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Young pleased with Cardiff’s spirit and togetherness in derby win



Dai Young was pleased with the spirit and togetherness of the Cardiff squad as they claimed a momentous derby victory over Scarlets on Saturday.

A Tomos Williams try and the boot of Jarrod Evans ensured the Blue and Blacks came away from Llanelli with the victory.

With Scarlets looking for a dramatic winner in the closing stages, Young praised his side’s tenacious defensive effort and has challenged them to back it up next week when Dragons RFC visit the Welsh capital on Saturday.

The Director of Rugby said: “I’m really, really pleased. Obviously we didn’t have a lot of the ball, especially in the second half, but we took our opportunities in the first half and got our noses in front.

“In the second half, our backs were against the wall, but I’m really pleased with the determination, the spirit and the togetherness, which has been questioned on numerous occasions. But today I though they went out and we couldn’t ask much more of the spirit.

“You don’t want to be making that many tackles, and you don’t want to be stuck in your own 22 as much as we were today.

“But the boys really stood up against a real physical Scarlets team. We rode our luck on occasions but I couldn’t have asked much more of the players today. In defence they were outstanding.

“For us, it’s about taking it week-by-week and trying to take the emotional rollercoaster away from winning. We had a really good win against Munster, Glasgow wasn’t anywhere near the same and last week against the Lions we should have won the game.

“But we committed some really silly errors, basic mistakes and discipline let us down but we bounce back with a good win today. That was the important thing.

“We’ve got to learn every week. Win, lose or draw, we’ve got to look to learn and get better.

“We had a couple of bumps and bruises, with Rey going off early for a HIA, Lopeti went off with what looked like a pulled calf but hopefully not too many more than that.

“We have a real bashed up team at the minute because they put their bodies on the line. You can’t ask any more than that.

“Going into the last five to ten minutes, that could have been a game that got away from us. We fought on a couple of occasions to get a hold of the ball, and when we did we have it back to them.

“So they tested my ticker in the last five to ten minutes, so the important thing was that togetherness and the spirit they showed. That gets doubted week-after-week about this team.

“What I’ve said to them is, we had a real good performance against Munster, a real decent performance tonight, in terms of the spirit, togetherness and the will to win, and we’ve got to back it up.

“We’ve got to do it week-after-week not one in four.

“We knew what was coming our way and we knew they were going to drive most line-outs and then go to the air, but we controlled the set-piece well, which made them go up to the air. 

“We had a little bit of mixed fortunes in the air, but there were lots of players playing in unaccustomed positions, especially when we got our yellow cards as well.

“But that’s a squad. We practice week-in, week-out moving people around, dealing with yellow cards and we dealt wit the yellow card far better in this game than we did last week.

“You keep talking about learning from losses and I think we’ve learned a bit to control a period with the yellow cards better than we did in the last game.”

After claiming the win in the first derby of the campaign, Young is expecting another tough task when Dragons visit Cardiff Arms Park next week.

“I don’t think there’s much between the regions. The Scarlets could have easily won that game tonight but we’ve come out on top.

“Next week is going to be a close game and it’s always close between us and the Dragons.

“We’re going to see a Dragons side coming to Cardiff really determined to do a job at the Arms Park next week.”

Tickets for Cardiff Rugby versus Dragons RFC are available now. Call 029 20 302030 or click here to purchase yours today.

Content & Images from – Cardiff Rugby

Champions Cup

Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Toulouse At Thomond



The Munster squad started their training week on Tuesday ahead of Sunday’s Champions Cup opener against Toulouse at Thomond Park (3.15pm).

A bumper crowd will attend the fixture with tickets from €25 available here. A Family Pack of 4 tickets costs just €50.

11 Munster players were in AIL action for their clubs at the weekend.

In Division 1A, Dan Goggin, Conor Phillips, Eoin O’Connor and Fionn Gibbons featured for Young Munster as they beat Shannon at Thomond Park with Phillips among the tries.

Ethan Coughlan, Kieran Ryan and Darragh McSweeney lined out for Shannon.

Cian Hurley and Jack Oliver lined out for Garryowen as they were defeated by Ballynahinch at Dooradoyle.

In Division 1B, James French helped Highfield defeat UCC at Woodleigh Park.

In Division 2A, Ruadhan Quinn was a try-scorer for Old Crescent as they defeated Ballymena.

Evan O’Connell featured for UL Bohemian as they were beaten by Navan.

On the injury front, Conor Murray returns to training this week after recovering from the groin injury he sustained on his 100th Ireland cap against South Africa last month.

Mike Haley is expected to complete his return to play protocols this week with a view to returning to full team training.

Simon Zebo sustained a low-grade knee injury against Edinburgh and will begin rehabilitation with the medical department. He will be unavailable for the coming weeks.

Continuing to rehab: Stephen Archer (ankle), Tom Ahern (shoulder), RG Snyman (knee), Fineen Wycherley (shoulder), Paddy Kelly (head), Jack Daly (knee), Jack O’Sullivan (knee), Andrew Conway (knee), Keynan Knox (knee).


Champions Cup Round 1

Sunday, December 11

Munster Rugby v Stade Toulousain, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 10

Monday, December 26

Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 12

Friday, January 6

Munster v Emirates Lions, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

Champions Cup Round 3

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 3.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 14

Friday, February 17, 2023

Munster Rugby v Ospreys, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 15

Friday, March 3, 2023

Munster Rugby v Scarlets, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby

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Rowlands to leave at end of season



Dragons RFC can confirm that Wales international second row Will Rowlands will leave the club at the end of the current season.

The 31-year-old, who joined the Men of Gwent ahead of the 21/22 season and has made 16 appearances for the club, has agreed terms with a club outside of Wales for the 23/24 season.

Dai Flanagan, Head Coach of Dragons RFC, commented: “We’re obviously disappointed to be losing a player of Will’s quality, but despite the best efforts of ourselves, Will’s representative and the WRU over the last 12 months or so, we were unable to reach agreement on terms for the future.

“Since arriving in Gwent, Will has been a hugely positive influence on our group, captaining the side and being named Wales’ player of the year.

“We know that he’ll continue to give his absolute all to the club for the remainder of his time with us and he will always be welcome at Rodney Parade.”

Will Rowlands also commented: “I am sad to be leaving Dragons RFC at the end of this season but would like to thank everyone involved with the club for their support over the past 18 months.

“It has been a pleasure to play at Rodney Parade and I know that the future is bright for this club. It’s home to some truly talented players and I really believe in the vision of Dai and the other coaches. I have no doubt that we are just beginning to see the seeds of that in the performances of the team, and that they will go from strength to strength.

“It is still my great hope that I will be able to represent my country in the World Cup 2023, if called upon.”

Content & Images from – Dragons Rugby

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Owen Williams agrees deal with Ospreys as injury replacement



Today, the Ospreys announced that Owen Williams will join the team as an injury replacement in a deal that will see the ex-Worcester man join the club as cover for Gareth Anscombe, who was regrettably injured on international duty.

With the injury to Gareth Anscombe and Stephen Myler also currently out injured, the agreement will give the Ospreys much needed depth at the fly-half position.

Capped three times at international level, Williams provides invaluable experience and leadership qualities that will contribute massively to the team as the second half of the season approaches.

Head Coach Toby Booth said: “For us to compete at the highest level, it is hugely important that we have quality depth where we need it. Signing Owen not only provides injury cover for us, but also improves us a group.

“Jack Walsh has done a great job stepping up at 10 in some huge games for us over the last few weeks, but ultimately with Gareth’s injury, we needed to reinforce in that area. Owen can play 10 or 12 and brings a wealth of experience with him from his time in Premiership. I have no doubt that he will make a positive impact in a variety of areas for us.”

Excited about the prospect of joining the Ospreys, Owen Williams said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started here, the Ospreys have a rich history and a great squad that are capable of going on and becoming a real force.

“I spoke with the coach before making my decision, and it was clear to me that he had a plan for how I will fit in to the wider vision for the team going forward. It’s been a while since I’ve played my rugby in Wales, but I can’t wait to be back in the region where it all started for me.”

The Ospreys are set for their first Heineken Champions Cup fixture against Leicester Tigers on Sunday, the same team where Williams made over 100 appearances and scored over 600 points during his time there.

Image & Content Source – Ospreys Rugby

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