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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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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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