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Euros assigns new Llandovery coaching team

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HEAD coach Euros Evans has completed the restructuring of the coaching set-up following the departure of Lyndon Lewis to Aberavon after 11 years at Church Bank.

Euros moves from Assistant Coach to Head Coach, and is joined as Assistant Coach by Simon Davies. Simon has coached Wales U16s for ten years and previously played for Cardiff, Newport and Ammanford.

In support are Gareth Potter as Defence Coach and ex-Drover Lloyd Phillips as Conditioning and Skills Coach. Lloyd is taking up his first coaching post and replacing Richard Hardy, who has left Church Bank after 8 years in order to more closely support the developing rugby career of his son Kieran.

Gareth has been Head Coach at Ammanford RFC for four years, as well as coach at Llandybie, and played for Ammanford. He was previously the head analyst for the Scarlets and also worked with the Welsh team during the 2003 World Cup.

Llandovery fans will already know Lloyd very well – he joined the Drovers in 2008-9 and made 113 appearances for us before injury brought a premature end to his playing career. Lloyd was capped at all age groups and for Wales 7s, and was Club Captain in 2012/13.

Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas continues as team manager, and Joc Watkins as kit manager. Head Physiotherapist Dave Graham- Woollard enters his 18th year with the Drovers, Ruth Morgan continues as Sports Therapist and Tom Bromfield as Assistant Physiotherapist.

Head Coach Euros Evans comments: “This is an exciting new coaching team. We are all looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and working hard to ensure we can compete for a place in the play offs next season.”

Club Chairman Handel Davies writes, “Whilst it is with much sadness that we bid a fond farewell to Lyndon Lewis and Richard Hardy, both of whom have made significant contributions towards the success of the Drovers over the last decade, we wish them both nothing but the very best for the future. There will always be a warm welcome to you both at Church Bank whenever you return.

However as every door closes so too does a new opportunity present itself for newly appointed Head Coach Euros Evans and he has wasted no time in recruiting his support staff, Simon Davies, Gareth Potter and Lloyd Phillips, who will make up a fresh and exciting new coaching team to complement the quality of current long serving members Physiotherapist Dave Graham Woollard, Team Manager Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas and not forgetting stalwart kitman Joc Walters.

I’m sure Drovers fans are already looking forward to the new season and let us hope that we will witness the beginning of another successful chapter in the bright recent history of Llandovery RFC.”

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Scarlets make five changes for European quarter-final

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Johnny Williams and Sione Kalamafoni have been handed their Scarlets’ European debuts for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol (8.15pm UK time).

Both summer signings are included in a side showing five changes to the line-up that took the field against the Dragons in the Scarlets last match of the Guinness PRO14 season.

Wales and British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny returns to face his former side, linking up with Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans in an all-international back three.

Williams and Steff Hughes continue their midfield combination, while Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies has recovered from injury to partner Dan Jones at half-back.

Skipper Ken Owens, Wyn Jones and Samson Lee pack down in the front row and behind them Tongan international Sam Lousi starts at lock alongside Jake Ball.

In a reshuffled back-row, the PRO14’s turnover king Josh Macleod gets the nod at openside;  Kalamafoni, who featured for Leicester Tigers in the pool stages of the tournament, wears the No. 8 jersey and Scotland international Blade Thomson has recovered from an Achilles issue to start at blindside.

On the bench, Ryan Elias, Phil Price and Javan Sebastian provide front-row cover with Lewis Rawlins and James Davies the other forward replacements. Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Tyler Morgan cover the backs. Morgan is set to make his first Scarlets appearance since joining from the Dragons.

The Scarlets and Toulon faced each other twice during the pool stages. A last-gasp converted try grabbed a 17-16 victory for the French side in November. The three-times European champions then claimed a crucial 27-15 win at Parc y Scarlets in January to ensure they topped the group. 

Head coach Glenn Delaney said: “It is a final for us. If you win three finals in a row you win a trophy. We are that far away from achieving the objective we all set out upon 12 to 13 months ago. It would be lovely to finish it off the right way. Whenever you get the opportunity to play for a trophy you have got to be very respectful and take it deadly serious, which is exactly what our boys have been doing.”

Scarlets team v RC Toulon (Saturday, September 19, 2020; kick-off 8.15pm UK)

15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (capt), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.

Reps: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 James Davies, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Tyler Morgan.

Unavailable because of injury

Rob Evans (neck), Rhys Patchell (calf), Liam Williams (foot), Daf Hughes (knee), Steff Thomas (knee), Alex Jeffries (elbow), Tomi Lewis (knee), Aaron Shingler.

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Pembrey Country Park to host one of first post-lockdown events

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Pembrey Country Park has been chosen to host one of the first outdoor sports events in Wales since the Covid-19 lockdown.

Welsh Government has given the go ahead for three trial sport and culture events as part of its continued easing of restrictions.

Pembrey Country Park will host a duathlon on Sunday, September 6, with a limited number of competitors, although there will be no spectators.

The event will be monitored and will help inform Welsh Government policy on future sporting events as the country continues its recovery from Covid-19.

The council is working with Welsh Triathlon to ensure athletes can compete safely, with strict risk assessments and protocols being put into place.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We’re delighted to host this trial event here in Carmarthenshire, and hope this signals a return of more sporting events in the future. Our teams are working alongside Welsh Government and Welsh Triathlon to ensure that the event is safe and secure whilst providing an exciting and challenging duathlon course for competitors.”

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Trundle and Robinson are back for another season with Ammanford AFC

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Ammanford AFC are pleased to announce that the Ex Swans legends Lee Trundle and Andy Robinson are back for a second season with the club

The pair helped Ammanford AFC to achieve a respectable seventh place finish in the JD Cymru South league last season.

The Supporters of Ammanford will welcome the news and will be hoping that they can go and watch their team once clearance has been given.

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