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Wales training bases for Rugby World Cup announced

Vale Resort
Wales training at the Vale Resort in March. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Wales' two training bases for next year's Rugby World Cup have been announced.

The Vale Resort on the outskirts of Cardiff and London Irish RFC will be home to Warren Gatland's side during the competition.

Tournament organisers England 2015 have announced the 41 team bases across England and Wales that will host the 20 competing teams.

Gatland's squad, which reached the semi-finals of the competition in New Zealand three years ago, will spend their time between the two venues for the duration of their four pool encounters.

We are delighted to confirm that Wales will be based at the The Vale Resort and at London Irish during next year's tournament.

A great deal of effort has been put in to select the approved bases and we are very pleased to be based at two excellence sporting venues.

– Warren Gatland

Wales will share the facilities with France.

Other training venues in Wales are the Celtic Manor Resort, near Newport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Sports Wales National Centre, also in Cardiff, and Swansea University.

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Adam Jones: Move to Blues represents new challenge

Adam Jones says his move to Cardiff Blues is about "a new challenge".

At this stage in my career I want a new environment and to really push myself.

I've been really impressed by the set-up at Blues and the desire to achieve in the coming years under the leadership of Mark Hammett. It is that ambition and potential for the future that excites me about this move.

Obviously I would like to thank everyone at the Ospreys - from the players and coaches to the wonderful supporters - who have been absolutely fantastic with me. I wish the region every success for the future.

– Adam Jones

Read: Adam Jones leaves Ospreys to join Cardiff Blues

Warburton 'left in limbo' by participation deal dispute

Sam Warburton
Warburton is in danger of missing the start of the PRO 12 season Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Wales captain Sam Warburton has been left in limbo in terms of his club rugby as the dispute between the WRU and regions continues.

Warburton signed a central contract with the WRU over the summer. But as the regions have a policy of not fielding centrally contracted players, he can't be selected for the Cardiff Blues until a new participation agreement has been struck between the regions and the WRU.

The Blues play Exeter in their penultimate pre-season friendly on Friday. Warburton has recovered from the shoulder injury that put him out of action last season, but the Blue have confirmed that they can't pick him.

Until the services agreement has been sorted we unfortunately can't pick Sam and so he won't be involved against Exeter.

I've been told by the region that, at the moment, he is unable to play for us. Until everything is signed and sealed that will be the case. As soon as it is done we will crack on.

– Paul John, Cardiff Blues attack coach

The ongoing dispute leaves Warburton in danger of missing the start of the PRO 12 competitive.

The Blues travel to Leicester on 29th August for their final friendly before their Guiness PRO 12 season begins against Zebre on 7th September.

Owen Williams says thanks for messages of support

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Nice little pick me up today. Visit from Riley. Again, thanks for all the messages of support. #KeepingMeGoing http://t.co/YzqvzzJiBT

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Injured Welsh rugby star Owen Williams took to Twitter this weekend to express his thanks to the many people who have wished him well.

The Wales and Blues centre suffered a significant injury to his cervical vertebrae and spinal cord, while playing in Singapore in June.

The 22-year-old posted a picture from hospital, with his pet dog Riley.

Cardiff Blues have launched a fundraising and awareness campaign to support Williams as he makes his recovery.

Read more: Cardiff Blues launch #StayStrongForOws campaign.

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Law graduate Alun Wyn Jones to get honorary degree

Wales rugby star Alun Wyn Jones will receive an honorary degree from Swansea University today.

He was born in Swansea and graduated from the university in July 2010, after completing his law degree part-time while playing rugby at the top level.

Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones captained the Lions to victory in their third Test against Australia last year. Credit: PA

The 29 year old second row is now being recognised for his outstanding achievements as a rugby player with the Ospreys, Wales and the British and Irish Lions.

No resolution throws in doubt Welsh rugby's future

The regions praised Warren Gatland for trying to reach an agreement.

Welsh rugby was reported to be in crisis on Friday after Regional Rugby Wales announced the participation agreement proposed by the Welsh Rugby Union was "completely unacceptable" after "indescribably tortuous" negotiations.

The four regions which form RRW - the Blues, the Dragons, the Ospreys and the Scarlets - released a statement claiming every time progress was made "two steps back" followed.

The participation agreement, which ended on June 30, covers issues such as the competitions the teams play in, payment for international player release, overseas player quotas and the fourth autumn Test match.

No resolution to talks throws into doubt the future of the regions and, potentially, professional rugby in Wales.

The WRU said it was "saddened and surprised" that Regional Rugby Wales had chosen to publish a statement which i"s highly critical of the process aimed at concluding a new Rugby Services Agreement "

The WRU said it would not respond to the highly emotional content of the document and says the governing body will continue to work on reaching agreement with the four Regional Organisations.

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