WALES women will take on a “no fear” approach for their Six Nations opener with France on Saturday evening as head coach Rowland Phillips targets challenging the tournament’s elite.
A trip to Montpellier is a tough start for Wales, but a young squad is relishing the chance to play in front of a hostile crowd on the back of a successful autumn campaign.
Phillips’ side pushed a top-class Canada outfit all the way in November and also claimed victories over South Africa and Hong Kong. It all paints a positive picture for the team ahead of facing France.
“We came out of the autumn having moved our game on a bit. Our conditioning levels improved and on the whole, everything was just better,” said Phillips. “The skillset of the players also went up and if anything we’d have liked to have continued playing in November.
“When we came back in to start preparing for the Six Nations, the key thing for us was to pick that momentum back up and continue from where we left off at the end of last year. It feels like that is exactly what has happened.”
Meanwhile, Phillips has added two players to his squad ahead of the France clash. RGC’s Teleri Davies – who can play at lock or No 8 – bolsters the options. Davies made her Wales debut last season against Scotland and replaces a key figure in Sioned Harries who suffered an ankle injury in the Six Nations warm-up clash with Ireland which required surgery.
Uncapped Cardiff Blues prop Danielle Dinapoli comes in for Brea Leung who has been ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury.
Wales captain and hooker Carys Phillips said: “France will be a very tough game, especially away from home. We have a lot of young players in our squad, but they are hungry for that challenge.
“I feel we have made a massive step forward from this time last year and I’m also really excited to play in front of a massive crowd. It will be an excellent experience all round.
“There is absolutely no fear in our squad and that’s brilliant for us.”
Rowland Phillips added: “France beat New Zealand in the autumn and that has made everyone sit up and take notice. We know France are strong anyway, but that result certainly lifted an eyebrow.
“The tournament will be game by game, but we need to measure ourselves by results as well as performances. That’s important for us. We want to reach the World Cup in two years with a young but experienced squad of players.
“The target for us is to move up the table. There are teams in the competition we have beaten before and beaten recently, so we need to be confident of our abilities.
“The Six Nations table always tends to split into two groups. We need to be in the first of those.”
On the prospect of facing Wales, France captain Gaelle Hermet said: “Our match against Wales is our first and therefore most important. They will come with great commitment and determination.
“Wales will want to beat us in Montpellier and it will be a very complicated match but one we will be ready for.”
Wales Women take on France at GGL Stadium, Montpellier on Saturday evening. The match will be shown live on S4C (8pm GMT) and on France Télévisions (9pm local time).
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.
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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