ST Davids’ Jasmine Joyce has been named in the women’s sevens squad that will represent Team Wales in next month’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Five of the 12-player squad are currently involved in Wales’ Women’s Six Nations campaign: Alisha Butchers, Sioned Harries, Hannah Jones, Jaz Joyce (all Scarlets), and Elinor Snowsill (Dragons). The ‘One Programme’ approach taken by Wales Women has allowed certain players to spend time in both sevens and 15s camps this season.
Head coach Nick Wakley has the benefit of a number of leaders in his squad: the experienced Philippa Tuttiett, captain of Cardiff Blues; two members of the Armed Forces in Army Rugby Union captain Gemma Rowland and the RAF’s Sian Williams (both Dragons); and Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys), who won the most recent of her 46 caps in last year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup,
Powell-Hughes is one of a quartet of players with over 40 caps to their name, along with Butchers, Harries and Snowsill, for what is women’s sevens’ first appearance in the Games in its 88-year existence.
Other sevens specialists selected include Sinead Breeze and Laurie Harries, with Kayleigh Powell (Ospreys) the youngest in the side at 18 years of age.
The sevens will be held at the 27,500-capacity Robina Stadium from 13th-15th April. Team Wales have been drawn in a competitive Pool B with Australia, Fiji and England.
The Wales Women squad acquainted themselves with the conditions on the Gold Coast by participating in Brisbane’s Super 7s competition in early February. Before that, they were in action in Dubai’s invitational competition in December.
Nick Wakley, Women’s Sevens head coach, said: “We’re very excited and honoured to be representing Team Wales next month. In regards to the ‘One Programme’ approach through the Women’s Six Nations campaign, Commonwealth Games and World Series Qualifier prep, we have had our players exposed to international rugby week in, week out.
“We have been building up to these tournaments for two years and we have developed a real mental toughness which will be tested in the two weeks post-Six Nations to get us back up to speed. It is a real credit to all of the players’ commitment and dedication that they find themselves in these huge global tournaments which could go a long way towards sculpting the environment for the next generation of Welsh women rugby players.”
Helen Phillips, Chair of the Commonwealth Games Wales Board, said: “Congratulations to all the players who have made it to the final squad for Gold Coast. It’s excellent to have such a strong Team Wales squad heading to Australia for what will be the first time ever women’s rugby sevens tournament in the history of the Commonwealth Games.”
She added: “Women’s rugby in Wales has seen a huge growth over the past few years, and we congratulate the WRU for all the development work that’s been done to put the Welsh squad in such a strong position to qualify for Gold Coast 2018.”
Prior to travelling to the Gold Coast, the same squad will compete in the Hong Kong Sevens (6th-8th April) as Wales Women seek to qualify for next year’s World Rugby Sevens Series.
Team Wales Women’s Sevens: Alisha Butchers; Elinor Snowsill; Gemma Rowland; Hannah Jones; Jasmine Joyce; Kayleigh Powell; Laurie Harries; Philippa Tuttiett (c); Shona Powell-Hughes; Sian Williams; Sinead Breeze; Sioned Harries.
Old Gold charged by FAW
CARMARTHEN Town have been charged with allegedly playing an ineligible player in their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town on New Years Day.
A statement from the Football Association of Wales states that the charge relates to David Vincent who had been suspended having accumulated five yellow cards.
The statement reads: “The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has charged Carmarthen Town AFC under FAW Rule 38.1.6 and Welsh Premier League Rule 18 with allegedly playing an ineligible player during their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town AFC on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
“The charge relates to the playing of David Vincent, who was suspended as and from December 28, 2018 for one match for the accumulation of five yellow cards.
“Carmarthen have seven business days until January 16, to respond to the charge. The matter will be heard by an FAW Disciplinary Panel at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Llanelli and Llandovery through in Cup
LLANELLI and Llandovery are both through to the second round of the WRU National Cup after they secured first round victories on Saturday (Jan 5).
Llandovery eased through to the second round as they scored a century of points against Championship side Beddau.
The Drovers scored 16 tries and 12 conversions with Corey Baldwin scoring four of those tries.
Kristian Jones also scored two tries and had all twelve conversions for a personal points haul of 34.
There were also braces for Joseff Powell and Carwyn Evans. Dino Dallavalle, Lewis Ellis-Jones, Lee Rees, Rhodri Jones and replacement Llew Smith also crossed the whitewash as the home side sealed a 104-0 victory.
Llanelli also went through after also beating Championship side Ystrad Rhondda 18-32.
Taylor Davies was first on the scoresheet for Llanelli and Ashley Sutton then added a penalty. Kalum Evans and Thomas Rogers then scored tries for the visitors while Sutton converted the second of the two.
Gareth George also scored while Rogers grabbed his second try to which Sutton added the extras to seal the win.
Carmarthen Quins were agonisingly knocked out of the first round after a late Rhys Jones penalty gave Ebbw Vale a 19-20 victory.
Aled Thomas scored an early penalty for the Quins to level things up but the Vale took the lead only for Osian Knott to score a try to which Thomas added the extras to level the game at 10-10.
The Vale took the lead again but a Thomas penalty on the stroke of half time kept them in it at 13-17.
Thomas then kicked two second half penalties to put the Quins ahead and it looked as if they would go through but Jones had other ideas as his penalty won it for the Vale.
Newcastle Emlyn bowed out of the competition as they were beaten 21-36 by Premiership strugglers Bargoed.
The Emlyn were very much in the game at half time with the score at 21-22 in favour of Bargoed but they took control in the second half to seal their passage.
The draw for the second round was made on Tuesday (Jan 8) and it saw Llanelli drawn away to fellow Premiership side Pontypridd.
Llandovery were given a home tie against Trebanos who saw off Maesteg Quins in the first round.
Those ties will be played on the weekend of January 26, but before that all sides return to Premiership action on Saturday (Jan 12).
The Quins face Bargoed looking to respond to their Cup defeat while Llandovery are at home to Bedwas and Llanelli are away to Merthyr.
Blacks hold on to deny Seagulls
BURRY Port held off a strong second half comeback from Fishguard as they earned victory by a single point in a thrilling game which finished 35-34 in favour of the Blacks on Saturday (Jan 5).
The Blacks were on a five-match losing streak while Fishguard were looking to bounce back after being beaten by Pembroke in their last game.
The game started at a frantic pace with Burry Port’s Luke Ruddal gathering their own kick at kick off and piling on the pressure on the Seagull’s try line, and with quick ruck ball Ruddal darted over for the opening score.
The Blacks definitely had a spring in their step and looked dangerous with ball in hand, a cross field kick looked as if it would bring another score only for winger Tom Davies to just lose control. This didn’t stop the Blacks and from a driving lineout 10m out and the home pack rolling to the try line, the referee awarded a penalty try and yellow card for collapsing the maul.
Burry Port continued to apply the pressure and tried hard to make the extra man count and with Youth winger Tom Davies making up for this early mistake finished a fine try, A penalty soon after by outside half Ceiron Thomas stretched the lead further.
Fishguard however were in no mood to roll over, a rare outing into the Burry Port half saw a lovely cross field kick work perfectly for Ed Bendall to run in unopposed.
This started a period of good play by the visitors and forced Burry Port into some errors and giving Penalties away, and with good field position managed to force another try from close range through Chris Shousha.
Burry Port hit straight back with a move on half way slicing the defence apart for winger Tom Davies to race in for this second and the bouns point try.
The game continued to be played at a frantic pace and Burry port were enjoying themseleves, another excellent team try was finished off by that man again Tom Davies who completed his Hat trick and surely left Fishguard to much to do to get back in the game, score 32-10.
The last play of the half from the restart saw Fishguard regain possession and manage to put the Blacks under pressure and after a few advantages from the referee for Burry Port ill-discipline saw a yellow card given to Burry Port.
With Fishguard knowing a penalty wasn’t enough to get back in the game they opted for a scrum and after a few phases a missed tackle allowed Ben John to cross under the posts and give them a lifeline for the second half.
The second half was a totally different affair with Burry Port looking to protect their lead by opting for territory rather than possession and resulted in them kicking far too much ball away.
Fishguard seemed to enjoy having the ball more and with some powerful runners in their ranks started causing Burry Port problems. A few loose kicks were capitalised on by the Fishguard back 3 and after another fine cross field kick saw them get a well-deserved try, scored by Jordan James to make it 32-22 and bring the Seagulls back in the game.
Burry Port failed to convert a few chances and the supporters could sense a bit of uncertainty creeping in. Another yellow card added to the worries of the Burry Port team, and a break by the visitors led to another try from Ed Bendall and the momentum had most definitely shifted to the Seagulls.
The score was now 32-27 and both sides knew the next score would be vital with time running out.
Finally Burry Port stopped kicking the ball away and after a long phase of ball in hand worked their way up field and once in kicking range forced a penalty which fullback Ben Williams put over to put the Blacks a crucial 8 points ahead with only a couple of minutes remaining.
Fishguard had already secured a try bouns point and even though there might not have been enough time to get the two scores needed for victory there was a losing point up for grabs and to their credit they managed just that with the ref calling last play and Fishguard managing to keep the ball alive and James crossed at the death for his second to also get an important score which could prove crucial come the end of season.
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