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Gerald Davies wins presidency

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GERALD Davies will be the next President of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), it was announced today, as clubs also elect their first female National Council Member.

Davies will take up his elected position to the Union’s highest ambassadorial office at the close of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 17, and Liza Burgess joins the Council, moving just one step away from potential election to the WRU Board.

Davies won the Presidency by majority vote of the member clubs of the WRU surpassing the other two high calibre candidates, Terry Cobner and Tommy David, and will replace current President Dennis Gethin who will have served 12 years upon his retirement from the position after the AGM.

He will serve a maximum three year term in an ambassadorial role vital to the day-to-day operations of the Union, and will be charged with continuing to unite the game in Wales and upholding the core values and strategy of Welsh rugby, whilst acknowledging the heritage and traditions of its long and proud history.

“It’s a great privilege to be able to welcome Gerald Davies as the next President of the WRU and we look forward to him officially taking up the position in November,” said WRU chairman Gareth Davies.

“Three individuals not just well respected in Wales, but each with their own significant profiles in the world game, have stood for our highest ambassadorial office and I would like to thank all three for their candidacy and for producing such a high calibre contest.

“The WRU Presidency is a post which dates back over a 130 years to the humble beginnings of our national game, it’s a role which very much reflects the character and capabilities of the individual who fulfils it and I’m sure Gerald will put his own stamp on the position and help take Welsh rugby to new heights.

“Of course, during the long and illustrious history of the game in Wales, many great rugby men have honoured us by assuming the position, not least Dennis Gethin who has stood tall as a figure of immense gravitas, warmth and acumen as he has represented us around the globe during his tenure.

“And this is the ideal opportunity for me to thank Dennis on behalf of everyone involved in the game in Wales for his dedication and commitment to the national cause whilst in post, but it is also with great delight that we welcome Gerald as his successor.”

Davies, 74, is the former British & Irish Lions (1968 and 1971), Wales and Cardiff wing who starred in the famous ‘70s triple Grand Slam winning backline which also featured the likes of Gareth Edwards and JPR Williams.

He won 50 caps, including four for the Lions, amassing 23 tries during his international career and also featured for Llanelli, Loughborough College, Cambridge University, the Barbarians and London Welsh.

He later became a distinguished rugby writer with The Times and was appointed Lions Team Manager and figurehead for their 2009 tour of South Africa – an honour which coincided with his nine year tenure as a WRU Director between 2005 and 2014 – and he is currently chairman of Guinness PRO14 Rugby.

“It’s a wonderful honour to have been asked to represent our national game as President and I would like to thank all of the member clubs throughout Wales for giving me the opportunity to serve Welsh rugby,” said (Gerald) Davies.

“Welsh rugby has a great history and tradition and I’m delighted to follow in the footsteps of some truly exceptional rugby men who have held the position through time.

“It has been my greatest honour to have played international rugby for Wales, but it really is the pinnacle of my lifetime in rugby to receive this honour at such a wonderful time for our national sport.

“We are making magnificent progress not just on the pitch but also our progressive union is doing great things off it, and I’m particularly delighted to hear the news about Liza Burgess joining the Council and increasing female representation within our governance.”

Burgess won the contest for the available National Council Member position, to be vacated by Anthony Buchanan (at the conclusion of the AGM in November, when he also vacates his position as a WRU Director), by majority vote over fellow candidates Roy Wilkinson, John Manders and Sian Griffiths.

Next, one of four National Council Members (Colin Charvis, John Morgan and Mark Taylor are the other potential candidates) will be elected as a WRU Director by fellow members of the WRU Council, following the AGM.

This means Burgess could be the first female to be elected to the WRU Board in more than 130 years of history – with current Director Aileen Richards having been appointed, rather than elected, as an Independent Non Executive Director in 2015.

“I’m both hugely humbled and delighted that the clubs around Wales have voted for me in enough numbers to secure my position on the Council and intend to fully reward the faith they have shown in me,” said Burgess.

“The significance of being the first elected female Council member is not lost on me, the Union and its member clubs deserve due credit for looking beyond the established traditions of the governance structure and I am grateful to all those who have encouraged me to stand and supported my nomination.

“I intend to now fully embrace this new opportunity and challenge, as we all work collectively toward safeguarding the future of our national game for all.”

Burgess is the decorated 93-times capped former Welsh Women’s international trailblazer and coach, who created history when she coached the first Women’s Barbarians team and is currently coaching Gloucester-Hartpury in the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s in England.

Elsewhere two new District Council Members have been elected – also due to take their positions at the end of the WRU’s AGM in November – Jeff Davies of Seven Sisters rugby club was elected by majority vote of member clubs in District E, replacing Geraint Edwards, and Colin Wilks of Risca was elected in District A, to replace Ian Jeffery.

“We were delighted to see two female candidates for the position of National Council Member, with Sian Griffiths also a highly credible candidate, as were John Manders and Roy Wilkinson, and Liza is a hugely welcome addition to the WRU Council,” added Davies.

“We have called for our clubs to help us ‘break the established mould’ in terms of candidature for these senior positions in Welsh rugby and they should be particularly commended for doing so in this instance.

“Welcome also to Colin Wilks and Jeff Davies who are two more important additions to the WRU Council which is charged with overseeing the community game throughout Wales.”

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Legg departs Llanelli Town

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MANAGER Andy Legg has left Llanelli Town as the club seeks to make a number of changes.

Lee departed on Thursday evening (Nov 25) while coaches Gary Lloyd and Chris Thomas have also left their roles.

It comes just hours after the club announced that captain Kyle Copp had also left the club.

Kyle made 42 appearances for the Reds scoring 8 goals. He made his debut against Goytre back in August 2019.

The club had also announced on Tuesday that Zac Brown was leaving the club. He had played 41 times for the Reds scoring nine times.

Speaking of Legg’s departure a statement on the club’s social media pages reads: “Although not an easy decision given his club status and what he has achieved over the years here at Stebonheath Park we would all like to wish him the best and he will always receive a warm welcome here.

“With our club vision set out by chairman Wayne Stephens many changes will be made throughout the whole club over the Christmas period.

“We will announce Andy’s successor in due course. Thanks again Leggy.”

Commenting on his departure on Twitter, Andy said: “Just a quick message to say thank you the supporters for you support during my time at the club. We wish the club well.”

Llanelli Town currently sit in sixth place in the JD Cymru South table with six wins, five draws and four defeats in their 15 league games so far this season.

Legg’s last game in charge of the club was a 3-0 loss away at Goytre United.

They are next in action on Friday, December 3, when they face Goytre United in the reverse fixture at Stebonheath Park, kick off 7:30pm.

PHOTO by Llanelli Town

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Trostre win again in Premier Division

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TROSTRE picked up another win in the Carmarthenshire Premier Division on Saturday (Nov 20) as they came from behind to beat Seaside.

Nathan Lewis put Seaside ahead on 11 minutes but Dominic Saunders levelled for the league leaders on 25 minutes.

Just three minutes later Liam Jones scored to put Trostre ahead and Luke Jones scored ten minutes before the break to make it 3-1.

They were then dealt a blow as Jack James was shown a second yellow card and was given his marching orders shortly before half time.

Just a minute later Tray Jenkins scored for the home side to make it 2-3 and to give them some hope of turning the game around in the second half.

However, just three minutes in to the second half Liam Jones scored his second goal of the game and he then completed his hat trick on 50 minutes.

That made it 5-2 to the visitors and all but ended any hopes Seaside had of getting something from the game.

Luke Jones then scored his second goal of the game on 64 minutes to make it 6-2.

Christopher Price-Williams completed the scoring with fourteen minutes to go but that wasn’t the end of the action.

Seaside were given a penalty two minutes from the end but Jay Evans could not convert the spot kick and Trostre saw the game out for a 7-2 win.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Pengelli and Pontlliw drew 2-2.

Adam Scott put Pontlliw ahead after just six minutes as he scored a penalty but Shaun Rees equalised for Pengelli only four minutes later.

Ben Higgins scored on 89 minutes to seemingly give Pontlliw the win but in injury time, Carl Timbrell scored to make it 2-2.

The other game saw Killay earn a 2-1 win away at Loughor Rovers.

After a goalless first half, Ben Lynch opened the scoring on 51 minutes and just five minutes it was 2-0 as Liam Bennett doubled Killay’s lead.

Sub Michael Grimwade pulled a goal back for Loughor with nine minutes to go but they were unable to find an equaliser.

Fixtures for Saturday, November 27:

Burry Port v Killay

Gorseinon Athletic v Trallwm

Pontlliw v Loughor

Seaside v Pengelli United

All games are scheduled to kick off at 2pm.

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Burry Port and Gorseinon share the points

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BURRY Port and Gorseinon shared the points on Saturday (Nov 20) as their Carmarthenshire Premier Division game finished 2-2.

The game was just four minutes old when the first goal went in as Charlie Taylor finished after being set up by Lewis James.

Gorseinon battled back though and just ten minutes later they were given a penalty. Matthew Brandon took the spot kick and scored to level the game.

Just six minutes before the break the visitors were given another penalty and Brandon again stepped up to score.

Gorseinon led 2-1 at the break but they knew they would face a comeback from a Burry Port side who had got back to winning ways the previous week, having not won since September 11.

And in the 62nd minute they did get themselves level as Taylor scored his second goal of the game.

Both sides went in search of a winner in what was a competitive game but it finished 2-2.

On Saturday, November 27, Burry Port host Killay while Gorseinon Athletic are at home against Trallwm.

PHOTO by Darren Harries

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