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RBS 6 Nations championship to be launched

Wales celebrate after victory over England. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

This year's RBS 6 Nations Championship will be launched today with representatives of Wales, England, France, Ireland Scotland and Italy in London for the event.

Wales kick-off their tournament with a tricky trip to Ireland on Sunday.

On Saturday France face Italy and Scotland are at home to England.

Wales have won the tournament 4 times, the same as England, but one less than France. The last time Wales secured the Championship was is 2013.

This year ITV will be showing matches live as well as the BBC.

Sale take the lead 38-5 against Newport Gwent Dragons

Sale Sharks' Josh Beaumont goes over for a try. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

Sale ripped top spot in Pool 2 and a home quarter-final in the European Challenge Cup away from Newport Gwent Dragons with a 38-5 bonus-point victory at AJ Bell Stadium.

The Sharks had the victory all but sewn up inside the opening 20 minutes when, after Newport had lost Wales wing Hallam Amos to the sin-bin, they raced into a 17-0 lead through a Brian Mujati score and a penalty try.

The Dragons got on the board themselves through Ashton Hewitt's try on the hour but Sale had the final word when Mike Haley cruised over for his side's fifth try.

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Leigh Halfpenny linked to Wasps

Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Wales star Leigh Halfpenny is the latest household name to be linked with Wasps as director of rugby Dai Young outlines his intent to make high-calibre signings for next season.

Reports claim the British and Irish Lions full-back is ready to leave Toulon next summer with the Ricoh Arena among possible destinations that also include the Blues and Scarlets.

Wasps lose All Black Charles Piutau to Ulster at the end of the season and will need a replacement.

We will make no bones about it - this is recruitment season and we are looking at getting the best for us.

There is no point me saying much more than that we are at a point where we are looking to strengthen our squad.

Leigh Halfpenny is an obvious one because of the Charles Piutau situation - we have got Rob Miller as well, he is an England Saxon in his own right.

– Dai Young, Wasps Director of Rugby

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Welsh tributes paid to Jonah Lomu, who dies aged 40

Tributes are being paid to All Black wing Jonah Lomu, who's died at the age of 40.

Lomu in action against Wales in 1997. Credit: Michael Steele/EMPICS Sport

The New Zealand legend played 10 games for the Cardiff Blues between 2005 and 2006.

WRU Chief urges greater vigilance on rugby doping

The head of the Welsh Rugby Union says doping bans for two club-level Welsh players serve “ as a strong warning to everyone in the game that non-compliance with anti-doping rules carries grave consequences.”

Merthyr RFC player Owen Morgan and Greg Roberts of Glynneath RFC both tested positive for traces of different prohibited substances during separate SWALEC Division 1 West games last season and have been banned from all sport for two and four years respectively.

The WRU launched a new country-wide initiative last year to highlight the dangers for players at all levels that intentional and unintentional doping violations bring whilst also providing information for players and coaches as to the rules surrounding the issue.

Those warnings though went seemingly unheard by the two latest players to be found in breach of the regulations, something Phillips hopes will serve as a stark reminder as to the dangers doping presents to anyone involved in the game.

“There is no place for doping within sport, and it certainly doesn’t fit in with the values of rugby union. Whether intentional, or inadvertent, players have a responsibility to themselves, to each other, to their clubs and to the sport to act within the rules and spirit of the game.

“We work closely with UK Anti-Doping and fully adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code. There is no room in the code for carelessness or not knowing, and players are encouraged to check the prohibited lists, found via the WRU website which include over-the-shelf medication and supplements.

“We want to rid our game of these practices and we encourage anyone who has any intelligence of doping taking place to call the WRU or UKAD and help protect our game.”

WRU warn over use of banned substances

The WRU has warned players at all levels to be vigilant about what they consume after two club level players were banned from all sport by UK doping authorities.

Merthyr RFC player Owen Morgan and Greg Roberts of Glynneath RFC both tested positive for traces of different prohibited substances during seperate SWALEC Division 1 West games last season.

The pair have been banned from all sport for four and two years after failing in-competition tests.

That has prompted the Welsh Rugby Union to urge players right across the leagues to be wary of anything they take that could contravene anti-doping rules.

“The Welsh Rugby Union has issued a strong warning to players at all levels of the game to ensure they train and compete cleanly for the good of the game following suspensions of two players for anti-doping rule violations.”

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