dan Lydiate out of the team during the Wales international’s stint at Racing, kicked out at John during the pool match at Parc y Scarlets.
Bernard Le Roux takes a selfie with fans after defeating Argentina 23-21in the Rugby World Cup Pool C game(Image: AP)
English referee Greg Garner dismissed le Roux after consulting with the television match official.
The player served a seven-week ban last season for a dangerous tackle on Clermont Auvergne’s France international Wesley Fofana.
He had previously advised Johnny Sexton, who had suffered from concussions, to “wear a helmet” ahead of a Six Nations clash between France and Ireland.
Read more on le Roux, here.
Rugby World Cup to hold a moment’s silence for Japan typhoon victims
A moment of silence will be held before Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarterfinals to remember victims of a deadly typhoon that struck Japan last week.
It will be held as “symbol of the global rugby family’s solidarity in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis, which has claimed more than 70 lives”, World Rugby head of communications Dominic Rumbles said.
The weekend’s kick off times
England v Australia: Saturday, 8.15am
New Zealand v Ireland: Saturday, 11.15am
Wales v France: Sunday, 8.15am
Japan v South Africa: Sunday, 11.15am