SCARLETS has confirmed the signing of All Black Vaea Fifita.
The 29-year-old, who can play in the second row and back row, will make the switch from Gallagher Premiership side Wasps in the summer.
An athletic, dynamic carrier with searing pace, Fifta was described by commentators as a ‘freak of nature’ when he burst onto the international scene in 2017. He is also a commanding line-out presence and renowned for his ability to steal opposition ball.
Fifta made a memorable first Test start against Argentina in the Rugby Championship, scoring a stunning individual try and has made 11 appearances in the famous New Zealand jersey.
Tongan born and raised, as a teenager he moved to New Zealand on a scholarship and went on to star in provincial rugby for Wellington and then Super Rugby for the Hurricanes, delivering a try-scoring appearance against the touring 2017 British & Irish Lions.
Fifita will link up with his former Hurricanes team-mates Sam Lousi and Blade Thomson at Parc y Scarlets, with Fifita and Thomson having been members of the Canes’ Super Rugby title-winning squad of 2016.
Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel: “We have signed a world-class player in Vaea and this is a real statement of our intent and ambition as a club. Vaea is a superb athlete, an X-factor player with the all-round skill-set that fits with how we are looking to play at the Scarlets.
“He also brings a lot of experience at international and Super Rugby level and as well as adding Test-match quality to our pool of second rows, that experience will be invaluable to the young forwards that are coming through at the club.
“Vaea is the kind of player that gets fans out of their seats and it’s hugely exciting that he will be pulling on the Scarlets jersey next season. I am sure Scarlets fans will enjoy watching him and we can’t wait to welcome him to Parc y Scarlets in the summer.”
Vaea Fifita said: “My family and I cannot wait to be a part of the West Wales community. I will be working hard to achieve the ambitious goals that the club has set for the future.
“I have confidence that this group can bring pride and success to the people of the region. I look forward to meeting you all for the first time at Parc y Scarlets.”
Scarlets General Manager of Rugby Jon Daniels said: “Vaea is a quality player and we are delighted he has agreed to join us at Scarlets. We identified early in our recruitment cycle that a world-class lock was vital to our performance as well as supporting the development of the quality young second rows we have here at Scarlets. Vaea has been top of our list of targets for quite some time.”
Gascoigne entertains Llanelli
OVER 400 people were at attendance in the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 18) to see former England legend Paul Gascoigne talk about his life and footballing career.
Gazza had the crowd in stitches with his stories from his past and was visibly emotional with the crowd’s warm reaction to him being there.
At one point a member of the crowd asked him if he could play one last game for one team who would it be… his answer was Swansea City to the crowds delight.
His next event will be in Tenby on September 17. The event was kindly sponsored by RDH Contractors and Sylan Lakes holiday cottages in five roads.
Ryan Giggs quits as Wales manager with ‘immediate effect’
EX Man-Utd winger has left his position as the manager of the national football team with ‘immediate effect’.
Giggs stepped back from his role in November 2020 following after being arrested.
49-year-old Giggs has been charged with assault and using controlling behaviour towards an ex-partner. A claim that Giggs has denied.
In a heartfelt statement on his decision, Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.
“I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.
“I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.
“It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date.”
Following Giggs arrest in 2020, former Wales captain Robert Page took over as interim manager.
Under Page Wales beat Ukraine to earn themselves a place at Qatar World Cup for the first time in 64 years.
Giggs faces one charge of using controlling and coercive behaviour August 2017 and November 2020, one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm of his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville on November 1, 2020.
He also faces a charge of common assault on the victim’s sister.
Giggs denies all charges against him and will stand trial on August 8.
The trial is expected to last five days.
Following the announcement, a FAW spokesperson said: “The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru men’s national team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football,
“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men’s national team is on the Fifa World Cup in Qatar later this year.”
Llanelli edged out as Ynystawe pull off mammoth chase
A SCORE of 331-4 would normally be enough for a team to pick up victory, but South Wales Premier Division 2 leaders Ynystawe had other ideas as they pulled off a remarkable chase on Saturday (Jun 4).
Llanelli had been asked to bat first after Ynystawe had won the toss and their total was underpinned by a brilliant unbeaten century from Iwan Rees.
The opener hit sixteen fours and four sixes in his knock of 153 which came off 146 balls.
He had good support from Steven Devonald who scored 29 and Rhydian Morgan who scored 20 (2 fours, 1 six).
Rees and Rhys Harris shared the best stand of the match as they put on 157 runs for the fourth wicket.
Harris hit 12 fours in his score of 87 from 74 balls but he was out to the bowling of Rhys Palmer.
Rhys Westcott also finished unbeaten on 18 from 11 balls as Ynystawe were set 332 to win the game.
In reply, opener Nathan Lee scored 20 before falling to Jac Rees who also then took the wicket of Morgan Hodges on a score of 23.
Carl Roberts played well for his half century, hitting eight fours in his score of 56 before being trapped leg before by Aled Gilley.
Andrew Beasley was run out on a score of 15 and that left Ynystawe on 140-4.
Thomas Morgan and Luke Garthwaite shared 93 runs for the fifth wicket. Both reached their half centuries but Morgan was out to Iwan Rees on a score of 50.
Rees also bowled Ceri Durke and Rhys Palmer was run out by Rhydian Morgan having hit a four and a six in a quickfire score of 15.
That left Ynystawe 275-7 and they only had six overs left to get their target.
Garthwaite was on a score of 75 when Palmer fell and he took control as he smashed his way to a century.
He finished unbeaten on 118 from 67 balls after hitting 20 fours and two sixes. The last of his fours won the game for the home side as they ended up winning with two overs to spare.
On Saturday, June 11, Llanelli host Cowbridge while Ynynstawe travel to Penarth.
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