JUDGEMENT DAY VI (JDVI) is on sale now and will be more accessible than ever before this season after a new partnership has been established for Welsh rugby with Amazon Tickets.
JDVI, the sixth annual regional double-header at Principality Stadium, has been confirmed for the afternoon of Saturday, April 28, (KOs 15.05 & 17:35), the final weekend of Guinness PRO14 Championship action before the knock-out stages.
Prices have been frozen again at £10-per-head for any seat in the ground at the derby day which sees the Dragons take on the Scarlets and Cardiff Blues face the Ospreys in back-to-back clashes in the capital.
The partnership with Amazon – who launched Amazon Tickets in the UK in 2015 to offer customers quick and easy booking, low and all-inclusive pricing and a trusted customer experience when booking tickets to the most popular and in demand music, theatre, comedy and live events across the UK – helps to further establish Judgement Day as a key event in the UK rugby calendar.
Cardiff’s Principality Stadium has had a magnificent year already, even by its own standards, with a sold-out Champions League Final and a world record indoor heavy-weight boxing crowd watching Anthony Joshua’s world title defence, just two of the highlights.
Welsh rugby is going from strength to strength too. The international side’s Under Armour Series is breaking records with two sell-outs on the cards (against New Zealand and Australia) this autumn.
There’s been healthy attendances at the four professional teams in both the Guinness PRO14 and European Rugby this season – with total attendances up by over 10,000 from the same point last season and crowds at this month’s popular Welsh derby contests also higher than last year.
Over 170,000 fans have attended Judgement Day across three years alone and a record attendance for any match involving a regional team was set in 2016 – when 68,262 watched the Ospreys beat the Blues 27-40, followed by a Scarlets’ 20-34 victory over the Dragons.
Last season Cardiff Blues triumphed over the Ospreys for the first time at the event 35-17 and the Dragons went down to their West Wales rivals a close-fought 16-21 in the second game of the day.
A major highlight of the Guinness PRO14 Championship season, Judgement Day will this year see the Scarlets and the Dragons kick off proceedings for the first time since year one (2013), on Saturday, April 28, (KO 15.05hrs).
The second fixture of the day sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (KO 17.35hrs), with supporters who buy before December 19, guaranteed to receive JDVI tickets ahead of Christmas Day (make sure you choose the Christmas post option on screen on completion of purchase).
“Judgement Day has become a must-see, must-visit fixture in the Welsh sporting calendar,” said WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips.
“It’s a true celebration of the very best of Welsh rugby when our international stars and their teammates come together under one roof to compete against each other in regional colours.
“It is a unique event which the players, coaches and supporters all look forward to in equal measure and we are set for another exciting day out at Principality Stadium on April 28.”
Tickets went on sale at 11am on Wednesday, November 1, and are available at Amazon tickets https://tickets.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0771RLK5R?ref_=aloc_wru_nov from www.wru.wales/tickets or via each of the four regions, prices are £10 for each seat in the ground with a £1-per-ticket online booking fee, as well as postage, payable at the time of purchase.
Season ticket holders for the Cardiff Blues and the Dragons should contact their respective ticket office to gain access to JDVI.
Mark Davies, Chief Executive of Pro Rugby Wales, which represents the four professional rugby teams said: “This season our double derby day at the national stadium will be the finale to the conference stages of the PRO14, so it will be an even bigger occasion for our rugby teams, players and supporters.
“The Judgement Day games will have so much on them with PRO14 Final series places or European Champions Cup play-off places potentially at stake – so critical for our teams and will be highly competitive rugby fixtures. Once again we are looking forward to this successful rugby spectacle in the capital which attracts wider audiences and one we are all proud to be a part of in partnership.”
Cardiff Blues coach, Danny Wilson said: “Derby matches are always the games we all look forward to in a season, but to finish the PRO14 fixtures with Judgement Day will be particularly exciting for all involved.”
Dragons coach Bernard Jackman, said: “It will be my first Judgement Day event, but I’ve heard great things. There is obviously a lot of rugby to be played between now and then but it’s an event we are all looking forward to.”
Rugby pays tribute to Tommo
TRIBUTES have poured in following the news that popular Scarlets match-day announcer Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas has passed away at the age of 53.
Tommo was a huge character at Parc y Scarlets on match-day, bringing his infectious personality to the mic.
An official statement from the Scarlets said: “We are devastated to hear that the voice of Parc y Scarlets, Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas, has passed away suddenly.
“Tommo was a hugely popular figure as the Parc y Scarlets match-day announcer, a passionate Scarlets fan who brought his character and energy to every match.”
Scarlets chaplain Reverend Eldon Phillips said: “We are devastated to hear this tragic news. Tommo loved the Scarlets and put his heart and soul into his role as our match-day announcer.
“A huge character, he was much loved by supporters, players and staff.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Donna and son Cian at this sad time.”
Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney said: “This is desperately sad news. Tommo will be greatly missed by us all. I’ll miss his smile, energy and passion. Gone too soon, much love to his family at this terrible time.”
Attack coach Richard Whiffin tweeted: “Incredibly sad news. Tommo will be greatly missed by us all. Will miss his match day hugs! Love to his friends & family at this terrible time.”
Referee Nigel Owens took to social media to say: “Rwy methu credu y peth. Well I am devastated. A great man and a true friend. I Cant beleive it. Cydymdeimlad dwys iw wraig ar mab ac ir teulu I gyd. Bydd colled enfawr ar ei ol. Always had a smile on his face. RIP Tommo
Tommo was hugely popular with Scarlets players who posted tributes on their own personal social media pages.
Springbok Uzair Cassiem said: “Devastated by the news of your passing! Always got the biggest smile, big handshake before and after games! To the family and friends of Andrew Tommo Thomas, condolences from my family and myself.
Wales prop Rob Evans said: “Really sad to hear the news about Tommo tonight. Thoughts are with his family, a great man full of laughs.”
Former Scarlets captain Rupert Moon said: “Lost a great friend @TOMMORADIO …… my brother by another mother. Thoughts with his family & all his many friends. Sleep well buddy. Big boys do cry.”
Another ex-Scarlets skipper Matthew Rees said: “Can’t believe the news coming from west tonight. Tommo you were a true gent. PYS will never be the same!!”
Former Scarlets full-back Morgan Stoddart said: “Hearing of the passing of @TOMMORADIO, dreadful news. What a great man. He brought laughter to any room he entered. Will be remembered and missed. #TrueScarlet
Title-winning Ireland lock Tadhg Beirne, now with Munster, said: “Very sad news to hear of the passing of Tommo. An absolute gentleman, a passionate Welshman, and a true Scarlet.”
Among the other former players to pay their tributes were Kieron Fonotia, Michael Tagicakibau, Ryan Lamb, Rhys Thomas and Gareth Maule, while messages of condolence came from Cardiff Blues, Dragons and Ospreys,
Dragons hooker Richard Hibbard said: “Really sad news, RIP Tommo. What a great bloke.”
Tommo was also a popular radio presenter. He had been with BBC Radio Cymru between 2014 and 2018. He then left to present a daily program on Nation Broadcasting station. In 2011 he won the Radio Presenter of the Year award for his work on Nation stations in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.
Rhuanedd Richards, Editor of BBC Radio Cymru, said: “Tommo was proud of his roots and a unique broadcaster who loved to entertain his audience on Radio Cymru. With his powerful voice and larger than life personality, his love for his family, west Wales and of course the Scarlets were a great influence on his broadcasting.”
Swans grab last gasp play-off spot
WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).
Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.
The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.
The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.
And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.
The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.
Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.
The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.
But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.
John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.
Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.
Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.
Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.
But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.
However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.
Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.
With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.
Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.
With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.
Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.
However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.
Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.
Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.
They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.
The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.
And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.
Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.
Glamorgan launch new kit
GLAMORGAN Cricket has unveiled its new Vitality Blast playing kit for the 2020 season.
Designed by the Club’s official kit supplier, Masuri, alongside Glamorgan’s management, players and coaches, the brand-new Vitality Blast strip contains a subtle Welsh twist.
Fitting Glamorgan’s traditional colour schemes, the top is dark navy with a tonal dragon across the front – a nod to the old Glamorgan nickname and the Welsh identity – while a sharp yellow trim on the neck and sleeves frames the top.
The famous ‘Daff’ sits on the heart of the shirt, with MiPost’s strong Welsh brand centre-stage. Appearing on the collars are the logos of ‘Official Players Car Partner’, Mon Motors and Welsh company, Philtronics Solutions, with Discover Leeks on the right sleeve and SA Group on the back.
The famous Aston Martin logo features on both side of the Glamorgan T20 cap, as they continue their ongoing support of the club.
Head of Commercial, Huw Warren, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with Masuri throughout the design process and together developed an exciting new kit we’re sure our supporters will love with its strong connections with Wales.
“Our Masuri kits have always been hugely successful with players and fans alike and we look forward to continuing our commercial partnership with them.
“We can’t wait to see our players wearing the new kit when the Blast gets underway later this summer.”
Masuri CEO, Sam Miller, said: ‘’Once again it has been a pleasure working with the team at Glamorgan to bring this year’s kit to life, and we are looking forward to seeing it in use during the much anticipated Vitality Blast this year.’’
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