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Williams and Copeland banned for two weeks

Cardiff Blues number 8 Robin Copeland and Scarlets full-back Liam Williams have both been handed two-week suspensions for red cards received during Sunday's Pro 12 clash at the Millennium Stadium.

Copeland was sent off for stamping, while Williams received his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card of the game.

Williams' initial offence of committing a dangerous tackle was effectively upgraded to a straight red by the game's citing commissioner.

Both players were handed two-week bans at an independent hearing, meaning they are ineligible until midnight on Sunday May 4th.

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Cardiff Blues 17-13 Llanelli Scarlets (FT)

Judgement Day's first derby has ended Cardiff Blues 17-13 Llanelli Scarlets.

Two yellow cards saw Liam Williams sent off for the Scarlets and a straight red for the Blues's Robin Copeland saw him sent to the stands, leaving both teams down to 14 men in the second half.

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It's a second yellow for @sanjaywills and a red for Copeland. Both teams down to 14 men at 55 minutes.

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Red Card for Blues 8 Robin Copeland Red Card for Scarlets 15 Liam Williams Cardiff Blues 14-8 Scarlets 55 Mins #RaboPRO12 #JudgementDay

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Cardiff Blues 14-8 Llanelli Scarlets (HT)

Cardiff Blues are facing off against Llanelli Scarlets at the Millennium Stadium. Credit: ITV News

Alex Cuthbert's try and nine points from Gareth Davies's boot have given Cardiff Blues the lead against the Scarlets at half time in the first derby of the day. Rhys Priestland gave the Scarlets their first half points on the scoreboard. Half time - Cardiff Blues 14-8 Llanelli Scarlets.

Regions gear up for Millennium Easter derby double

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The Millennium Stadium will play host to two Welsh PRO12 derbies today Credit: PA

One of the biggest fixtures in the Welsh regional rugby calendar kicks off later, as 'Judgement Day II' sees the Cardiff Blues take on the Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons face the Ospreys at the Millennium Stadium.

With the RaboDirect PRO12 season finale edging closer and both European seeding and derby pride at stake, there is plenty riding on the two contests at the home of Welsh rugby.

The day kicks off at 2pm with 9th placed Cardiff Blues against the Scarlets, who lie three places above them in the PRO12 table in 6th.

The Blues have triumphed in their last two PRO12 matches but have failed to win three in a row since November 2011.

The Scarlets have won on both of their previous visits to the Millennium Stadium, beating Bath in the Anglo-Welsh semi-final in 2006, before emerging victorious against the Dragons in last season's 'Judgement Day' double header.

In the day's second fixture at 4.45pm, Newport Gwent Dragons, who lie 10th in the PRO12 table, take on the Ospreys - the highest placed Welsh region in 5th.

The Dragons are without a win in their last five matches since their defeat to Glasgow at Rodney Parade in February.

As for the Ospreys, they are enjoying better form going into today's contest having won two of their last three matches. They have also been victorious in their last 13 PRO12 encounters against fellow Welsh regions.

Tipuric injury concern for Ospreys

Justin Tipuric during the Dove Men Series at the Millennium Stadium Credit: PA

Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric has emerged as Wales' latest potential fitness concern, after confirmation from The Ospreys that he has 'an ongoing shoulder problem.'

It comes ahead of their tour to South Africa in June.

Wales coach Warren Gatland is already without Sam Warburton and Leigh Halfpenny for the South Africa trip, after they both suffered dislocated shoulder injuries during this year's RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Assessing Tipuric's situation, Ospreys medical performance manager Chris Towers said,

"Justin has an ongoing shoulder problem which, although it doesn't impact on his playing ability, has been restricting his ability to train fully in the gym.

He will need keyhole surgery at some point to enable him to continue playing to his full ability.

No decision has been made on timings at this stage, but whatever the decision, it will be made in full consultation with the player and will be in his best long-term interests."

A fully-fit Tipuric would be the obvious replacement for Warburton in Wales' number seven shirt.

Wales' rugby regions 'welcome' European deal

Wales' four rugby regions have welcomed the agreement of a new European competition structure, which the say provides "a positive way forward".

The new competitions provide a positive way forward for Welsh Regional Rugby and the ability to drive forward commercial revenues of the most significant rugby club competition in the world.

Fundamental changes within the new European competition structure will see the clubs take a greater stake in significantly growing the value of the professional game, which is crucial in our ability to remain competitive.

The Welsh Regions are pleased that after giving their support to the Rugby Champions Cup last October, a new European platform has now been secured - based on a strong core principle of equal distribution by participating clubs. We can all now look forward to a more developed, competitive and high quality European competition next season.

Now that both the European competitions and PRO12 league have been confirmed, all our efforts will now be concentrated on working with the WRU to ensure that we can reach a positive and progressive agreement.

The is still is a lot of work still to be done as we go forward, with fundamental issues that urgently need to be addressed to ensure the whole of Welsh Rugby progresses and thrives.

– Regional Rugby Wales
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