Tag: Pro 14

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

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

Pro 14 Suspended Indefinitely due to Coronavirus…

The current Guinness PRO14 season has been suspended in response to the evolving Coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak.

The PRO14 is an international league. Cross border travel is inevitable and that brings with it unique challenges. With governments in Italy and Ireland already putting in place clear directives and restrictions around public activities and travel, the decision to suspend the competition is appropriate.

It is in the best interests of everyone that games are not played at this time. The suspension has been directed by the board of Celtic Rugby DAC and the decision will remain under constant review.

David Jordan, Tournament Director PRO14 Rugby, said: “We have made this decision with everyone’s welfare foremost in our minds. With an evolving situation in the five countries that take part in Guinness PRO14 it is important to make a clear decision that is in keeping with the advice of the various governments involved.”

Resumption of the 2019/20 season will now become a matter of constant review. To this point PRO14 Rugby has ensured that it has the latest information and guidance made available by the local and national authorities via our participating unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.

This will remain the case for the duration of the suspension. This is an unprecedented action for the tournament and as such no end date to the suspension can be provided at this time.

In keeping with our practice during the outbreak, PRO14 Rugby will provide updates on the suspension when more information is available.


La stagione corrente di Guinness Pro14 è stata sospesa in risposta all’evoluzione del diffondersi di COVID-19.

PRO14 è una manifestazione internazionale, i viaggi oltre confine sono inevitabili e questo comporta delle situazioni uniche e sfidanti. I Governi di federazioni coinvolte nel torneo hanno già posto in essere chiare direttive e restrizioni circa attività pubbliche e, di conseguenza, la decisione di sospendere la competizione risulta appropriato. E’ nel migliore interesse di tutti che in questo momento le partite non vengano disputate.

La salute e la sicurezza di tutti i nostri giocatori, squadre, staff e tifosi è cruciale ed è nel miglior interesse di tutti che non si disputino partite in questo momento. La sospensione è stata determinata dal board di Celtic Rugby DAC e rimarrà oggetto di costante revisione.

Il Direttore del Torneo PRO14 David Jordan ha dichiarato: “Abbiamo preso questa decisione con il welfare dei giocatori e la sicurezza dei nostri tifosi quali imprescindibili priorità. Con una situazione in evoluzione in cinque nazioni che prendono parte al Guinness Pro14 è importante prendere una decisione chiara, coerente con le indicazioni dei vari Governi coinvolti”.

La ripresa della stagione 2019/20 sarà oggetto di costante revisione. Ad oggi PRO14 Rugby si è assicurato un flusso di informazioni e indicazioni costantemente aggiornato da parte delle autorità locali e nazionali attraverso le federazioni membre del Regno Unito, Irlanda, Italia e Sudafrica.

Questo costante monitoraggio si protrarrà per l’intera durata della sospensione. Questa è un’azione senza precedenti per il torneo e ad oggi non è possibile fornire una data certa per la conclusione della manifestazione.

In linea con le nostre disposizioni durante l’epidemia, PRO14 Rugby fornirà ulteriori aggiornamenti sulla sospensione quando nuove informazioni saranno disponibili.

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

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

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

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

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

Scarlets come from behind at half time to win an enthrawling game 20-17 against the Ospreys…



Scarlets 10 – Ospreys 12 at the half way point of a scintalating Pro 14 Derby match…