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Cook thanks Cardiff crowd after first Test victory

England captain Alastair Cook thanked the crowd in Cardiff for their loyal support and praised Joe Root for his performance.

Alastair Cook celebrates Ashes win in Cardiff. Credit: PA

He said he was very happy with the way his side played as they enjoyed a 169 run victory over Australia in the first Ashes Test to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Chasing 412 to win, Australia lost four wickets for nine runs in 35 balls and were bowled out for 242 in Cardiff.

"It was a brilliant performance and just while we mention the crowd, over the four days they have been absolutely fantastic and the support the have shown the whole team - coming to the ground and singing when it was getting a little flat - and I think English cricket this summer really appreciates the support we've got."

– Alastair Cook, Captain

Man of the match Joe Root, who celebrated his seventh Test century during the match, was pleased with the result in the Ashes opener and was delighted to contribute with his 134 first-innings total, also claiming two wickets and two catches over the four days.

"It was nice to pick up a couple of wickets. I'm just really thrilled to be a part of this win. The guys have played well all week and as a team I thought we performed exceptionally well. First up in an Ashes series you want to make sure you put a marker down and we really wanted to get off to a good start and it's good to get that win ahead of the rest of the series and hopefully we can now back that up at Lord's."

– Joe Root, Batsman

Free bike rides aim to get more women cycling

Welsh Cycling has seen plenty of success for women at the top end of the sport in recent years with Becky James, Elinor Barker and Manon Carpenter all doing it for the girls on the world stage.

However, at a grass roots level, take-up among women and girls is still low.

To combat that a new campaign has been launched to try and get more girls in the saddle.

Alexandra Lodge joined one group in Newport that's trying to lead the way.

Breeze Rides are currently only running in Monmouthshire, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea but may be rolled out across Wales later this year.

Find your nearest Breeze ride here


Bellamy accepts three-match ban

Cardiff City's Craig Bellamy Credit: PA

Cardiff City striker Craig Bellamy has accepted a three-match ban, after he was caught apparently striking Swansea City's Jonathan de Guzman during Saturday's South Wales derby.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskaer chose not to risk further punishment by launching an appeal against the FA's decision. It means the Bluebirds forward will miss tonight's home clash with Aston Villa.

Wales announce squad for first World Cup clash

Wales have announced their squad for the first match of their Rugby League World Cup 2013 campaign.

Among the 19-men selected for the squad are three potential debutants - Warrington's Rhys Evans, Larne Patrick of Huddersfield Giants and Anthony Walker of St Helens.

"I think we have a really strong team for the opening game. We're going into it with confidence but we know that we'll have a tough time against Italy especially after their win over England last week.

“I'm pleased that Tyson Frizell has overcome his injury. He, and of course all of the others, have worked hard to be here. We now can't wait for Saturday to play in front of a packed house at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.”

– Iestyn Harris, Wales coach

Wales will face Italy on Saturday at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, with kick-off at 4:30pm.


'Advantages to new competitions' say rugby regions

All four Welsh rugby regions have given their support to a breakaway Anglo-French competition. Key to the debate surrounding the decision are European fixtures.

The English and French clubs believe Celtic sides an unfair advantage by being able to rest their first choice players ahead of European fixtures without fear of slipping out of their respective top divisions.

ERC, the organising body of the current European set-up are due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the situation, but the likelihood of finding common ground now appears highly unlikely given the Welsh sides' support for a breakaway.

Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) on behalf of the four Welsh Regions confirms its full support for the proposed new Rugby Champions Cup Competitions.

Whilst there remain elements of detail to be confirmed, it is now clear that there are a number of significant advantages to the new competitions in equality of governance, format, qualification and distribution across the individual participating Clubs.

Consequently, RRW looks forward to working with the WRU to support their efforts and positive engagement in striving to ensure our teams are involved in strong, valuable European Clubs Competitions in time for next season.

– Regional Rugby Wales

Gareth Bale: What the papers are saying

The Welshman's potential move to Real Madrid is dominating many of the back pages this morning Credit: ITV News

The Daily Express reports Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has said Spurs will be better without Bale, as long as chairman Daniel Levy continues to bring in the big name stars.

The Daily Post states Chris Coleman has admitted the ongoing saga could have an adverse affect upon Wales.

The Guardian reports that Villas-Boas has accused Bale of being unprofessional.

The Western Mail says that Spurs manager Villas-Boas fears the on-going Bale transfer saga will have an adverse affect upon Wales.

Tennis "opportunities" across Wales

"Tennis gains its highest profile during the Wimbledon fortnight, so it's an ideal time to highlight the opportunities around Wales.

"You don't have to be a super athlete or ultra-competitive to enjoy tennis.

"The game comes in many forms these days - and most people play for fun, friendship and as part of a healthy lifestyle.

"These free sessions will help show how accessible tennis is - as one of the few sports you can play and enjoy at virtually any age, no matter what your ability."

– Peter Drew, Tennis Wales

Find free tennis sessions near you

As Wimbledon gets underway, various clubs across Wales are providing free tennis sessions for women and girls. It's hoped the scheme will encourage more people to take up the sport this summer. Clubs that are hosting free sessions include:

  • Diamond Tennis Academy, Cardiff
  • David Lloyd, Cardiff
  • Rhos-on-Sea LTC
  • Llantrisant TC
  • Cowbridge LTC
  • Flintshire Tennis
  • Mackintosh TC, Cardiff
  • Newtown TC
  • St Fagans TC
  • Crickhowell TC
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