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6 Nations

Ireland Make it Two Wins from Two

Ireland have made it two wins from two in the Six Nations with a brilliant win over Wales

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ireland have made it two wins from two in the Six Nations with a commanding 24-14 bonus-point victory over Wales at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon.

Tries from Jordan Larmour, Tadhg Furlong, Josh van der Flier and Andrew Conway saw Ireland power past their opposition and to an impressive win. 

Ireland had the better of the early exchanges and had several opportunities to get the first try of the game in the opening 15 minutes, but they were turned-over each time, although it was an encouraging start by the home side. 

However, in the 20th minute they got their reward when after some phases in the Welsh 22 Conor Murray sent the ball to the right-hand side where Larmour took the ball forward, jinking between a couple of defenders before powering over the line despite having defenders holding onto him. Johnny Sexton failed to connect well with the ball on the conversion leaving it at 5-0. 

Wales made Ireland pay for their lack of precision in key areas as they took the lead seven minutes later, showing some great handling skills, with Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar combining before spreading the ball to Tomos Williams who raced over the line. Biggar provided the extras to make it 7-5. 

Williams turned into the villain moments later as he knocked-on the ball five-metres out from his own line, leading to an Irish scrum from which the hosts took the ball through a couple of phases until Furlong powered over from close-range. Sexton made no mistake with the kick this time around to make it a five-point game once again. 

It was scrappy for the remainder of the half as it finished 12-7 in favour of the boys in green come the whistle. 

Ireland came flying out of the blocks again and unlike in the first-half they took full advantage of their good start as they drove over from a line-out maul through van der Flier. Sexton knocked the conversion from the left-hand side right between the posts to stretch the lead out to 19-7 after 47 minutes. 

Wales came roaring back following that try and thought they had a score of their own just before the hour mark as Hadleigh Parkes barrelled over beside the posts, only to have the try chalked off due to a knock-on. 

They continued to put the pressure on but failed to cut into the Irish lead as the hosts held on strong in defence before eventually winning a penalty and clearing their lines. 

It was Ireland’s turn to dominate territory and possession and secured the bonus-point with five minutes left on the clock as they spread the ball out to the right inside the opposition 22, finding Conway who dived to touch down in the corner. Ross Byrne couldn’t add the extras but it was 24-7. 

Man of the match CJ Stander was sent to the sin bin with a minute left and Wales made their man advantage count scoring the final try of the game through Justin Tipuric with the clock in red. Leigh Halfpenny slotted over the conversion to leave the final score at 24-14. 

Next up for the Irish is a trip to Twickenham to face England in two weeks’ time, while Wales will look to get back to winning ways with a game against France

Player Ratings

Ireland Starting XV:

Jordan Larmour (8), Andrew Conway (8), Robbie Henshaw (7), Bundee Aki (7), Jacob Stockdale (6), Johnny Sexton (8), Conor Murray (8); Cian Healy (5), Rob Herring (7), Tadhg Furlong (8), Iain Henderson (7), James Ryan (7), Peter O’Mahony (8), Josh van der Flier (8), CJ Stander (8)

Replacements (7)

Wales Starting XV: 

Leigh Halfpenny (6), George North (4), Nick Tompkins (5), Hadleigh Parkes (7), Josh Adams (5), Dan Biggar (7), Tomos Williams (6); Wyn Jones (6), Ken Owens (6), Dillon Lewis (6), Jake Ball (7), Alun Wyn Jones (7), Aaron Wainwright (6), Justin Tipuric (7), Taulupe Faletau (7)

Replacements (6)

6 Nations

Wales & France name side for 6 Nations restart

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Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has named his first squad in seven months as Wales kick off their Autumn campaign in Paris against France on Saturday (KO 21.10 local, ITV4 & S4C).

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will level the world record of test appearances when he makes his 148th international appearance (including 9 British & Irish Lions test caps). Jones will pack down alongside Cory Hill who makes his first start for his country since February 2019.
Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias and Samson Lee comprise the front-row with Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau featuring in the back-row.

Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are named at half-back with Nick Tompkins partnering the returning Jonathan Davies in midfield. Josh Adams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny make up the back-three.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said:


“The players are excited, it has been a long time, we can’t wait for Saturday.
“We have six matches this autumn and the game against France helps us get back into our stride international rugby-wise. We have picked an experienced side and are up against a good French team so we want to start this autumn well and get on the front foot for the Guinness Six Nations fixture against Scotland.


“We have talked already about how fortunate we are to be going about our work on a daily basis. A lot of people can’t do that and certainly within our organisation there are a lot of people not back at work.

From our point of view this Saturday is an opportunity to prepare for this tournament and for Scotland, but two, to put some smiles on faces and put on a good performance and make the nation proud.
On Alun Wyn Jones equalling the world record for test caps, Pivac said:

“It is a fabulous achievement. He epitomises what a great rugby player is all about. He is a true professional on and off the field and a gentleman of the game. On the field he leads by example and you can’t ask more of your captain and we are very privileged here in Wales to have him.

”Uncapped duo Sam Parry and Louis Rees-Zammit are both named on the bench for the test at Stade de France. Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and James Davies complete the forward replacements with Gareth Davies and Rhys Patchell joining Rees-Zammit as the back-line cover.

France have also named their team.

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6 Nations

Scarlets provide updates on Williams & Owens

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(Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Liam Williams has recovered from a foot injury that has prevented him playing for the Scarlets so far this season. He has been released from the Wales squad to train with the Scarlets ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Benetton.

Ken Owens has undergone surgery on the shoulder injury he sustained against Glasgow and it is expected he will be unavailable for three to four months.

Josh Macleod has started his rehabilitation for a hamstring injury sustained against Glasgow. He will be targeting a return to play in December.

Scarlets also confirmed that Sam Lousi has been banned for a period of four weeks as a result of his red card in the Guinness PRO14 clash with Glasgow Warriors.

Lousi was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy (IRFU) under Law 9.13 – a Player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling, or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulder even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The disciplinary hearing was handled by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland) and it was accepted that the player’s actions warranted a red card for foul play. The incident was deemed a mid-range offence, which carries a six-week suspension.

Due to the player’s previous disciplinary record (red card for punching incident, February 2020) the judicial officer could not offer full mitigation therefore, resulting in a four-week suspension.

Lousi is free to resume playing from midnight on November 9, 2020

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6 Nations

Scotland name squad for Autumn Internationals

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named a 40-man squad for the forthcoming autumn international matches, which include the conclusion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and newly launched Autumn Nations Cup.

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named a 40-man squad for the forthcoming autumn international matches, which include the conclusion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and newly launched Autumn Nations Cup.

The squad features three uncapped players in Glasgow Warriors prop Oli Kebble, Edinburgh winger Duhan van der Merwe and Harlequins scrum-half, Scott Steele. In the 23 forwards there are five players who did not feature in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations earlier in the year, with Glasgow Warriors trio Richie Gray (lock), Rob Harley (back-row/lock) and Kebble selected alongside London Irish flanker Blair Cowan, who won his last Scotland cap in 2016 and earns his first call up under Townsend. Scarlets’ Blade Thompson (back-row) also re-joins the squad having last featured at Rugby World Cup 2019.

In the 17 backs selected there are returns for Harlequins centre James Lang, who last featured in the national side during the summer of 2018, as well as Glasgow Warriors centre Nick Grigg and Edinburgh winger Damien Hoyland, alongside squad debutants van der Merwe and scrum-half Steele.

Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell also joins the squad, with an opportunity to earn his 50th Scotland cap during the campaign.Gregor Townsend said:

“We are very much looking forward to coming back together as a coaching and playing group after such an unprecedented and challenging period in our sport and across society in general. “There was a strong feeling that we were growing as a team during the Six Nations earlier this year, making progress from game-to-game as well as building closer bonds within the squad.

Our aim is to keep this momentum going as we take on Georgia and Wales before competing in the Autumn Nations Cup in November. “The squad we have selected is formed by the majority of the players we worked with in the Six Nations alongside players who have grabbed their opportunity in the past few weeks and have been in form for their respective teams. “Given the lack of games since March, there will be opportunities for players out-with the squad to break into our group over the next few weeks, but for now the focus is on this group that will be in camp from tomorrow.

It will be great to see some familiar faces, welcome a few back into our squad and also introduce some new players to Test match rugby.”

Scotland begin their autumn test matches at BT Murrayfield against Georgia on Friday 23 October before facing Wales in Llanelli on 31 October in the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations fixture.

The newly formed Autumn Nations Cup begins in November with Scotland in Pool B alongside France and Fiji who they will play at BT Murrayfield as well as an away test match against Italy.

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