Tag: WRU News

Wales’ new first-choice centre partnership is obvious and it could be one of the best yet – #WelshSportsNews

If Cory Hill joining the Cardiff Blues was the worst-kept secret in Welsh rugby, then Nick Tompkins heading on loan to the Dragons was probably the second.

It was widely known that the breakthrough star of the Six Nations would be swapping life in London for a year at Rodney Parade while Saracens spend their weekends facing the likes of Jersey in the Championship.

Now, how much time Tompkins spends in a Dragons jersey during his time in Gwent remains to be seen. When rugby returns, there’s likely to be a fair bit of Test rugby to be played.

While that might not favour the Dragons in their use of Tompkins, for the man himself, it’ll be another chance to set out his stall on the international stage.
— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/wales-new-first-choice-centre-18493871.amp

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

Guinness PRO14 boss lifts lid on multi-million pound deal, British & Irish League and how this season will end – Wales Online

The PRO14 recently secured a £125 million investment from CVC

— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/guinness-pro14-boss-lifts-lid-18313859

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

How the Welsh Regions are shaping up for next seasons Pro14 season…

Some quality signings and the return to fitness of big names could produce scintillating rugby for Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Dragons supporters next season in Europe and the Guinness PRO14

Nick Tompkins was excellent for Wales

Nick Tompkins could soon be bringing his excellent Wales form to Cardiff Blues(Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency)

Welsh rugby fans don’t know when their favourite sport will return but there’s plenty to excite them about next season.

Some super signings have been made by the regions and other captures, like new Wales star Nick Tompkins, are being heavily touted.

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

The Welsh Rugby Teams base is being transformed into a Field Hospital to help deal with Coronavirus #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Pictures show dramatic transformation of Welsh rugby team’s base into field hospital

Work on the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence started just a few days ago

BY BEN JAMES

(Image: Princess of Wales Hospital)

These are the pictures that show how the Welsh rugby team’s base is rapidly being transformed into a field hospital to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Work started on turning the Welsh rugby team’s inside training pitches a few days ago.

The makeshift hospital at the Vale Resort will provide 290 additional beds as the numbers of people with COVID19 increases.

Speaking about the makeshift field hospital, Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the response to the challenge of COVID19. The response continues to be amazing.

“The WRU and Leekes have kindly let us use their facilities, which is greatly welcomed as rapid work takes place to increase available staff, beds and equipment. The support of the military and local authorities is just so vital in transforming the spaces and making the changes happen.

“The field hospitals will be vitally important in providing care to patients and communities in the coming weeks and months. It is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively to provide urgent new environments to respond to COVID19.

“As this work progresses, some patients will receive their care in a different location to their usual hospital to reduce the level of risk of exposure to COVID19. We remain very grateful to our patients and wider community for their support and understanding at this time.”

Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort, said: “As a proud Welsh family business, and key player in the local community, we are really keen to step up to the plate and do what we can to assist Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB in providing additional capacity during this time of national crisis.

“This has included working with the WRU to allow 290 additional beds to be set up our indoor training arena.

The huge Principality Stadium event still scheduled to go ahead next month despite the venue being turned into a hospital

“Everybody – from businesses to individuals – has a responsibility to play their part in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to support the NHS, who is doing an incredible job under enormous pressure and extremely difficult circumstances.”

Martyn Phillips, WRU Group CEO, said: “We’ve worked with Leekes in partnership for many years at the National Centre of Excellence. We’re more than happy for the facilities there to be used by the Health Board at this challenging time and to support the wider communities of Wales.”

Last week, the WRU have also made the Principality Stadium available to be turned into a 2,000-bed field hospital – with work currently ongoing to complete that transformation.

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

The Welsh Rugby Teams base is being transformed into a Field Hospital to help deal with Coronavirus #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Pictures show dramatic transformation of Welsh rugby team’s base into field hospital

Work on the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence started just a few days ago

BY BEN JAMES

(Image: Princess of Wales Hospital)

These are the pictures that show how the Welsh rugby team’s base is rapidly being transformed into a field hospital to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Work started on turning the Welsh rugby team’s inside training pitches a few days ago.

The makeshift hospital at the Vale Resort will provide 290 additional beds as the numbers of people with COVID19 increases.

Speaking about the makeshift field hospital, Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the response to the challenge of COVID19. The response continues to be amazing.

“The WRU and Leekes have kindly let us use their facilities, which is greatly welcomed as rapid work takes place to increase available staff, beds and equipment. The support of the military and local authorities is just so vital in transforming the spaces and making the changes happen.

“The field hospitals will be vitally important in providing care to patients and communities in the coming weeks and months. It is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively to provide urgent new environments to respond to COVID19.

“As this work progresses, some patients will receive their care in a different location to their usual hospital to reduce the level of risk of exposure to COVID19. We remain very grateful to our patients and wider community for their support and understanding at this time.”

Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort, said: “As a proud Welsh family business, and key player in the local community, we are really keen to step up to the plate and do what we can to assist Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB in providing additional capacity during this time of national crisis.

“This has included working with the WRU to allow 290 additional beds to be set up our indoor training arena.

The huge Principality Stadium event still scheduled to go ahead next month despite the venue being turned into a hospital

“Everybody – from businesses to individuals – has a responsibility to play their part in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to support the NHS, who is doing an incredible job under enormous pressure and extremely difficult circumstances.”

Martyn Phillips, WRU Group CEO, said: “We’ve worked with Leekes in partnership for many years at the National Centre of Excellence. We’re more than happy for the facilities there to be used by the Health Board at this challenging time and to support the wider communities of Wales.”

Last week, the WRU have also made the Principality Stadium available to be turned into a 2,000-bed field hospital – with work currently ongoing to complete that transformation.

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

Welsh Sports News – Wales release the special tribute to Matthew J Watkins that was supposed to be played at cancelled Scotland game

The Welsh Rugby Union have revealed the special tribute they planned to pay to Matthew J Watkins ahead of Wales’ game against Scotland.

Today’s Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium has been postponed due to fears over the coronavirus.

Watkins, 41, passed away last week after a seven-year battle with a rare form of pelvic cancer.

During a successful career, he earned 18 caps for Wales and played 150 times for the Llanelli Scarlets.

The WRU were due to hold a minute’s applause and play some of Watkins’ highlights on the big screens at the Principality Stadium 15 minutes before kick off.

With the game now not taking place, the Union have released the video on social media and a short statement to go with it.

“Matthew continued to give back to rugby after his playing days and despite battling cancer, helped coach Oakdale minis and juniors and Brecon in their Plate-winning season,” the statement from the WRU read.
— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/wales-release-special-tribute-matthew-17925299.amp

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

WRU Chairman Gareth Davies defends Six Nations decision to pull Wales v Scotland…

Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies has defended the decision to postpone Wales’ Six Nations match against Scotland in Cardiff just 24 hours before kick-off.

The WRU had said earlier on Friday that the game at the Principality Stadium would go ahead but then called it off because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“It has been a tough week,” said Davies. 

“But we believe it was the proper and responsible thing to do.”

Davies added: “I don’t think we could’ve dealt with it any better. We made a decision last night that this match would go ahead. In a very quickly moving world things had changed by late morning today.”

Several sports have been severely disrupted, with all Premier League and EFL football matches suspended until 3 April.

The Cardiff game was the last major sporting event to be postponed this weekend despite government medical advice saying the match could still potentially be played.

“We initially followed the advice of government in terms of the scientific and medical evidence and that was the case up until last night,” said Davies.

“We had an emergency board meeting last night to consider everything and we still thought, bearing in mind the advice we had, that keeping the game on was the way to go.

“Last night the Premier League were carrying on but by this morning that had changed and the EFL went on a similar course as did the Celtic v Rangers game in all being called off and other major global events were also being pulled

“We spoke to the Government this morning, who understood our position.

“For us to be the only sporting event to be on, we were mindful of the seriousness of the situation. We took into account supporters, players and staff and asked whether it was essential to subject to that risk.”

“We’ve made a judgement as to whether there was a danger. By the time we arrived at lunchtime today we thought there could be exposure so we decided to pull the game.”

Image copyrightGARETH EVERETT

Gareth Davies is a former Wales captain

Image captionGareth Davies is a former Wales captain

Davies denied they were forced into the decision by public opinion.

“I wouldn’t say it was public backlash; we took everything into account,” said Davies.

“We know despite the government and advice saying there’s no evidence there would be a spike at a major event. 

“When you take everything into account with what’s happened in Italy, there will be spikes. 

“The medical advice says 60% of the population are going to catch this disease and I don’t think we wanted to be the mid-point of that.

“We reassessed the position, other sporting bodies decided to change their stance, and we made the decision that was the most sensible decision to take.”

Davies admitted he sympathised with fans who had travelled to Cardiff already and had spent money on accommodation and tickets.

“I understand and sympathise with that scenario,” said Davies.

Image copyrightHUW EVANS PICTURE AGENCY

Wales players in training just hours before the Six Nations match against Scotland was postponed

Image captionWales players in training hours before the Six Nations match against Scotland was postponed

“There’s not a lot we can do in that respect because we took the responsible decision for 75,000 in this stadium possibly being subjected and open to this killer disease.

“When the match is finalised, we’d advise people to keep their tickets safe.

“Hopefully they’ll be able to come to the match if they’re unable for whatever reason we can look to refund them.”

There are four Six Nations matches to be rescheduled – the three final-round games, plus the Ireland v Italy game in Dublin, which was postponed from 7 March. 

Saturday, 31 October is a possible date for the final weekend of matches.

“It’s an understatement to say it’s unsatisfactory the four matches won’t be completed,” said Davies.

“There will inevitably be an anti-climax when the games are played but we want to finish the tournament. 

“We’re not sure when that’s going to be. The Six Nations will have to take soundings and make a decision in the next few weeks.

“It’s difficult to plan at the moment because who knows how long this episode will last? The likelihood from what I’ve picked up is that it’ll happen in the autumn sometime.”

An article from the BBC.

For more Welsh Sports News, Coronavirus News or General News, please follow the links.

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

Six Nations News – Wales v Scotland off due to Coronavirus

Wales’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other scheduled games in round five had already been postponed and no dates have been confirmed for completing the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union, which had insisted earlier on Friday the game would go ahead, said it was “in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries”.

Several sports have been severely disrupted, with all Premier League and EFL football matches suspended until 3 April.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the Welsh government and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue. 

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

It added that there would be an announcement on rescheduling the fixture “in the coming days”. 

Friday’s Under-20 Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland in Colwyn Bay will go ahead but will be played behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, Scottish Rugby has suspended all rugby in Scotland for the remainder of March.

A Scottish Rugby spokesperson said: “We have taken on board all expert medical advice before now and we are taking a precautionary approach to give time to assess what the impact of coronavirus will be on Scottish society in the coming weeks before deciding on next steps.

“This decision has been taken with the best interest of everyone involved in the game and in support of the country’s work to address the impact of Coronavirus.”

News of the Wales-Scotland postponement comes on a day of widespread sporting postponements worldwide.

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

Wales under 20’s beat England under 20’s in the U20 Six Nations

Wales U20 produced a stunning performance to make it two wins in a row in the U20 Six Nations as England U20 were overcome at Kingsholm on Friday night.

Head coach Gareth Williams had made just one change to the starting XV that had beaten reigning World Rugby U20 Championship champions France in Colwyn Bay last time out, with Will Griffiths and Dom Booth starting at hooker, and it showed in the early exchanges.

Wales started confidently in front of a big and typically vocal Gloucester crowd, playing on the front foot against a host nation who were smarting off the back of a defeat against Ireland U20 in round three.

The kicking game was playing a big part in proceedings early on as the men in red just edged it, and with that came plenty of territory but pressure could not be turned into points as England’s defence stood form throughout the opening 10 minutes.

It needed a moment of magic to get the scoreboard moving and it came from Sam Costelow as he took a pass at first receiver, saw nothing was on outside him so stepped back inside and broke a tackle to make a line break before breaking a second tackle and crossing for a stunning individual try.

The fly-half converted his own try but England hit back just over 10 minutes later as they flexed their power game, pushing a driving maul close before Emannuel Iyogun was in possession as a pick-and-go made it over the line.

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Ellis Bevan England U20.jpg

It seemed like the hosts were starting to get the upper hand in proceedings but two huge high ball claims from Jacob Beetham prevented them pinning Wales back in our own half, and then just before the break that man Costelow was on hand to produce another moment of magic.

In a similar way to his earlier try he broke back on the inside to glide through a gap in the England defence around the breakdown, this time drawing a defender before finding Ben Carter in support and the big second row was equally skilful in getting his hands through a tackle and offloading for Bradley Roderick to score.

Costelow’s conversion made the score 5-14 at half-time, but it appeared that the English had been given a kick up the backside in the changing rooms, as they came out firing early in the second half.

A handling error from Wales gave them field position and on the second phase after the scrum George Barton was on hand to dive over from close range.

Costelow’s penalty extended the lead to seven-points but England continued to push, crossing the try line for a third time only for it to be ruled out for a forward pass in the build up.

Then came a moment of controversy as Beetham once again took to the sky to secure a high ball, only this time to be taken out by Freddie Stewart. The Wales full-back was forced from the field with what appeared to be a shoulder injury, but the referee decided it was only dangerous enough for a yellow card.

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Morgan Strong England U20.jpg

This was followed by a lapse in concentration from the men in red as an attempt to exit our own 22 saw Ellis Bevan drag the ball back over his own try line at the back of a breakdown, allowing Sam Crean to dive in and touch down for an opportunistic try.

Despite that being their third try of the evening, missing all three conversions meant England were still 15-17 down on the scoreboard, while Sam Costelow added another three points off the tee as he continued to be a point of difference between the sides.

It all changed with just under 10 minutes of the game to go though as the Welsh defence, solid throughout despite the three tries conceded, had a disappointing moment with Josh Gillepsie slicing through far too easily before finding Jack van Poortvliet on his inside shoulder who battled his way over.

A conversion at last from Will Haydon-Wood gave England a two-point lead and what seemed like would be a smash-and-grab victory at Kingsholm, but Costelow was not done yet.

Wales battled up to the opposition 22 and the fly-half dropped back into the pocket, slotting a nerveless drop goal to put the men in red ahead, a lead we held on to for a fourth win over England in six U20 Six Nations games.

Gareth Williams’ side rise to fourth in the table on the back of it, and could finish next weekend in second place if Ireland beat France, with England’s trip to Italy called off, a fantastic turnaround from losing the first two games of the tournament in disappointing fashion.

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

Wales Fall Short At Twickenham…

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

Full WRU Match Report from England v Wales…

Battling Wales ensured they picked up a losing bonus-point at Twickenham as they closed to within three points at the end of another epic battle against the auld enemy.

England led 20-9 at the break, but were hit by a try from the kick-off at the start of the second half as Wayne Pivac’s men got their fight-back off to an explosive start. Justin Tipuric scored twice after the break, the second try coming when England were down to 13 men.

Having lost replacement prop Ellis Genge to a yellow card, they lost centre Manu Tuilagi to a straight red for a shoulder to the head in a last ditch tackle to try to stop the Wales wing. Even so, they hung on to clinch the Triple Crown for the 25th time.

In a rip-roaring start Dan Biggar was smashed early on by a combination of Tom Curry and Tuilagi as England set out their stall. They continued to be dominant in the tackle and took the lead from a neat line-out move through returning wing Anthony Watson.

Maro Itoje won set-piece possession, Jamie George found Ben Youngs, and the scrum-half passed inside to Watson. The Bath man danced past Tomos Williams and reached the line to score a try that Owen Farrell converted.

Liam Williams and Elliot Daly then competed for a Biggar cross-kick as Wales looked for a response and George North crossed the line only to see the ball spilled in contact. England’s Jonny May, meanwhile, left the field for a head injury assessment to be replaced by Henry Slade.

When North went over the line, Farrell was penalised for a shove and Halfpenny stepped up to kick the penalty. Farrell responded with an England penalty after Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones was penalised for not rolling away at a ruck.

Halfpenny – kicking ahead of Biggar initially – cancelled out the home captain’s effort soon after. The game was dominated by a kicking battle. It was fast, frenetic and brutal.

After his team won a scrum penalty Farrell kicked to the corner rather than at goal and England went on the attack. The move ended with Farrell and George Ford sending Daly over in the corner for England’s second try.

Farrell nailed the touchline conversion to give the hosts a 17-6 lead. His conversion was followed by a penalty after Wales flanker Ross Moriarty was penalised for collapsing England’s driving maul.

Biggar then stood up from the tee on the half-time whistle and his first kick of the afternoon meant Pivac’s side turned around for the second period 11 points down.

They needed a fast start to the second half and they got exactly that. England kicked off deep to the Wales 22, Wales broke clear up the right touchline through the sensational Josh Navidi.

The flanker passed inside to Tomos Williams and he then went inside once more to Tipuric. The Opsreys’ flanker had 30 metres to go, but nobody was going to stop him from scoring a try at the posts that Biggar improved.

England restored their poise and advantage with successive penalties from Farrell and Ford and then conjured up a walk-in try for Tuilagi that Farrell converted. That stretched their lead to 17 points and put them firmly back on course for the Triple Crown.

Wales were up against it in the final quarter, but knuckled down and emerged with great credit as they cut the gap to a mere three points with tries from Biggar and Tipuric.  Biggar converted them both, but Wales ran out of time at the end and had to be content with taking home a single point.

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This weekends Six Nations fixtures…

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Recent News Headlines from the WRU

This is Our Game. This is Welsh Rugby

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

Pivac springs surprises in first Wales squad selection

Pivac springs surprises in first Wales squad selection

Pivac springs surprises in first Wales squad selection
— Read on cardiffbluesblog.com/2019/11/19/pivac-springs-surprises-in-first-wales-squad-selection/

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/pivac-springs-surprises-in-first-wales-squad-selection/

The Cardiff Blues players in contention to play the Barbarians

The Cardiff Blues players in contention to play the Barbarians

The Cardiff Blues players in contention to play the Barbarians
— Read on cardiffbluesblog.com/2019/11/17/the-cardiff-blues-players-in-contention-to-play-the-barbarians/

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/17/the-cardiff-blues-players-in-contention-to-play-the-barbarians/

Welsh Rugby Social Media Stats & Talking Point From the Rugby World Cup…

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.

 

(No.1)

 

The four pool matches were tough, especially the nail-biting game against Fiji.

 

(No.2)

 

And who could forget the giant collision between Dan Biggar and Liam Williams.

(No.3)

 

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.

(No.4)

 

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.

https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/dan-biggar-of-wales-is-seen-to-by-medical-staff-after-an-news-photo/1176545100

(No.5)

 

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.

 

(No.6)

 

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.

(No.7)

 

Enjoyed the rivalry.

(no.8)

 

And really felt the bois’ heartache.

(No.9)

 

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…?

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/06/welsh-rugby-social-media-stats-talking-point-from-the-rugby-world-cup/

Warren Gatland’s daughter writes a moving message to the people of Wales – Welsh Sports News

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

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/03/warren-gatlands-daughter-writes-a-moving-message-to-the-people-of-wales-welsh-sports-news/

Rugby-New Zealand take third place with six-try win over Wales

Rugby-New Zealand take third place with six-try win over Wales

Rugby-New Zealand take third place with six-try win over Wales
— Read on nationalpost.com/pmn/sports-pmn/rugby-new-zealand-take-third-place-with-six-try-win-over-wales-2

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/01/rugby-new-zealand-take-third-place-with-six-try-win-over-wales/

Gatland made Wales a proper Test side but Warrenball is so hard to love – Wales Online

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

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/01/gatland-made-wales-a-proper-test-side-but-warrenball-is-so-hard-to-love-wales-online/

Warren Gatland: Wales’ greatest coach, a ‘scientist, crooner and rugby god’ – BBC Sport

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

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/01/warren-gatland-wales-greatest-coach-a-scientist-crooner-and-rugby-god-bbc-sport/

Alun Wyn Jones speaks about his Wales future as the era that defined him comes to an end – Wales Online

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

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/01/alun-wyn-jones-speaks-about-his-wales-future-as-the-era-that-defined-him-comes-to-an-end-wales-online/

positive rugby star Thomas’ UK magazine cover hailed for tackling stigma

positive rugby star Thomas’ UK magazine cover hailed for tackling stigma

positive rugby star Thomas’ UK magazine cover hailed for tackling stigma
— Read on nationalpost.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/positive-rugby-star-thomas-uk-magazine-cover-hailed-for-tackling-stigma

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/positive-rugby-star-thomas-uk-magazine-cover-hailed-for-tackling-stigma/

Injury-hit squad for Warren gatland’s final game as Wales head coach

Injury-hit squad for Warren gatland’s final game as Wales head coach

Injury-hit squad for Warren gatland’s final game as Wales head coach
— Read on cardiffbluesblog.com/2019/10/30/injury-hit-squad-for-warren-gatlands-final-game-as-wales-head-coach/

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/30/injury-hit-squad-for-warren-gatlands-final-game-as-wales-head-coach/

Welsh Sports News – Wales to turn ‘disappointment into fire’ as Gatland signs off against All Blacks

Wales to turn ‘disappointment into fire’ as Gatland signs off against All Blacks

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/wales-to-turn-disappointment-into-fire-as-gatland-signs-off-against-all-blacks/
— Read on welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/wales-to-turn-disappointment-into-fire-as-gatland-signs-off-against-all-blacks/

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/wales-to-turn-disappointment-into-fire-as-gatland-signs-off-against-all-blacks/

Wales to turn ‘disappointment into fire’ as Gatland signs off against All Blacks

Wales to turn ‘disappointment into fire’ as Gatland signs off against All Blacks

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/oct/29/wales-gatland-new-zealand-all-blacks-rugby-world-cup-bronze-playoff
— Read on www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/oct/29/wales-gatland-new-zealand-all-blacks-rugby-world-cup-bronze-playoff

https://welshsportsnewsblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/wales-to-turn-disappointment-into-fire-as-gatland-signs-off-against-all-blacks/