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Lee Byrne switches codes to League

Lee Byrne retired last year. Credit: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions full-back Lee Byrne is switching codes after being appointed director of rugby at South Wales Ironmen RL.

Officials say Byrne's appointment will signal the dawn of a new era for the Kingstone Press League 1 club who will change their name after competing for the past decade as South Wales Scorpions and relocate to Wern Sports Park, home of Merthyr RFC.

Bridgend-born Byrne was capped 46 times by his country, playing his best rugby as Wales claimed the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2008, and was also first-choice full-back for the Lions in South Africa in 2009.

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Big crowd pays respects to Danny Jones

Danny Jones is tackled during a Gillette Four Nations match Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

A crowd of 4,066 more than four times last season's average, turned out for Keighley's League 1 match against Coventry yesterday to pay their respects to Danny Jones.

Jones, a Wales international, died of a heart attack after being taken ill during Keighley's game at London Skolars.

A post-mortem showed he suffered from undiagnosed hereditary heart disease that resulted in his cardiac arrest.

Jones, who was 29, leaves a widow Lizzie and five-month-old twins.

The match went ahead at the request of the Jones family and the kick-off was put back by 15 minutes to allow the hordes of fans into Cougar Park.

Before kick-off on an emotional afternoon, Lizzie walked onto the pitch, cradling twins Bobby and Phoebe, and fought back the tears as she released balloons in memory of her husband.

A book of condolence was opened in the clubhouse and fund-raising by the Rugby Football League's benevolent fund has so far reached £90,000 of the £100,000 target.

A bucket collection at the match, which Keighley won 52-10, raised a further £10,500.

Counselling offered to Keighley players

Keighley's players have been offered counselling ahead of what is sure to be an emotional League 1 game against Coventry on Sunday.

The match was in doubt following the sudden death of popular half-back Danny Jones, who suffered a suspected cardiac arrest during last Sunday's game at London Skolars.

However, it will go ahead at the request of Jones' family, who will be among an expected bumper crowd at Cougar Park as fans from across the game prepare to pay their respects to the Welsh international, who leaves a wife Liz and five-month-old twins.

I think they will be up for this game but they might not be as up for the following game. They'll be pumping on adrenalin maybe on Sunday but we just need to make sure they are all okay.

The guys from the benevolent fund and player welfare side of the RFL are coming down to offer counselling to the players that need it and indeed the management staff that need it.

– Gary Fawcett, Club Chairman

Teammates' tributes to Wales international Danny Jones

Wales' rugby league stars have paid tribute to teammate Danny Jones, who has died at the age of 29 after collapsing during a game.

Ben Flower described him as "a great man and even better friend", while former international captain Lee Briers said Jones was "one of life's good guys."

Jones won 12 caps for Wales between 2010 and 2013, playing in the Rugby League World Cup.

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