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Coleman signs new Wales deal

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Chris Coleman: Will be on the touchline until 2018

Chris Coleman: Will be on the touchline until 2018

THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales (FAW) have announced this week that Chris Coleman has signed a contract extension that will see him continue his role as Wales National Team Manager through to the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign.

The news was declared at a press conference on Monday (May 23)

Coleman led Wales to their first major finals in over 50 years and FAW Chief Executive Jonathan Ford was unequivocal in his praise of the manager:

“The FAW is delighted that Chris Coleman has extended his contract through to the 2018 World Cup.

“We wanted to acknowledge the fantastic work Chris has done with his staff in ensuring qualification to the Euros in France this summer.

“There is no one better-qualified than Chris to lead Wales into its first World Cup in sixty years.”

Speaking at the conference, Chris Coleman added:

“Everyone knows what managing Wales means to me. Leading my country in France this summer will be the proudest moment of my career, and I’m delighted to have an opportunity to do the same in Russia in 2018.

“We’ve learned a lot as a National Team over the past few years, we will learn a lot from the Euros this summer, we must use all these experiences to push forward.

“I am delighted that this has been agreed before the European Championships next month. We get together on Tuesday for our pretournament camp in Portugal.

Also present at the press conference was FAW President, David Griffiths, who said:

“I have known Chris a long time and know just how much managing his country means to him. He is an exceptional leader, and what he has achieved with his staff and players in the past few years must be commended.

“I am delighted that we have agreed on his new contract before the European Championships. We can now focus on the tournament in France and look forward to the World Cup qualifying campaign.

“The build-up starts today with the squad going to Portugal tomorrow and this is the best possible start.”

The Wales squad travelled to Vale do Lobo, Algarve, Portugal on Tuesday for a pre-tournament training camp.

Wales play a final friendly against Sweden in Stockholm on 5th June before traveling to their Euro team base in Dinard, Brittany.

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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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