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David Pickering is voted off Welsh Rugby Union board

David Pickering (L) has been voted off the Welsh Rugby Union board Credit: PA

Welsh Rugby Union chairman, David Pickering, has failed to be re-elected to his post on the board of the governing body.

He will stand down from the role in October.

Gareth Davies and Anthony Buchanan both finished ahead of him in today's ballot.

A new chairman will now be chosen from the 18-strong board at next month’s AGM.

I want to be the first to publicly congratulation both Anthony and Gareth on winning the vote.

I know both of them personally, they are great rugby men and I will be offering them all the help I can as they join the board of the Welsh Rugby Union.

– David Pickering

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Dragons beaten by Connacht in PRO12 opener

Newport Gwent Dragons were beaten 16-11 in their PRO12 season opener at Connacht.

Nic Cudd scored the Dragons' try in the first half, to cancel out Eoin McKeon's early score for the Irish team.

Connacht got on top during a crucial second half spell when Lee Byrne and Tyler Morgan were both sent to the sin bin.

Danie Poolman touched down, and Darragh Leader kicked another penalty to pull them clear.

A late penalty from Jason Tovey earned the Dragons a losing bonus point in Ireland.

Scarlets draw with Ulster in first PRO12 game

The Scarlets were denied victory in their first game of the PRO12 season, as Ulster grabbed a late try to draw 32-32 in Llanelli.

First half tries from Harry Robinson, Rory Pitman and Gareth Davies put the Scarlets comfortably ahead at the break, and they extended their lead to 27-15 with another Rhys Priestland penalty.

Scrum half Gareth Davies got his second try to earn the Scarlets a bonus point, but the Llanelli side were down to 14 men in the closing minutes after Liam Williams was shown a second yellow card - and Ulster made them pay.

Andrew Trimble crossed the line with just a minute to play and Ian Humphreys' conversion levelled the scores at the Parc y Scarlets.

Ospreys 44-13 Treviso (FT)

Second half tries from Jeff Hassler, Scott Baldwin and Hanno Dirksen helped the Ospreys to victory over Treviso in their first game of the Pro12 season. Final score at the Liberty Stadium: Ospreys 44-13 Treviso.

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Cardiff Blues: Owen Williams 'continues to make progress'

Cardiff Blues say injured player Owen Williams is making progress at Rookwood Hospital following a serious spinal injury he suffered in June.

Owen Williams tweeted his gratitude for messages of support at the start of August Credit: @Owilliams91

The club says that while Williams is at a "very early" stage of his recovery, he is now able to leave his hospital bed.

Owen is now tolerating periods of time sitting up in a wheelchair, allowing him the chance to spend short periods of time outside the hospital.

He is also starting to use the gym at the hospital for early upper limb rehabilitation.

– Cardiff Blues

Gareth Maule thanks fans as he departs Scarlets

Gareth Maule scores a try for the Scarlets Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Bristol have signed centre Gareth Maule from the Scarlets in time for the new Championship season.

Wales Under 20 cap Maule played over 100 times for the Scarlets and also had stints at Newport Gwent Dragons, Ebbw Vale, Newport RFC and Cross Keys.

I depart with some invaluable memories, gathered in my years with this special club and feel honoured to have worn the famous Scarlet jersey on so many occasions and to join the list of centurions is something that makes me immensely proud. Being able to be part of so many memorable occasions and huge fixtures was a huge privilege.

A special mention must go to the supporters. From the day I arrived I felt welcome and was quick to realise that the Scarlets has its very own style and the fans are no different!

– Gareth Maule

RRW: Process 'protracted, tortuous and uncomfortable'

Following yesterday's announcement of a new agreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions, the chief executive of Regional Rugby Wales has described the process as 'very uncomfortable'.

His words appear to contradict an interview with WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis yesterday, in which Mr Lewis insisted negotiations had been amicable.

We rose above any of the stuff, the noise, that was said outside of the negotiating room - because within the negotiating chamber there wasn't a cross word, there wasn't a raised voice. There was no animosity whatsoever in the negotiating room. Outside of the room, we didn't comment. We retained our dignity.

– Roger Lewis, WRU chief executive, speaking yesterday

The new Rugby Services Agreement, which runs through until 2020, ends months of negotiations over the future of the professional game in Wales.

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