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Knock-out games confirmed as club season hots up

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Final: Carmarthen Quins will be looking to pick up the first silverware of the season

THE WRU has confirmed a number of dates and times for their upcoming cup semi-final and final matches.

The first of those will see Carmarthen Quins take on Bedwas in the final of the Foster’s Challenge Cup next Saturday (Apr 1).

That match will be played at Bridgend Ford Brewery Field and is a chance for both teams to claim the first silverware of the season.

The National Bowl Semi Finals take place this Saturday (Mar 25), with Cardigan taking on Amman United at Lampeter, kicking off at 2:30pm.

The winner of that match will go on to the final at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Sunday, April 16, and face the winners of the other semi-final between Caerphilly and Cilfynydd.

Dates and times for the National Cup and National Plate finals have also been released and tickets for finals day on April 16, go on sale from Friday (Mar 24).

  • Foster’s Challenge Cup final confirmed for Saturday, April 1
  • Bedwas v Carmarthen Quins at Bridgend Ford Brewery Field (2.30pm). Tickets available on the gate £10 (£5 u16s)
  • WRU National Cup semi-finals Saturday, March 25
  • Pontypridd will play Cross Keys at Talbot Athletic Club, Aberavon at 2.30pm
  • RGC 1404 play Merthyr at Sardis Road at 5pm (televised live on S4C)
  • Tickets for the National Cup semi-finals will be £10 (£5 under 16s) and will be available on the gate.
  • WRU National Plate semi-finals Saturday, March 25, 2.30pm
  • Penallta v Nant Conwy at Newtown RFC
  • Abercarn v Ystalyfera at Llanharan RFC
  • WRU National Bowl semi-finals Saturday, March 25, 2.30pm
  • Caerphilly v Cilfynydd at Taffs Well RFC
  • Cardigan v Amman United at Lampeter Town RFC
  • Tickets for Plate and Bowl semi-finals £5 (£2 under 16s)
  • National Finals Day Sunday, April 16 – Principality Stadium
  • Bowl Final 1pm
  • Plate Final 3.15pm
  • Cup Final 5.35pm (all three live on S4C)

Tickets at £10 (U16s £5) will go on sale on Friday 24 March via www.wru.wales/ tickets

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Sport

Snooker returns with Olympic Cup

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THE Llanelli & District Snooker League returned following the enforced break with the Olympic Cup opening round.

In the First Division, Trimsaran A returned with a convincing 4-0 win at Pontyberem Workmens’, Jamie Tudor, Carl Thomas, Kieran Proctor and Mark Foreman their frame winners.

Elsewhere, Snooker World Whites progressed with a similar 4-0 win at Llanesco, while Peter Rowlands, Gavin Quinnell, Mike Moore and Dean Bowen claimed a 4-2 win for Llanelli Cons A against Burry Port Legion.

Wyn Major provided Llandybie Social’s only resistance as his side went out 4-1 at Matchroom Whites; Tyler Rees, Tom Twigg, Chris Davies and Steven Jenkins struck for the home side.

Matchroom Reds defeated Morfa 4-2, whereas the closest match of the night saw Ponthenri Social edge through 4-3 at Cross Hands B, thanks to Nigel Lewis, Jeff Howells, Mark Regola and Andrew Jones.

In the Second Division, Josh Townsend was Bryn & Trallwm A’s solitary frame winner in a 4-1 home defeat against CGMD; for the Glanamman side, Wyn Llewelyn, Brian Chappel, Matthew Jones and James Varney were “on the ball”.

Elliott Anderson, Aaron Cruickshank, Adam Fussell and Luke Powell helped Bryn B go through with a 4-2 victory at Llandybie RFC; Dar Sigsworth and Sion Isaac won for the latter.

Cross Hands A squeezed through 4-3 away at Pont Cons B, whilst Adrian Davies, Cory Jenkins, Dean Shoulder and Nathan Brain gave Matchroom Blacks a 4-2 passage at the expense of the Gremlin Club.

Upper Tumble Reds knocked out New Lodge, winning 4-2, and there were “byes” into the next round for Llandybie Social B and Burry Port Reading Room Reds.

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Davies to captain Scarlets for 2021/22 season

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WALES international and British & Irish Lion Jonathan ‘Fox’ Davies will captain the Scarlets for the 2021-22 season.

Former Ysgol Dyffryn Taf pupil Davies has played 170 matches for the Scarlets since making his debut in 2006 and is one of the most decorated centres in international rugby having won 91 caps for Wales and represented the Lions in the Test series in Australia 2013 and New Zealand in 2017.

It will be his second stint wearing the Scarlets armband having been a co-captain along with Rob McCusker in 2013.

‘Foxy’ takes the reins from hooker Ken Owens who led the Scarlets for a record-equalling seven successive seasons.

“Jon is one of the most respected players in the game, someone with a huge amount of experience at all levels,” said Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel

“He has been a leader amongst our group for a number of years now and certainly since I have been here his leadership qualities have been there for all to see, on and off the training field.

“Foxy is the ultimate professional – when he speaks people listen. The way he conducts himself is an example to every player in the squad.

“He has been a big part of this club for a long time; he has grown up in the region, played his junior rugby here and it is clear that wearing the Scarlets jersey means a huge amount to him.”

Paying tribute to Davies’s predecessor Owens, Peel added: “Ken has been a fantastic leader for us over the last seven years and will continue to have a huge part to play in the leadership of this group.”

Davies, who captained Wales during the recent summer internationals in Cardiff, said: “It is a massive honour to be handed the Scarlets captaincy, you only have to look at the captain’s board to see so many great players and icons of the game who have led the club.

“I am fortunate that there will be a strong leadership group around me – British & Irish Lions and experienced Wales internationals who have enjoyed success at domestic and Test level. Those players also know there is a hard-working, driven group of youngsters pushing them for the jersey. There is a really exciting mix to the squad.”

Davies added: “Winning the PRO12 title with the Scarlets four years ago remains one of the highlights of my career and there is a real ambition and hunger among the players and coaching group to reach those levels again.

“There has been a good buzz about pre-season, the boys have worked really hard and we’re all looking forward to the start of the new URC season in Edinburgh on Saturday.

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Scarlets appoint Phil John as Academy coach

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FORMER prop Phil John is back at the Scarlets having been appointed to the role of Academy skills coach.

John made 330 Scarlets appearances over 17 seasons and holds the record for the most Scarlets matches played in the regional era.

Since hanging up his playing boots following his final game against Glasgow in 2016, he has worked with the RGC 1404 Academy and alongside another ex-Scarlet Mark Jones with the Premiership team in North Wales.

He also has experience coaching with the Llanelli RFC Premiership side and as an assistant to Danny Wilson for the Scarlets.

John, who started out on a rugby apprenticeship scheme at Stradey Park, replaces Emyr Phillips who becomes the Scarlets transition coach overseeing the academy players who are training with the senior side.

“It’s good to be back at Parc y Scarlets and I’m looking forward to working with a talented group of young players who have bright futures in the game,” said John.

“When you look at the players who were in the Academy five years ago when I was here, they are now starting week in week out for the Scarlets, it is great to see the journeys they have been on.

“The Scarlets Academy has a proud tradition of being a production line for the senior side and I’m excited by this opportunity to help make sure that continues.”

Scarlets Development Pathway Manager Kevin George added: “For us, this appointment was about getting the balance right in the coaching group with Emyr having been promoted to oversee the transition players.

“We had a lot of interest in the post and Phil, with his experience working with academies and the commitment he gave to North Wales, came out very strongly. We are delighted to have him on board to help nurture the next generation of Scarlets.”

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