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Llandovery face Quins in Foster’s 7s

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7s captains

Foster’s 7s: The captains at launch day

FOSTER’s 7s champions Llandovery have been drawn against fellow Scarlets regional side Carmarthen Quins in Round One of the third WRU Foster’s National 7s, which will take place at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday August 30.

Former Carmarthen Quins player, Scarlets flanker James Davies made the draw, along with his brother Jonathan, and Wales Sevens captain Jevon Groves.

Last year’s finalists, Pontypridd, have been drawn against Wales Students in Round One, while current Plate holders Llanelli face Cross Keys in a bid to reach the Cup quarter-finals this time around.

Last year’s Cup semi-finalists Bridgend and Aberavon take on Bedwas and Neath respectively while in the remaining Round One fixtures, Swansea face old rivals Cardiff, RGC 1404 play Newport and Ebbw Vale play Welsh Exiles who replaced Bargoed in the draw after the Championship side didn’t take up their place in the competition.

The Scarlets will play the Ospreys and the Dragons will play the Blues in the inaugural Radler Women’s 7s which will take place on the same day.

Tickets for the Foster’s National 7s are currently on sale. Go to wru.wales/ tickets to purchase tickets. Tickets also available from participating clubs, to personal callers at the WRU Ticket Office, 8 Westgate Street, Cardiff or by calling the WRU customer care team on 02920 822432.

Llandovery v Carmarthen Quins will kick off a whole day’s top class sevens rugby at 10am, with the cup final set to kick off at 7.20pm.Ticket prices for the whole day event are unchanged with adult tickets £10 and £5 for under 16s. The family offer is also available at £20 for 2 adults and 2 under 16s.

James Davies said: “I owe a lot to sevens rugby. It is through that channel that I have gained a professional contract with the Scarlets.”

Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams added: “The Foster’s 7s is the perfect time for players to show what they are capable of. There is also the small matter of rugby sevens being part of the Olympic Games next year, so from a player’s and fan’s objective, the Foster’s 7s will be just the ticket to get into the swing of the sport.”

Will Thomas, representing champions Llandovery, and a Wales Sevens international said: “The Foster’s 7s gives us players the chance to throw the ball around and show what we can do. We know there will be some pressure on us as champions, but it’s just a great day out for players and fans.”

Wales Women’s Sevens head coach Richie Pugh said: “It is fantastic to have a women’s sevens competition alongside the men to show everyone what they are capable of. Our national sevens squad will have just returned from the final World Series qualifying tournament in Dublin and we will use the day for identification and selection looking ahead at next season.”

WRU Foster’s National 7s 2015:

Round One matches:

Llandovery v Carmarthen Quins

Ebbw Vale v Welsh Exiles

Llanelli v Cross Keys

Bedwas v Bridgend

Aberavon v Neath

RGC 1404 v Newport

Swansea v Cardiff

Welsh Students v Pontypridd

Radler Women’s 7s 2015

Round One matches:

Scarlets v Ospreys

Dragons v Blues

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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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Five-star Felinfoel sink Tumble

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FELINFOEL kept up their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday (Sept 18) as they beat Tumble 5-2 at the King George playing fields in Division 1 of the Carmarthenshire football league.

However, they didn’t have it all their own way as Tumble took the lead after five minutes through Matthew James.

Foel kept plugging away and were rewarded when Chris James hit a 25-yard shot that was fumbled over the line by the keeper to make it 1-1.

Some good passing football then put Sam Ashford through on goal to put the ball past the keeper and make it 2-1 to the home side.

They weren’t done there as Chris James made it 3-1 with a great header.

In the second half, both sides were looking to score again but it was Foel who got their fourth when Mathew Ellis supplied top goal scorer Jordan Badman with the pass to make it 4-1.

Five minutes later the roles were reversed when Badman played in Mathew Ellis to make it 5-1.

To Tumble’s credit they kept plugging away and were rewarded with a goal two minutes from time as James scored his second of the game.

It was a great strike from James but it mattered little as Foel came away with the 5-2 win and their unbeaten record still intact.

On Saturday (Sept 25), Felinfoel are at hoem again as they host Bancffosfelen, kick off at 2pm.

Tumble are also in action as they travel to Llangennech.

Photo by Darren Harries

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