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Gatland demands more from North

Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

Wales head coach Warren Gatland believes George North should be exerting greater influence on matches and has warned the Northampton wing he is not guaranteed selection against England.

North missed the 12-6 victory over South Africa last autumn with concussion and Gatland insists it will be hard to drop his replacement Liam Williams for the visit of Stuart Lancaster's men to Cardiff in the RBS 6 Nations opener on February 6.

Gatland highlights the number of 22-year-old North's involvements in a game as an area for improvement.

Having spoken to (Northampton assistant coach) Alex King, Northampton have the same issues with George about touching the ball more.

We want to see more touches and have the ball in his hands. When he does that he is dangerous and makes some metres for us.

We will see how training goes, but if you are a player who has won against South Africa and started the game it's sometimes difficult to be dropped.

We won't sit down as a coaching team until next Monday or Tuesday and start talking about a team.

It's early in the week and we will see how players front up. It's a nice position for us to be in and we have options.

– Warren Gatland, Wales Head Coach

New primary and secondary school rankings due

Rankings for Wales' primary and secondary schools will be published later today, under a new colour-coded 'categorisation' system.

It replaces the controversial 'banding' method for ranking secondary schools, which was criticised for being crude and overly volatile.

The new model will include primary schools too, rating them according to performance data like attendance and exam results, but also taking into account schools' self-evaluation on their prospects for improvement.

Primaries schools are included in the new system, alongside secondaries. Credit: PA

Schools will be ranked from green at the top, to yellow, amber and then red for those at the bottom - which "will receive immediate, intensive support", and closely monitored.

Read More: Colour-coded schools: how will it work?

Teaching unions here have criticised the new system though.

ASCL Cymru Secretary Robin Hughes said: "It is a concern that the calculations may actually make it harder for the schools with the greatest number of disadvantaged pupils to show the progress they are making."

Education Minister Huw Lewis has responded: "Outcomes for our free school meal students are simply not good enough. Under the new system you don’t get to call yourself a top performing school, unless the results of your poorest pupils reach a certain basic standard. If there are those who seriously want to argue with the basic fairness of that, then good luck to them.”


Wintry showers expected as temperatures drop

A yellow 'be aware' weather warning is in place for much of the country, with wintry showers expected across north and mid-Wales.

Temperatures will drop to between three and four degrees with strong winds making it feel much colder.

But where is this colder weather coming from? The Met Office says the cold snap is sweeping in from Greenland and Iceland.

Watch the full weather forecast for Wales

This little piggy now has a home...

The RSPCA is calling on people buying pets to think more carefully about their decision.

It comes after a so-called 'micro-pig' was found abandoned in a garden near Swansea.

He was being looked after by a local vet, but has now been rehomed on a farm on Gower.


"You can never face a weak English team" - Warburton

Wales captain Sam Warburton has warned his side to be wary of England's strength, despite a notable list of injured English absentees.

England are without a number of influential players for the Six Nations opener next week, with the likes of Owen Farrell, Courtney Lawes and Ben Morgan all ruled out through injury.

But Warburton says England's strength in depth still makes them a formidable side as Wales look to win their first Six Nations tournament since 2013.

Gatland: 'I'm surprised by Adam Jones' retirement'

Warren Gatland has admitted he is 'as surprised as anyone' that veteran prop Adam Jones has decided to call time on his international career by announcing his retirement ahead of the Six Nations.

Jones made the decision after being left out of Gatland's 34 man squad for the premier northern hemisphere competition which gets underway next week.

It was the second time in a row that Jones had been left out of a Wales squad after also missing the Autumn series.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 Six Nations Gatland said Jones' decision took him by surprise, particularly given the proximity of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a competition for which he reaffirmed Jones' was very much in the reckoning for.

Plaid peer apologises for Auschwitz comment

Plaid Cymru peer Lord Wigley has apologised for "any offence caused" after comparing the effects of a Trident submarine base to those of a Nazi death camp. Lord Wigley had been commenting on reports - denied by the Government - that the nuclear weapons system could be relocated from Scotland to Wales.

Credit: ITV News

The peer made clear that Plaid would be "tremendously opposed" to shifting the base from Faslane naval base to Pembrokeshire.

Asked whether the move would have some positive benefits, such as bringing jobs to the area, Lord Wigley - a former leader of the party - replied: "Look, this week we have been remembering what happened in Germany before the war, no doubt there were many jobs provided in Auschwitz and places like that but that didn't justify their existence and neither does nuclear weapons justify having them in Pembrokeshire."

In a statement released later, Lord Wigley said: "I am certainly sorry if my remarks were open to any misinterpretation and I apologise for any offence that has been caused. The point I was trying to make was that you can't have jobs at any cost and I reiterate that."

More: MOD insists no plans to move nuclear subs to Wales

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