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Wales have announced their World Cup squad: The Dragon Round Up

So, Wales have announced their World Cup squad – one that coach Warren Gatland reckons “will do something special” in France next month.

They go there ranked 10th in the world, meaning just getting out of their pool would exceed expectations.

At present, Australia are the eighth best team in the world and Fiji are ranked ninth.

That makes Wales the third best team in Pool C, according to World Rugby, although you would be hard-pressed to find a bookmaker that puts Fiji ahead of Wales in the betting.

Not that Gatland sounded worried about those statistics when he named his 33-man squad on Monday afternoon.

“It’s one step at a time,” said Gatland. “It’s about getting out of your pool first and then see where you are.

“You don’t look too far ahead. I think every team is focusing on that. Get out of your pool and take it one step at a time.”

Jac Morgan and Dewi Lake have been named as co-captains, while Gareth Anscombe and Taulupe Faletau have both earned the faith of Gatland despite recent injuries.

Anscombe is recovering from a thumb injury but has claimed a place as one of three outside-halves alongside Dan Biggar and Sam Costelow.

Faletau is the only specialist No.8 in the squad, although both Aaron Wainwright and Tommy Reffell can also provide cover.

Anscombe and Faletau are the only members of the party who have not featured in any of the three warm-up games.

But there is no place for scrum-half Kieran Hardy, with head coach Gatland deciding to select just two nines in Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies.

“There have been some close final decisions in the last 36 hours,” said Gatland.

“But we can only take 33 players and those we have selected we think offer a good combination in terms of talent and experience.

“We have a few more training sessions here in Wales before we depart for France on September 3 and we cannot wait to get out there and get started in this tournament. We look forward to what lies ahead for this group.

Gatland named his squad on Monday on the back of a chastening 52-16 thumping by the South African Springboks.

South Africa’s victory – the first time Wales have conceded 50 points under Gatland – comfortably eclipsed their previous biggest win in Cardiff – a 34-12 in 2007.

The frustration goes on for Cardiff City and Swansea City who are both still looking for their first victories of the season in the Championship.

Between them, the clubs have played six matches but neither has yet tasted victory.

At the weekend, Cardiff lost 2-1 at Leicester City – and while there were positives, such as an incredible first goal since his return for Aaron Ramsey – the club could not come away with any points.

At least the Swans managed to pick up one point, from a 1-1 draw at home to Coventry City, but it was a case of what might have been for head coach Michael Duff.

Erol Bulut had the same vibes at Leicester and the Bluebirds manager is still searching for his first victory in the job after three Championship matches.

“What I have to say, and I have said it also before in Leeds, where we were leading at 90-plus, is that football is details,” said the Turkish boss.

“With details you win, with details you lose.

Duff insists it is too soon to panic after summer signing Jerry Yates bagged his second goal of the campaign to earn his new side a draw with Coventry.

It leaves the Swans with two points from two draws and a defeat from the opening three league matches and 18th in the early table.

“It’s never going to happen overnight,” Duff said.

“The same things happened at my last two clubs. I didn’t win a game for 10 games at Cheltenham, 18 months later we won the league.”

Wrexham shared an astonishing 5-5 draw at home to Swindon Town, which felt like a victory as they had been 4-1 down.

The best result of the weekend for the Welsh clubs came from Wrexham’s League Two rivals Newport County, who won 3-0 away at Forest Green Rovers.

Will Evans scored twice and there was a late goal to seal it from Adam Lewis.

Newport manager Graham Coughlan said: “The lads were very good today. They took a bit of flak from me in the week, and they certainly came out and answered me – especially in the first half.”


Welsh track star Joe Brier has a medal in the bag from the World Athletics Championships in Hungary.

Brier earned a prized silver medal in Budapest, even though injury ruled him out of the mixed 4 x 400m relay final.

The Welsh star ran a superb opening leg in his heat even though he injured himself early in his run as Great Britain smashed the British record.

That ruled the Tokyo Olympian out of the final, but he still collected a medal as part of the squad that finished second behind the USA.


Welsh Fire men’s and women’s teams have kept their seasons ablaze with the possibility that both could make finals days in The Hundred.

Both sides won against London Spirit on Sunday at Sophia Gardens – the first time they have tasted victory together in back-to-back matches in Cardiff.

Jonny Bairstow praised the man’s team for keeping cool heads as the men’s team followed the women with a huge victory.

The England Test star top scored for Fire with 41 as they beat Spirit by six wickets to keep alive their hopes of a place in finals day.

For Welsh Fire women, their hero Sophia Dunkley insisted fortune had favoured the brave after leading her team into the knockout stages..

England star Dunkley led the way with 68 and 2 for 15 against Spirit, as Welsh Fire qualified for the Hundred finals weekend for the first time by beating London Spirit by 23 runs.

The team which did not win a single match last year, and only two the year before, is now guaranteed at least a place in the Kia Oval eliminator, while they have one game left to try and top the rankings and go straight through the Lord’s Final.

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