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Scarlets play Gloucester ahead of Pro12 season

Ken Owens has been named new club captain of the region. Credit: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

Scarlets clash with Gloucester in a pre-season friendly today, taking a strong side including Rhys Priestland, Liam Williams and new club captain Ken Owens to the Premiership outfit.

In only his second game in charge of the region, coach Wayne Pivac will be hoping his side pick up more match sharpness, with the Pro12 season around the corner.

The friendly comes off the back of an entertaining draw with Bath two weeks ago - the sides battling out a 26-26 draw at the Rec.

Swansea take on West Brom in Premier League clash

Swansea boss Garry Monk looks set to ring the changes to the side that dispatched Rotherham in their midweek League Cup clash.

Swansea will be looking to build on wins over Man United and Burnley. Credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Argentine defender Federico Fernandez made his debut in the 1-0 win over the Championship side and could make his Premier League bow today, replacing Jordi Amat.

Swansea will be hoping to maintain their 100% record in the Premiership following wins over Man United and Burnley, but will have to do so without knee victims Marvin Emnes and Leon Britton - the latter suffering a blow after being told he would need a scan in three weeks time before being considered for contention.


Cardiff travel to London for Fulham fixture

Cardiff City will travel to London to take on bottom of the table Fulham, looking to bounce back following last week's stoppage time defeat to Wolves.

A late Mark Hudson own goal condemned Cardiff to a late defeat against Wolves last week. Credit: Clint Hughes/PA Wire.

The Bluebirds will be buoyed by their League Cup performance in midweek though - two goals from debutante Federico Macheda saw them defeat League One outfit Port Vale 3-2.

The Italian is now set to make his first appearance in the Championship for Cardiff, with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming the striker will play some part.

Elsewhere Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson is a doubt for the game with an ankle injury. Kagisho Dikgacoi on standby for his first league start against his former side.

RRW: Process 'protracted, tortuous and uncomfortable'

Following yesterday's announcement of a new agreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions, the chief executive of Regional Rugby Wales has described the process as 'very uncomfortable'.


Mark Davies: "The process has been protracted, tortuous and very uncomfortable....we've now got a platform to move forward."

His words appear to contradict an interview with WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis yesterday, in which Mr Lewis insisted negotiations had been amicable.

We rose above any of the stuff, the noise, that was said outside of the negotiating room - because within the negotiating chamber there wasn't a cross word, there wasn't a raised voice. There was no animosity whatsoever in the negotiating room. Outside of the room, we didn't comment. We retained our dignity.

– Roger Lewis, WRU chief executive, speaking yesterday

The new Rugby Services Agreement, which runs through until 2020, ends months of negotiations over the future of the professional game in Wales.

Regional Rugby Wales apologises for fans' "anxiety"

The chief executive of Regional Rugby Wales has apologised to fans for any "anxiety" during months of painstaking negotiations between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions over the future of the professional game.

A peace deal was finally agreed yesterday, with 10 players receiving dual contracts in a six-year £60million-plus agreement.


1/2 Mark Davies: "We apologise to fans for the anxiety they have felt over this long period. But, after a great deal if hard work, we now..


WRU and Regional Rugby Wales agreement at a glance

Here are a few of the highlights of the new deal between the WRU and the Welsh rugby regions:

  • £8.7million a year to the regions, with £3.6m in loan facilities from the WRU
  • One-off £500,000 payment to each region on signing the agreement
  • National Dual Contracts for key players
  • Senior Player Selection Policy - players based outside Wales will be ineligible subject to a number of exceptions at the Head Coach's discretion
  • Number of foreign players in each region limited to six
  • Each region will be allowed two 'time-serving' foreign players who will be eligible for Welsh selection after three years residency
  • WRU retains the right to play up to 13 senior international games each year with a 13-day release facility for squad training before the Six Nations and Autumn Internationals
  • Management and responsibility for four regional academies for emerging talent transferred to the four regions with £600,000 support each year from the WRU.
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