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Davies makes Foster’s 7s Draw

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James Davies: With some of the team captains

James Davies: With some of the team captains

GB SEVENS training squad member James Davies had made the draw for the fourth annual Foster’s 7s.

The tournament, which also includes the Radler’s Women’s Sevens competition, will take place on Bank Holiday Sunday 28 August at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park and will culminate a summer where rugby sevens will enjoy unprecedented profile thanks to its inclusion at the Olympic Games in Rio.

The Principality Premiership and the Foster’s 7s are key breeding grounds for Wales Sevens, with the likes of Sam Cross and Luke Treharne, who have today been named in the GB Sevens training squad ahead of Rio having played at the Foster’s 7s in recent years, and James Davies and Luke Morgan who have also been included having come through the Principality Premiership.

Along with Foster’s’ Chris Lloyd, Scarlets flanker James Davies conducted the Foster’s 7s draw at Aberavon beach today which sees his former club Carmarthen Quins place Neath in Round 1.

Current champions Llandovery were drawn against Bedwas in Round 1, while last year’s finalists Pontypridd face Premiership newcomers Bargoed first up. Last season’s Plate winners Llanelli play Swansea one of the other promoted Championship teams, Swansea in Round 1 while the other confirmed newcomer to the Principality Premiership, Merthyr, were drawn against Cross Keys, who reached the last four last season.

The other seeded team, Aberavon, will play Newport while the remaining first round fixtures are Ebbw Vale v Cardiff and RGC / Pontypool v Bridgend with that final place going to the fourth promoted Championship team.

The Women’s teams will play preliminary matches on the day of the Foster’s 7s, with the semi-finals and final taking place at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. The Scarlets are defending champions. Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams said

“The Foster’s National 7s not only gives us a chance to look at the form of potential Wales Sevens squad members ahead of the build up to the international season. It is always good to see fresh new talent put their hands up for consideration too.”

“The knock-on effect of being an Olympic sport will be huge and the Foster’s 7s is a great example of the entertaining nature of the game, both in terms of the quality of rugby on offer on the field and the carnival atmosphere off it.”

WRU Head of Rugby Performance Geraint John added: “Sevens is set to benefit from a huge upturn in interest and profile following the Rio Olympics and the Foster’s 7s is a chance for Welsh supporters to experience what a great sport it is.

“It is also a chance for participating players to show what they can do and put their hands up for national selection. Two of our GB Sevens training squad members Luke Treharne and Sam Cross have played in the Foster’s 7s in recent seasons which shows what can be done and the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Olympic Games are not that far away.”

Sevens will be on a high this summer and if you’re not going to Rio, or enjoy Rio and want to see Welsh sevens talent in action, look no further than Cardiff Arms Park on bank Holiday weekend.

When: Sunday, August 28 (all day event)

Tickets: wru.wales/tickets £10 adults, under 16s free of charge

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Depleted Ammanford beaten by seven wickets

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A DEPLETED Ammanford lost by seven wickets to Bridgend Town in a rain affected match at windswept Newbridge Fields on Satuday (Jun 25).

With the start delayed by over an hour because of rain, the match was reduced to 39 overs before a ball was bowled, and the toss immediately became the crucial factor in deciding the game’s outcome.

Bridgend won it and, predictably enough, put Ammanford in to bat.

The writing was on the wall as the visitors lost two wickets for 9 runs on an unpredictable wicket which was one of the first bowler-friendly tracks encountered this season.

Only four batters reached double figures as wickets fell at regular intervals. Top scorer was 14 year old wicket-keeper Gruffudd Owen (19no) who took the game to the visitors and looked capable of scoring many more had he not run out of partners.

Ammanford were all out for 90 inside 30 overs.

Tea was taken early as more heavy rain swept across Newbridge Fields, but unfortunately for Ammanford the sun made a reappearance and play eventually resumed.

The Bridgend batters did not have it all their own way, quickly losing both openers to opening bowler Owen Davies.

Davies removed a further wicket in a good spell of 3 for 15, but Thomas Cogbill (43no) and Luke Humphries (18) saw Bridgend safely home without further trouble inside 24 overs.

Next week, Ammanford welcome second placed Swansea to the Park, the memory of their 700+ run clash at St Helen’s still fresh in their minds.

Thirds beat Pontardawe by a single run

Ammanford thirds beat Pontardawe by a single run in a rain adjusted match at the Rec.

Batting first, Ammanford reached 132 all out, thanks mainly to their captain Carl Griffiths (41) and Dafydd Wyn Jones (21).

Rain meant that Pontardawe’s reply was restricted to just 16 overs, during which they had to score 53 runs.

They came very close, but two wickets each from Oliver Pallot and Iwan Matthews interrupted their progress and they fell short by a single run, finishing on 51 for 5.

The victory moved Ammanford into the top half of SWCA’s Division 6.

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Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Carmarthenshire

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JOIN in the excitement as Carmarthenshire welcomes the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay on Friday, July 1.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from July 28 until August 8 and the Queen’s Baton Relay is currently travelling across the Commonwealth in an epic journey to all 72 nations and territories.

The journey brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.

The Queen’s Baton will arrive in Anglesey on June 29 as part of its five-day tour across Wales and will travel down the country and across South Wales providing the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer.

A busy schedule of activities and events are planned and hundreds of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through Wales.

More than 150 schoolchildren will be at Pembrey Country Park on the afternoon of July 1 to welcome the Baton to Carmarthenshire along with Council Chairman Cllr Rob Evans, before being transported via toboggan, skis, bike and beach wheelchair to Cefn Sidan beach and into the safe hands of the RLNI who will take the Baton by boat to Burry Port Harbour.

The Baton will arrive at Burry Port Harbour at around 3.20pm to be handed to the Silver and Gold Sports Young Ambassadors from Carmarthenshire’s secondary schools who will take it in turns to run and cycle just over three miles along the Millennium Coastal Path arriving in North Dock in Llanelli at 4.15pm.

Here the Baton will be welcomed by Council Leader Cllr Darren Price along with a number of inspiring Carmarthenshire athletes who will be representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

Residents are being encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, with a range of activities taking place at North Dock, organised by the council’s Actif sports and leisure team.

The fun will go on throughout the afternoon until 7pm with various activities to promote health and wellbeing including a junior aquathon, stand-up paddleboarding, aquafit classes, spin classes and beach-lifesaving sessions. 

Council Leader Cllr Darren Price said: “We look forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Carmarthenshire and I am sure local communities will join in the celebrations as the Baton travels from Pembrey Country Park to Llanelli’s North Dock.

“It is guaranteed to be an exciting day, especially with the Baton travelling to Burry Port Harbour by boat and then on to North Dock where there will a host of sporting activities to take part in.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in organising such a momentous day for Carmarthenshire and its residents, again showcasing our beautiful county and what it has to offer to the world.”

Further information, including the timetable for the Queen’s Baton Relay in Carmarthenshire, can be found on the council website newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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Ryan Giggs quits as Wales manager with ‘immediate effect’

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EX Man-Utd winger has left his position as the manager of the national football team with ‘immediate effect’.

Giggs stepped back from his role in November 2020 following after being arrested.

49-year-old Giggs has been charged with assault and using controlling behaviour towards an ex-partner. A claim that Giggs has denied.

In a heartfelt statement on his decision, Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.

“I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.

“I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.

“It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date.”

Following Giggs arrest in 2020, former Wales captain Robert Page took over as interim manager.

Under Page Wales beat Ukraine to earn themselves a place at Qatar World Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Giggs faces one charge of using controlling and coercive behaviour August 2017 and November 2020, one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm of his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville on November 1, 2020.

He also faces a charge of common assault on the victim’s sister.

Giggs denies all charges against him and will stand trial on August 8.

The trial is expected to last five days.

Following the announcement, a FAW spokesperson said: “The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru men’s national team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football,

“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men’s national team is on the Fifa World Cup in Qatar later this year.”

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