WALES WOMEN have today announced their 32-player squad for the upcoming Women’s Six Nations.
Head coach Rowland Phillips finalised his selection after yesterday’s victory against Ireland at Donnybrook – a result which means Wales Women have now won four from four since Phillips took charge in 2016.
Phillips says that cutting down a squad of approximately 50 players was a difficult task. “It’s always tough when it comes to selections, because everybody has been working so hard over the past few months,” he said. “There were plenty of tough calls, but I’m confident of the process we went through to get to this point.”
Included in the squad are players recently identified in the regional programme, such as forwards Morfudd Ifans, Brea Leung and Gwenllian Pyrs, whilst players returning to the set-up after a short break include centre Rebecca de Filippo and front row Lowri Harries.
Since the autumn, Wales Women have recorded wins against Scotland, the UK Armed Forces, Spain and Ireland. Whilst he is pleased with the results on the scoreboard, Phillips insists that he and his assistant coaches, Nick Wakely and Paul Young, have been focused on improving the team’s overall performance.
“We’re fully aware of what the past four games have been about,” says Phillips. “The results are an added bonus. The real thing for us was for the players to understand the physicality and intensity of top teams, and they certainly experienced it yesterday against Ireland.”
Ireland, ranked fifth in the world, gave Wales Women plenty to think about, according to Phillips: “They are a quality side, with a lot of very good players. The first 25 minutes or so we were completely under the cosh. But what evolved after that was that we got to terms with the intensity, and by the end of the game we were comfortably playing at that level.”
Now Phillips wants his squad to focus on the next challenge – ‘with feet firmly on the ground’ – with Wales set to face Italy away first up in the Women’s Six Nations. Supporters can then look forward to two huge home matches at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park against England (February 11) and Ireland (March 11) – something Phillips expects to be a fantastic occasion in the capital.
“Those two home games are significant for us as far as standard of opposition goes,” he said. “We’re hosting the world champions and Ireland, who showed us yesterday what a threat they are across the park. It’s going to be a huge competition for us, and we saw throughout the autumn how big a difference the home support made.”
Success for Ceredigion school rugby teams at Principality Stadium
RECENTLY some Ceredigion school rugby teams have been competing at a national level at the Road to Principality event held at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.
There was a great celebration at Ysgol Bro Teifi on Monday, 25 April following the success of their under-14 girls’ rugby team at a. Following victories in a series of games at regional and national level in recent months, the team had the opportunity to play in the national final at the Principality Stadium against Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Denbighshire.
In front of a crowd of some 150 fans who had travelled to Cardiff to see the game, Bro Teifi managed to win 34 points to 19 in a competitive and fast game.
Acting Headteacher, Mr Gareth Evans, “At the start of a new term, it was great to be able to celebrate the success of the girls on the rugby field following a run of games where the team was seen subduing Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Plas Mawr, Bishopston and the Rhymney Valley among others. I would like to congratulate the girls on their huge success and thank the training team of Llyr James, Gemma Potter and Stephanie Gough for their work.”
Omicron: Sporting events to be played behind closed doors from Boxing Day
SPORTING events in Wales will be played behind closed doors from Boxing Day in a bid to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.
The Welsh government said the new measures apply to both indoor and outdoor sporting events, with economy minister Vaughan Gething confirming a £3m “Spectator Sports Fund” will support clubs and venues affected.
The decision comes after a number of postponements affecting Welsh sides in the Football League.
Cardiff City have called off their Boxing Day match against Coventry City due to several Covid cases among their players and staff, while Newport County will no longer face League Two leaders Forest Green.
In the United Rugby Championship, Cardiff Blues are scheduled to play Scarlets at Cardiff Arms Park on Boxing Day, although Ospreys vs Dragons at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea has been called off due to Covid.
“Sporting events over the Christmas period are one of the big highlights of the year,” Gething said.
“Unfortunately, the new Omicron variant is a significant development in the pandemic and could cause a large number of infections.
“We need to do everything we can to protect people’s health and control the spread of this awful virus.
“Throughout the pandemic we have followed scientific and public health advice to keep people safe. The advice is clear – we need to act now in response to the threat of omicron. We are giving people as much notice of these decisions as we can.
“Crowds will come back as soon as possible. We want everyone to be here to enjoy their favourite sports.”
Latest figures show Omicron cases are rising in all parts of Wales, while the overall rate of coronavirus infections is at just under 550 cases per 100,000 people.
Cardiff City have called off their Boxing Day match against Coventry City due to several Covid cases among their players and staff; Ospreys vs Dragons also off in United Rugby Championship; Welsh economy minister says clubs and venues would be supported through a £3m fund.
An EFL spokesperson said: “The EFL notes the disappointing news that fans of Welsh clubs competing in the EFL will be unable to watch their team play live at home over the festive period, but we appreciate there are many factors influencing each administration’s decision.
“Looking forward, the League will continue to work with our broadcast partners and other relevant stakeholders throughout this difficult period as we consider how we can appropriately support our Welsh clubs and their supporters so they can watch their team while matches are played behind closed doors.
“In addition, we will engage with the authorities in Wales to determine what type and or level of financial support they can provide our clubs in Wales whilst they are unable to welcome supporters through the turnstiles.”
Have your say on how Ceredigion becomes a more physically active county
A CONSULTATION is currently underway on how Ceredigion is becoming a more physically active County.
There is a plan to follow the “Sport & Recreational Activity Strategy 2014-2020” which is being developed, with an opportunity for Ceredigion residents to have their say.
Your feedback will be essential in supporting Ceredigion County Council’s production of a new development plan and in helping determine its priorities from 2022 to 2027. This will ensure that Ceredigion residents have access to quality opportunities to become more active, benefiting their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The new plan will identify how becoming a more active county can contribute to the Council’s Corporate Strategies and the Local Wellbeing Plan.
To ensure that the plan meets the needs of all its residents, the Council would like as many people and organisations as possible to complete the survey. Residents have until 17 October to complete the survey: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/your-council/consultations/physical-activity-development-plan/
Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Porth Gofal, Early Intervention, Wellbeing Hubs and Culture said: “The physical and mental health and well-being of Ceredigion’s residents is very important. This is a chance for residents to have their say on how they want to receive sport and physical activities for the years to come. We recognise the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on sport and physical activity in the county and this is an opportunity to let us know how we can build back stronger.”
For further information or if you would like the survey in an alternative format, contact our Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570881 or email@example.com.
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