WALES Women captain Carys Phillips believes her side are in the best shape yet to face their Six Nations challenges.
“This year’s build-up feels different following a new regional training and playing programme leading into a successful autumn series,” said the 42-times capped front row forward.
“Following that and a Six Nations preparation period including a useful warm-up game against Ireland, I believe we will more competitive than you’ve seen in recent years.
“We have a lot of youngsters in our side. Our backrow has an average age of 19 and they aren’t daunted by the challenges facing them, they just see them as any other game.
“We have France and Italy first up as back to back away games which is a new experience for us. It’s a cliché but we really are just focussing on France to start with ad taking each game one by one. They are an excellent outfit as current champions, and we are expecting a huge crowd in Montpellier. It was a similar scenario two years’ ago in France – it will be a tough challenge away from home but you couldn’t ask for a better experience to kick off the tournament.
“You have to concentrate on playing rugby but you also have to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy it.
“France are a physical side that also like to kick the ball and play a wide game but we’re in a confident place and it’s games like this we need to make further progress as a team.”
Wales’ home games will once again be played at Cardiff Arms Park.
“We are really looking forward to coming back to the Arms Park for Round Three and a huge clash against England.
“Cardiff Arms Park is an excellent place to play, the crowd really got behind us in the autumn which means so much to us as a team.”
Tickets for Wales Women v England (Sunday, Feb 24, 12.30pm) and Ireland (Sunday, March 17, 1.30pm) are on sale now from Cardiff Blues box office online and to personal callers.
On a more disappointing note, Wales Women No 8 Sioned Harries suffered an ankle injury in the side’s Six Nations warm-up against Ireland and after further assessment will undergo an operation ruling her out of the forthcoming tournament.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is not currently planning to replace Harries in the Six Nations squad. He said: “It is obviously a disappointing blow for Sioned and for us as a squad. However, we are a tight knit group with a fair amount of strength in depth, especially in the second and back row. In particular we have a number of very young players who are set to gain a huge amount of international experience and exposure throughout this tournament.”
Bethan Davies and Gwenllian Pyrs were recently involved in a road traffic incident and are recovering from the effects of that before returning to rugby training.
Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre and Brynamman Lido to be transferred to a community groups
A MULTI- SPORTS facility, at the heart of the Gwendraeth Valley, has been taken over by a local sports group, the Baton Twirlers.
The management of Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre, which is owned by Carmarthenshire County, has been transferred to the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) via a lease agreement and will allow the public to continue to use the facilities at the centre.
Whilst Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre is now the official home of BTAC its facilities are available for the local community and sports groups to be used.
An official reopening of the Centre, which bears the name of one of the Gwendraeth Valley’s most famous sons, under the new management of the BTAC was held on Sunday, October 2.
Speaking at the event, Jessica Shore Director of the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) said:
“We are thrilled to have worked with Carmarthenshire County Council to secure this sports centre on behalf of the local community and it’s a pleasure to welcome the public here today. We are looking forward to working with and hosting various community and sports groups at the Carwyn James Sports Centre.
“It also was very important to us to provide a home for baton twirling in Wales, and we will make great use of the excellent facilities here.”
Cllr. Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said “This is a great success story for the BTAC, the Gwendraeth Valley and the council as we have secured the future of the Carwyn James Sports Centre for the local community.
I would like to thank Baton Twirlers Association Cymru for their work and enthusiasm during the process of transferring management of the Sports Centre to them, as a community group, and I wish them the very best for the future.”
Plans approved to transfer management of Brynamman Lido
On Monday, October 3, the council’s Cabinet approved plans to lease the Brynamman Lido, which is held in trust by the Carmarthenshire County Council, to Brynamman Lido Limited under its asset transfer programme.
Under the proposed lease, Brynamman Lido Limited will take over the management of the lido with the intention to reopen the swimming pool for sporting, recreational and leisure activities.
Following the approval of the plans by the Cabinet, Cllr. Gareth John commented:
“We are pleased to be working with the local group in Brynamman to transfer the management and maintenance of the lido to the community.
“The transfer of this asset will allow Brynamman Lido Ltd to apply for funding via grants that would not be available to the County Council, and we will continue to work with them and provide support along the journey to reopening the lido to the community.”
Latest recruit to Llandeilo’s Ashmole & Co team ‘converts’ his spare time into being a rugby referee
Ashmole & Co have scored a try with their newest Trainee Accountant. The firm is delighted to announce that Aled Jones has recently started working for the successful accountancy team in the Llandeilo office.
Aled, who lives in Pontyberem, is a community rugby referee in his spare time. He referees senior rugby games on Saturdays and Junior rugby games on Sundays including cup matches. He is also involved in the Scarlets Cup Final at Parc y Scarlets and the Carmarthenshire cup finals.
Before joining Ashmole & Co Aled was a Personal Banker with Barclays Bank for five years. He studied AAT Level three at Coleg Sir Gar. Aled went to primary school in Pontyberem and secondary school in Ysgol y Gwendraeth.
Day to day with Ashmole & Co, Aled prepares and inputs clients’ sales and purchase invoices onto the accounting software; completes clients’ VAT returns and assists senior members of the team with the preparation of accounts. The most rewarding part of the job for Aled is hearing that the clients are happy.
Welcoming Aled to the team, Ceri Llwyd, Partner in the Llandeilo Ashmole & Co office, said, “We are delighted that Aled has joined our team in Carmarthenshire. He has fitted in well and is a pleasure to work with. I’ve told my rugby mad sons that they have to behave now when they play rugby on a Sunday in case Aled is their referee! It is great that he gives up his spare time to help local rugby clubs in this way.”
Aled said, “I am grateful to Ashmole and Co, who are one of the most established and largest teams of chartered, certified accountants and auditors in south and west Wales, to give me this opportunity.”
Ashmole & Co offer financial support to a significant number of junior and professional sports teams across south Wales. The Llandeilo office has recently shown its support to Llandeilo RFC by contributing towards new tops for the juniors.
Ceri added, “As a rural firm that works with businesses in the area it is a pleasure for us to be able to lend our support to local sports teams.”
Llangennech prove too strong for Penclawdd
LLANGENNECH earned their fourth win in as many matches on Saturday (Oct 22) as they beat Penclawdd 38-10.
Jordan Saunders got the scoring underway with the first try of the game and Thomas Davies added the extras.
Penclawdd then levelled the scoring with a try from Daniel John Guarneri and Marcus Brown added the extras.
It remained 7-7 until half time with conditions proving tricky for both sides.
In the second half, Aaron Howles got the try to put Llangennech ahead but the conversion was missed.
Joseph Hutchings then extended the visitors’ lead with their third try and Davies added the extras to take the score to 7-19.
Penclawdd then responded with a penalty from Brown as the home side looked to get back into the game.
However, Llangennech soon had their fourth try and a bonus point as Howles touched down for his second try of the game and Davies added the extras.
Louis Rees then scored an unconverted try before replacement Hefin Jones went over for Llangennech’s sixth try, converted by Davies.
On Saturday, October 29, Penclawdd travel to Aberystwyth for their second game in the Division 1 Cup.
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