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George North and Samson Lee fit to play France

The WRU has announced both George North and Samson Lee are fit and available for selection for Wales' Six Nations match against France.

Both players missed out on last weekend's clash with Scotland, following concussions in Wales' 16-21 loss to England.

The team will be pleased to have both players back. Speaking at a press conference today, attack coach Rob Howley said that "France will be a physical confrontation and we will have to earn the right to play'

Deas makes GB Skeleton World Champs squad

Wrexham slider Laura Deas has been named in Great Britain's skeleton squad for upcoming World Championships in Winterberg, Germany.

The 25 year old has had a breakthrough year claiming two World cup medals in her debut season in the senior ranks.

Credit: PA

She will slide alongside Olympic and European Champsion Lizzy Yarnold and Rose McGrandle at the meet which begins on February 23rd.

As well as her two medals Deas has registered three top ten finishes elsewhere this season to put herself fifth in the overall World Cup standings.

Deas said: “I feel that this has been a big breakthrough season for me, winning two World Cup medals. The GB women are the top nation in the world right now and I will be going to Winterberg with confidence but no complacency. I still have elements that I can improve on before then”.

Credit: PA

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Scotland will appeal Finn Russell suspension

Finn collided with Dan Biggar Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

Scotland will appeal against fly-half Finn Russell's suspension for the RBS 6 Nations match against Italy.

The 22-year-old was handed a three-week ban, reduced by a week for his clean record, following a collision with Wales counterpart Dan Biggar.

The Glasgow player avoided a lengthy ban as the Six Nations' disciplinary officers judged the incident during Sunday's 26-23 defeat to Wales to be "reckless rather than deliberate".

Russell collided with Biggar as his Wales counterpart leapt for a high ball into the Scotland half during the first period of Scotland's slender Murrayfield defeat. Ospreys playmaker Biggar landed in a heap, but avoided serious injury and was able to continue.

New Zealand referee Glen Jackson sin-binned Russell, but a Six Nations disciplinary committee ruled the offence warranted a red card following a hearing in London.

Scotland's Finn Russell suspended after Dan Biggar tackle

Fly-half Finn Russell will miss Scotland's RBS 6 Nations match against Italy after being suspended for two weeks.

The 22-year-old was handed a three-week ban, reduced by a week for his clean record, after appearing before a disciplinary panel in London on Wednesday.

Russell avoided a lengthy ban as the Six Nations' disciplinary officers judged his tackle on Dan Biggar in Sunday's 26-23 defeat to Wales to be "reckless rather than deliberate"

Fly-half Russell collided with Biggar as he jumped for a high ball Credit: PA

Gestede haunts former club as Cardiff's winless run goes on

Cardiff City had to settle for a draw as a last minute strike from former striker Rudy Gestede saw the Bluebirds' winless run stretch to seven games.

Josh King weaves his way through Cardiff's midfield. Credit: PA

After a dull first half Cardiff took the lead late in the second - Sean Morrison heading in from a Peter Whittingham delivery with seven minutes to go.

But City were to be denied all three points - Gestede firing home into the corner of the net with a minute of normal time to go.

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Cardiff plot return to winning ways against FA Cup stars Blackburn

Cardiff host Blackburn Rovers tonight looking to secure their first Championship victory since early January.

Slade's men haven't won a league game since early January. Credit: Nick Potts/EMPICS Sport

Sean Morrison scored the only goal of the game in City's win over Fulham on January 10th, in what was the club's first game back playing in their traditional blue kit.

Since then Russell Slade's men have gone six games without a victory - including a 2-1 home defeat to Reading in the FA Cup 4th Round.

Now they face another side in FA Cup form with Blackburn Rovers visiting the Cardiff City Stadium.

Paul Trollope joined Slade's backroom staff as coach earlier this week. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Rovers comfortably dispatched Stoke 4-1 over the weekend to make it through to the quarter final stage along with Reading, and Slade says preparing his own side is key if Cardiff are to pick up all three points.

“We’ve worked Saturday, Sunday and Monday in preparation for the game, which is good, as it’s given us a little bit of time to do a bit more work...We want to create more opportunities in this one. I felt it was a bit of a game of chess against Brighton, where nobody gave too much away in the first half and we tried to play with a bit more intent in the second. That’s what we’ll aim to try and do from the start against Blackburn. The lads are confident and ready.”

– Russell Slade, Cardiff Manager

The Bluebirds will be without midfielder Anthony Pilkington for the game though, with the Irish international expected to be out for another two weeks. Brazilian defender Fabio will face a late fitness test.

Elsewhere on the long term injury front Joe Mason is thought to be out until March whilst Kagisho Dikgacoi is unexpected to make an impact on the first team until at least next season.

Millennium Stadium is loudest of Six Nations grounds

The Millennium Stadium in Wales is the loudest of all the RBS 6 Nations venues, a study carried out by Press Association Sport has revealed.

Researchers tracked the decibel levels at the six fixtures so far in this year's competition.

The Millennium Stadium is the loudest of the Six Nations stadiums Credit: PA

The Millennium Stadium's average of 92.0decibels was comfortably the highest of the lot, while its top reading of 100decibels was beaten only by the roar at full-time of Ireland's win over France - when the delighted Aviva crowd in Dublin hit 101.0decibels.

Cardiff led the way in terms of average, followed by Dublin and Twickenham.

The Aviva and the Millennium stadiums were the only venues to break the 100dB mark at their loudest.

  • Millennium Stadium - Wales v England (92.0dB)
  • Aviva Stadium - Ireland v France (89.8dB)
  • Twickenham - England v Italy (88.4dB)
  • Murrayfield - Scotland v Wales (88.0dB)
  • Stadio Olimpico - Italy v Ireland (86.1dB)
  • Stade de France - France v Scotland (85.1dB)

Edwards hails battling Biggar

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

Shaun Edwards has hailed Wales fly-half Dan Biggar's fearless approach following his performance in aerial combat against Scotland.

Wales' display with the high ball was one of their finest in recent seasons, and a key factor behind a 26-23 Murrayfield victory that revived RBS 6 Nations title hopes.

On one occasion, Biggar hit the ground shoulder-first after a collision with Scotland number 10 Finn Russell, a challenge which resulted in the Scotsman being yellow-carded - and subsequently cited - for a dangerous tackle.

Biggar's appetite did not waiver, though, and he continued to boss the air as Wales reeled off an eighth successive win at Scotland's expense.

The best part of our game was Dan Biggar, Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny being fearless leaping in the air.

Dan Biggar has got such guts. It's a massive part of the modern game.

Jamie is a very big man and has an advantage, but 'Biggs' is fearless and he reminds me of Steve Hampson, who used to play for Wigan years ago.

He wasn't a massive man, but he used to leap in the air just like 'Biggs'

– Sean Edwards, Wales Assistant Coach

Swansea City close to US investment

Swansea could receive American investment as early as next month, club director Huw Cooze has revealed.

The Barclays Premier League club have been in talks with American businessmen John Jay Moores and Charles Noell since last autumn with the former owners of Major League baseball team the San Diego Padres set to make a significant cash injection in return for a 30 per cent stake in Swansea.

Talks with American investors are said to be 'ongoing' Credit: ITV Wales

Both Swansea and the Supporters' Trust - who own 21 per cent of the club - have done due diligence on the American pair and negotiations have now entered a critical period.

"Talks are on-going and there's nothing on the table yet, no offer," said Cooze, the Supporters' Trust representative on the Swansea board. "But I would imagine they would make that offer and be coming in here in the next month or so.

"If they do we'll have to cross that bridge then, but the Americans and our own shareholders know the Supporters' Trust shares are not for sale.

"They never will be and they appreciate that, and we will work with them if it (the deal) happens."

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