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Jenkins to captain Wales

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ELLIS Jenkins will captain Wales for the first time on Saturday (Jun 2) when he leads his country against South Africa in Washington D.C.

The former Wales U20 skipper will line up alongside Seb Davies and Ross Moriarty in the back-row as Wales take on the Springboks in their opening summer tour encounter.

Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee and Dillon Lewis start in the front-row with Bradley Davies and Cory Hill packing down in the second-row.

Owen Watkin and George North are named in the centre, with North making his 4th start in the midfield for Wales.

Scarlets pair Steff Evans and Tom Prydie are named on the wing with Prydie making his first international appearance since the summer of 2013.  Hallam Amos starts at full-back.

“Saturday is a huge opportunity for this squad and for players individually,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

“Everything we are doing is geared for the RWC in 15 months’ time and the next three matches are a hugely important part of our development.

“This weekend is an opportunity for players to build on their test rugby experience and lay a marker down for the jersey and for the position going forward.

“I think there are exciting selections across the team and I’m looking forward to Saturday to see what we are able to do against the Springboks.”

Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones and Rhodri Jones provide the forward cover on the bench. Adam Beard and uncapped flanker Aaron Wainwright complete the forward contingent.  Aled Davies, Rhys Patchell and Hadleigh Parkes are named as the backline cover. (Patchell will undergo a fitness test ahead of the game with Gareth Davies providing cover if he does not come through the session).

Wales Team to play South Africa – (Saturday, June 2, KO 17:00 local – live on Channel 4)

15. Hallam Amos (15 Caps)

14. Tom Prydie (7 Caps)

13. George North (73 Caps)

12. Owen Watkin (4 Caps)

11. Steff Evans (9 Caps)

10. Gareth Anscombe (15 Caps)

9. Tomos Williams (*Uncapped)

1. Nicky Smith (18 Caps)

2. Elliot Dee (7 Caps)

3. Dillon Lewis (2 Caps)

4. Bradley Davies (62 Caps)

5. Cory Hill (15 Caps)

6. Seb Davies (4 Caps)

7. Ellis Jenkins (6 Caps) (CAPT)

8. Ross Moriarty (20 Caps)

Replacements:

  1. Ryan Elias (2 Caps)
  2. Wyn Jones (8 Caps)
  3. Rhodri Jones (16 Caps)
  4. Adam Beard (2 Caps)
  5. Aaron Wainwright (*Uncapped)
  6. Aled Davies (8 Caps)
  7. Rhys Patchell (8 Caps) / Gareth Davies (32 Caps)
  8. Hadleigh Parkes (6 Caps)

Sport

Wanderers edged out by Gowerton

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LLANELLI Wanderers came close to victory against Gowerton on Saturday (Feb 16) but were unable to find a winning score as they were beaten 14-18.

Gowerton had taken the lead early on with a penalty and an unconverted try gave them an 8-0 lead at half time.

The Wanderers hit back in the second half with Sianco Morgan going over for the try and the conversion from Lewis Jones brought them to within a point of their opponents.

They then took the lead as Lloyd Thomas went over and Jones again added the extras to make it 14-8.

Gowerton hit back with a converted try of their own and they were back in the lead by a single point.

They then scored a penalty to make it 14-18 with six minutes to play. Try as they might the Wanderers could not find a way through and they had to settle for a losing bonus point.

The Wanderers are next in action on Saturday, March 2, when they travel to Crymych.

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Nant hold off Trimsaran

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NANTGAREDIG remain unbeaten in League 3 West B after they sealed a narrow 17-18 win away to promotion rivals Trimsaran on Saturday (Feb 16).

The visitors took the lead with an early penalty scored but Trimsaran responded well with a try to take the lead but the conversion was missed and the home side led 5-3.

Nant hit back and got their first try of the game thanks to and the extras were added for a 3-10 lead.

They then extended their lead to 5-15 with an unconverted try and with half time looming, the lead was extended further with another penalty.

Lloyd Williams kicked one conversion and two penalties. Ben Nichols scored a try and Rhydian Evans scored the other.

Photo by Darren Harries

With the score 18-5 at the break Trimsaran knew they would need to play well in the second half and they very nearly pulled off an excellent comeback.

Trimsaran scored two good tries with the latter try bringing the score to 17-18 setting up a nervy finish for both sides.

However, it was Nantgaredig who showed why they have not lost a game this season as they held on for the win.

They have now won 24 games on the bounce and look favourites for the title and promotion this season.

On Friday (Feb 22), Trimsaran are at home as they take on Penybanc with the game kicking off at 7:15pm.

Nantgaredig are next in action on Saturday, March 2, when they host CR Cymry Caerdydd in the quarter final of the WRU Bowl.

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Kidwelly come from behind to win thriller

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WITH both sides residing in a similar league position in Division 1 and a spot in the Senior Cup Quarter finals up for grabs, all was set for a close encounter between Kidwelly and Felinfoel on Saturday (Feb 16).

Felinfoel had home advantage and, having already beaten their opponents 3-1 earlier in the season, they were favourites to advance to the next round, but nothing is ever that simple in football.

During the first fifteen minutes Felinfoel dominated possession with much of the play happening in and around the Kidwelly box.

Felinfoel took the lead with twenty minutes gone when a dangerous cross was delivered towards the back post which resulted in a well-taken goal.

After the restart Kidwelly showed signs of resurgence with brothers Connor and Jordan Howells linking up well in midfield and creating problems for Felinfoel.

Photo by Darren Harries

The fightback, however, was short lived as Felinfoel sent a wide free kick into the box and the ball was headed into the back of the net.

There was not much Kidwelly could have done about either goal as the deliveries for each were superb.

With five minutes left of the first half and Kidwelly not threatening much, they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Winger Rob Hammond sent a superb high ball into the box and Kyle Griffiths, former centre-back turned midfielder, flicked the ball over the keeper and into the net to give Kidwelly a glimmer of hope.

The half time whistle went and even though Felinfoel had the better of the half Kidwelly had shown good resilience and were pleased to be only 2-1 down at the break.

The second half started with both sides playing at a high tempo with Kidwelly in a confident mood having scored before the break and having come from behind to win in other games this season.

As the game continued both teams were battling hard with some big tackle flying in. Kidwelly had far more possession in the second half and created numerous good chances.

Kidwelly were playing some good stuff but it wasn’t until the hour mark when Rob Hammond, Kidwelly’s top goal scorer, latched on to a huge goal kick and delivered a clinical finish to make it 2-2.

Not long after that, Hammond again latched on to a forward pass and with a bit of creativity managed to turn the defender and find the bottom corner with a quality finish to put his side into the lead.

Felinfoel looked to get back in the game and Kidwelly manager Gareth Evans introduced fresh legs replacing hardworking Liam Jones with club captain Luc Fitzpatrick who was returning from injury.

Photo by Darren Harries

This was an attempt to keep Felinfoel at bay but they threw everything they could at the makeshift Kidwelly keeper Danny Coleman, normally a number ten. However, Coleman made some tremendous saves and put his body on the line on numerous occasions.

Kidwelly survived three goal-mouth scrambles and on one occasion had ten players behind the ball trying to keep it out.

Unfortunately for Kidwelly, during one of those scrambles, veteran Chris Cray volleyed his goal keepers arm meaning Coleman would have to go off injured. He was replaced by striker Aled Giley with Daniel Griffiths, who was having an excellent game, having to go between the sticks for the rest of the game.

Both sides battled until the end with more strong tackles flying in but Kidwelly full backs Tom Hughes and Daniel Fitzpatrick had faced quality opposition wingers and came out on top.

Felinfoel played their part in an excellent cup game but Kidwelly, who have recently won five games on the bounce in Division 1, showed great resilience and team spirit to earn a thrilling win.

On Saturday (Feb 23), Kidwelly are at home as they play Pontlliw in the quarter final of the same competition, kick off 1:45pm.

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