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Successful future of Welsh rugby down to grassroots, says new chair

The new chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union has told ITV Wales that his appointment is a turning point for the game here.

The Dragons Chief Executive Gareth Davies replaces David Pickering who failed to secure re-election to the board.

Mr Davies says he wants to move on from past wranglings between the regions and the Union, and concentrate on the 'grassroots' to insure a prosperous future.

WATCH: Ched Evans says in video "I want a second chance" and to return to football

Welsh footballer Ched Evans who was released from jail after serving half of a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel says in a personal video that he hopes to return to football.

Watch his full statement below:

Credit: chedevans.com

In the video interview posted on his website following his release from prison last Friday, the former Sheffield United striker said his lawyers had already taken steps to overturn the conviction.

He said the sex was consensual, adding that he made "an incredibly foolish decision" to cheat on partner Natasha Massey, who appears with Evans in the video message.

Wearing a dark shirt and tie, the 25-year-old Welshman said: "Now that I have served the custodial part of my sentence of two and a half years, it is my hope that I will be able to return to football. If that is possible then I will do so with humility, having learnt a very painful lesson. I would like a second chance."

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Cardiff boss Slade "not surprised" by early success

New Cardiff boss Russell Slade says he's not surpassing any of his own expectations following his 100% start to life in the Welsh capital.

Slade remains unbeaten as Cardiff manager. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

The Bluebirds made it two wins from two under the guidance of the former Leyton Orient manager last night - their 3-1 win coming on the back of victory over Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

And Slade says he's not been surprised by the ease with which he's adjusted to life in the Championship.

"I never expect to lose a game, but that's just my mentality. I never go out to try and nick a result. I am going out there to win. I am a football man, I've done 650 games or more as a manager and I know what it's all about. It is just two games but it gives us a bit of momentum and the belief in the players is growing."

– Russell Slade, Cardiff Manager

Following the win Cardiff moved up to 10th in the table and are within three points of the play-off places.

FT: Cardiff City 3 - 1 Ipswich Town

Russell Slade's squad have gained three points from their Championship clash against Ipswich Town tonight.

The action-packed game saw four goals, three scored by the Bluebirds.

Peter Whittingham managed an impressive strike from 30 yards out in the first half to equalise with Ipswich.

City then took an early lead in the second half thanks to Kiko Macheda, followed by a goal from Adam Le Fondre in the 69th minute.

The crowd's reaction to Whittingham's goal in the first half was caught on camera.

HT: Cardiff City 1 - 1 Ipswich Town

Cardiff City have equalised against Ipswich Town at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Peter Whittingham scored a strike from thirty yards out after 37 minutes in response to a goal from Ipswich's Daryl Murphy.

Gareth Davies appointed as new WRU chairman

Gareth Davies and WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis Credit: Welsh Rugby Union

The Board of Directors of the WRU have voted Gareth Davies as the new Chairman of the governing body to replace David Pickering.

Gareth Davies will be terminating his contract as Chief Executive of the Newport Gwent Dragons after a suitable notice period and will take up the post with immediate effect.

The Board voted for the new chairman in a secret ballot after both Gareth Davies and current Board director Martin Davies were nominated as candidates for the position.

Davies takes over from Pickering, who has spent the last 11 years as chairman.

He said:

"It is a fantastic honour to be elected Chairman of the WRU and I will aim to live up to my old Gwendraeth School moto which is : "There is no honour without responsibility.”

"I want to thank the Board of Directors for their support and confidence in my ability to represent the WRU in this prodigious role. I have also been encouraged by the support I have already received from so many grassroots clubs.

"I also want to personally thank the departing Chairman, David Pickering, for the immense contribution he has made across the past eleven years he held this post."

The Group Chief Executive of the WRU, Roger Lewis, said:

"We all know how important the Chairman of the WRU is in Wales, not just for our sport, but for the position rugby holds within the cultural life of our nation.

"I look forward to working closely with Gareth as we seek to sustain and develop our role as the national sport of Wales and a key nation at the top level of the world game."

In a further vote by the Board Ken Hewitt was elected to continue as Deputy Chairman of the WRU.

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Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid's Liverpool clash

Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid's squad for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Liverpool as the Wales international battles a muscle injury.

Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Bale was unlikely to feature at Anfield after Madrid announced on Monday that the forward was suffering from a gluteal injury, and on Tuesday the world's most expensive player was a confirmed absentee from Carlo Ancelotti's 20-man squad for the trip to Anfield.

The 25-year-old was an unused substitute in Saturday's Primera Division win over Levante on his return from international duty, having played the full 90 minutes in both of Wales' Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus.

Wales squad announced for Autumn Series

Wales coach Warren Gatland has named a 34-man squad for the forthcoming Autumn Series.

Forwards:

Gethin Jenkins, Paul James, Nicky Smith, Richard Hibbard, Emyr Phillips, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Samson Lee, Rhodri Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Jake Ball, Bradley Davies, Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate, James King, Sam Warburton (Captain), Justin Tipuric, Dan Baker and Taulupe Faletau.

Credit: PA

Backs:

Mike Phillips, Rhys Webb, Rhodri Williams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Priestland, Cory Allen, James Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Tom Prydie, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams.

Gatland set to name Wales Autumn squad

Credit: PA Images

Warren Gatland is set to announce his squad for the upcoming Autumn series later today.

Wales face South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji over the four game series which begins at the Millennium Stadium on November 8th.

Gatland is likely to turn to the trusted core of Welsh rugby for the majority of his squad but could also hand opportunities to some of the up and coming talent that has impressed over the opening weeks of the Guinness Pro 12 season.

While they will undoubtably feature in the wider squad selection Gatland will have difficult decisions to make when it comes to finalising his starting fifteen in three weeks time with several of his French and English based players struggling for game time at their respective clubs.

Full back Leigh Halfpenny has also only recently rejoined his Toulon team-mates following an extended injury break meaning he will have featured in just two games prior to the squad being named at 1100 Tuesday.

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