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It's a match! Schoolgirl Hollie finds bone marrow donor

8-year-old Hollie Clarke has rare bone marrow failure syndrome

The family of a Cardiff school girl who desperately needs a bone marrow transplant, took to Twitter this evening to announce the news they'd been waiting to hear.

"It's the tweet, Hollie has a match. Sincere thanks to all who helped, you know who you are. Love you all."

8-year-old Hollie Clarke has a rare bone marrow failure syndrome.

Her brother wasn't a match, and couldn't donate, so her family launched a campaign to urge people to become donors with the charity Anthony Nolan.

The #pantsonyourhead campaign encouraged people to sign up, and show support by posing for a photograph with their pants on their heads.

A number of famous faces, including Gareth Bale and Sam Warburton backed the campaign, and the family held a donor recruitment drive in Cardiff.

Although the family have been successful, they say they're still not giving up, and will continue the campaign to help other families in the same position.

"Parents in a similar position, keep positive and stay strong. We will be there for you, that's a promise."

  1. Kathryn Tresilian

Bone marrow registrations rocket after pants campaign

The number of people signing up to join the bone marrow donor register in Wales has increased by more than 2500 per cent, compared to this time last year.

The charity behind the register says it's thanks to a family from Cardiff for raising its profile.

The Clark family are looking for a match for eight-year-old Hollie, and to get the message out there they have been asking celebrities to put pants on their heads.

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Bale joins in with girl's bone marrow donor campaign

Footballer Gareth Bale is the latest celebrity to help raise funds and awareness for a Cardiff schoolgirl's bone marrow donor campaign.

Celebrities including Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton have already posed for pictures with their pants on their heads as part of a campaign for eight-year-old Hollie Clarke who needs a bone marrow transplant.

Watch: Cardiff schoolgirl searching for bone marrow donor

Stars support Hollie's #pantsonyourhead campaign

Celebrities including Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton have posed for pictures with their pants on their heads - as part of a campaign for an eight-year-old girl from Cardiff who needs a bone marrow transplant.

Sam Warburton posed for a picture with his dog - and pants on their heads. Credit: @samwarburton_

Hollie Clark's younger brother is not a match, and can't donate, so her family have launched a campaign to urge people to register as potential donors with charity Anthony Nolan.

Hollie Clark has a rare bone marrow failure syndrome.

The charity has already seen a big increase in people coming forward as potential donors.

The campaign is going strong on Twitter - through @HelpHollie and the hashtag #pantsonyourhead

Blue Watch from Cardiff Central Fire and Rescue Station wore pants on their heads. Credit: South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

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Regions deny agreement over Warburton contract deal

The four Welsh regions have denied any agreement that Wales Captain Sam Warburton will be guaranteed to play regional rugby next season after signing Wales' first WRU 'central contract' at the weekend.

After signing the contract, his new employers - the WRU - had indicated Warburton would play his regional rugby in Wales with the Cardiff blues as part of the deal.

But in a statement issued by umbrella body Regional Rugby Wales, the regions said:

The introduction of one individual national contract at this particular time, however, leaves the Regions bemused and they would question the strategy behind the bizarre action by the WRU given that a final agreement on the future of Welsh Rugby has yet to be reached.

No overall framework has been agreed between the WRU and Regions, so no agreement to play centrally contracted players in the Regions currently exists.

Regions slam WRU Warburton contract when future still unclear

Sam Warburton signed a WRU national contract last week Credit: PA Images

Regional Rugby Wales has released a statement on behalf of the four Welsh regions criticising the WRU after Sam Warburton signed a national contract with them.

The central contract means Sam will continue playing for the Cardiff Blues, but he'll be released from domestic duties for Wales games at no cost to the region.

The WRU described the agreement as a triumph in the interests of all Welsh rugby.

In a statement, RRW said:

"Firstly, it is important for the Welsh Regions to stress that they have the utmost respect for Sam Warburton as a player, a leader, a young man of great integrity and as an important role model for every young rugby player inside and outside Wales.

"At the same time, the Regions respect and support the right of Sam or any individual to make their own decision for their future based on their understanding of the choices available to them at any one time.

"The introduction of one individual national contract at this particular time, however, leaves the Regions bemused and they would question the strategy behind the bizarre action by the WRU given that a final agreement on the future of Welsh Rugby has yet to be reached.

"The Regions would ask what kind of message this sends out about Welsh Rugby to our colleagues in the game across the world.

"The Regions would also question how one national contract works as a constructive and sustainable strategy for the whole of Welsh rugby given that we have some 200 professional players in Wales contracted to the Regions.

"The Regions are concerned about the impact of this action, the confusion it creates within Welsh Rugby at this time and how it may unsettle the balance of strong and close-knit team environments at the Regions."

Read the full statement here.

Six Nations starting line-up for Italy announced

The Welsh Rugby Union has announced the starting line-up for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Italy - with Sam Warburton on the bench.

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