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Robert Earnshaw retires from international football

Welsh striker Robert Earnshaw has announced his retirement from international football.

He was renowned for his somersault goal-scoring celebrations Credit: PA

The 33 year old scored 16 goals for Wales, and has won 58 caps.

It comes after he signed a one-year deal for Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps.

Earnshaw is joint sixth on Wales' all-time list of scorers with Cliff Jones and Mark Hughes.

It has been a dream come true to have the opportunity to walk out in front of the whole nation and represent Wales in so many important games.

I am honoured and proud to play for my country for over a decade. I am also extremely thankful for the support I've received over the years from all my Welsh team-mates, coaches and staff and will be forever grateful because I know I've been in a position that millions dream of.

I gave it my all in every minute and shared all the jubilations of scoring goals with the people of Wales. The pleasure has truly been all mine.

– Robert Earnshaw

Originally from Zambia, Earnshaw made his name at Cardiff after growing up in Caerphilly.

On the international front he earned cult status by netting a debut winner against Germany in 2002, and scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory over Scotland nearly two years later.

Team mates back Bale after criticism

Gareth Bale's Wales team mates say he is unfazed by criticism levelled at him in Spain.

All smiles: Bale in training for the national side earlier. Credit: PA

The world's most expensive player has been the centre of supporters anger in recent weeks following what some have perceived as a run of under par performances leading up to Sunday's 2-1 El Clasico defeat to Barcelona.

Bale was the target of fans anger following Sunday's game after having a goal disallowed in an otherwise quiet performance.

However his Wales team mates have rallied to his support saying their is no sign of a lack of confidence ahead of Saturday's Euro 2016 qualification clash with Israel.

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Bale all smiles as he trains for Wales ahead of qualifier

Gareth Bale put any domestic problems at Real Madrid to one side as he took to training in Cardiff today, ahead of Wales' crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with Israel this weekend.

Bale in good spirits at Wales' training ground in Cardiff this morning. Credit: ITV Wales News

The winger from Whitchurch was heavily criticised for his performance in Madrid's 2-1 defeat to arch rivals Barcelona on Sunday - so much so fans reportedly attacked his car as he left the club's training ground.

But Bale cut a much happier figure as he joined up with the national side, who stand a genuine chance of qualifying for next year's tournament in France.

Manager Chris Coleman has named a strong squad to take on Israel in Haifa on Saturday, with Bale named alongside Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey and Swansea centre-back Ashley Williams.

Wales are a point and a place behind Group B leaders Israel and will look to top the group come the end of the weekend.

Running short? Newport Half Marathon measures under

The Newport Half Marathon was over 600 metres shorter than it should've been. Credit: City of Newport Half Marathon

The Newport Half Marathon was over 600 metres shorter than it should've been, its been confirmed.

After a series of concerns following the race on the 1st March, the course was remeasured and found to be 636 metres under the required 13.1 miles.

Phil Cook of the Association of UK Course Measurers confirmed the actual distance after remeasuring the course on Wednesday.

Bale should "come back to the Premier League"

Gareth Bale should look to move back to the Premier League if he continues to receive abuse from Real Madrid fans, according to former Welsh international Iwan Roberts.

Bale has endured a frustrating second season in Spain. Credit: PA

The 25-year-old has come under serious scrutiny in Spain for what has been perceived as a dip in form - with supporters even attacking his own car following Madrid's defeat to Barcelona yesterday.

Bale will now link up with Wales for their weekend European Championship qualifier with Israel and Roberts believes he could soon be back in Britain permanently if his Madrid career continues to be stunted by crowd abuse.

Bale has put in fine performances for Wales in recent months. Credit: PA

"It can't be nice for him...He is still a young lad and if he is still getting the stick he has been getting over the last four or five months now, come to somewhere people appreciate you...He has got a strong mentality and only time will tell but he doesn't deserve the treatment he has been getting...He had a great first season last year - he scored the second goal in the Champions League final, scored a great goal in the Spanish Cup yet they have not really taken to him and I'm not sure why...I do think he gets harshly treated in the Bernabeu - maybe it will take for Gareth to move away (for that to stop)."

– Iwan Roberts

Birmingham City apology after fan 'trouble' at Cardiff

South Wales and West Midlands Police have launched an investigation along with Birmingham City Football Club following crowd trouble at the weekend game between the two clubs at Cardiff City Stadium.

Birmingham City's Nathan Dyer has a shot on goal. Credit: PA

In a statement issued on Monday Birmingham City said that although it was a small minority involved, it nonetheless did not tolerate any form of crowd disorder among supporters.

The club recognise an incident took place involving a very small minority of the 1,582 Blues supporters who watched the team at the Cardiff City Stadium. The club gives its full backing to the Police and we will take action against any person who is found to have committed an offence during this incident.

– Birmingham City

Birmingham apologised to Cardiff fans and their families for any hurt or distress caused by the action of what it called "a mindless few".

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Police investigate alleged homophobic tweet to ref Owens

South Wales Police says an alleged homophobic tweet sent to Welsh referee Nigel Owens is being investigated.

Owens, 43, took charge of the final game of the Six Nations yesterday afternoon, between England and France at Twickenham.

England won 55-35, but came up short in their bid to win the tournament on points difference.

Nigel Owens is the first openly gay man to referee at the highest level. Credit: PA

The Twitter account where the alleged homophobic comment came from has now been deleted - but South Wales Police tweeted to thank other users for reporting it, and said "the matter is being investigated."

Owens tweeted this morning to describe his pleasure at refereeing the match.

Last year, two fans were banned from Twickenham after an investigation into homophobic abuse aimed at Nigel Owens.

Gatland: Wales have 'no fear' over tough World Cup pool

Warren Gatland says Wales have "no fear" heading into the World Cup, after they missed out on the Six Nations title on points difference.

Despite scoring a remarkable 47 points in the second half as they claimed a record win against Italy, Wales were pipped by Ireland, who claimed their second championship in a row.

England also overtook Wales on points difference on a dramatic final day of the tournament.

Warren Gatland says he was 'proud' of his side's performance on the final day of the Six Nations. Credit: PA

Attention now turns to the World Cup in the autumn, where Wales face England and Australia in an extremely tough pool.

Gatland is set to announce a World Cup training squad in early June, then an intense build-up will feature training camps in Switzerland, Qatar and Poland, plus warm-up Tests against RBS 6 Nations champions Ireland and Italy.

We won't be going into the World Cup with any fears of not qualifying from our group. There is no fear about playing England at Twickenham or Australia as well, because we know we will be in good shape as long as everyone stays fit and clear of injuries. We can go there with some real confidence and belief that we can get out of our group.

– Warren Gatland
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