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Paul Turner to identify Welsh talent outside Wales

Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The WRU has appointed former Newport Gwent Dragons and Sale Sharks head coach and former Wales outside half Paul Turner to help identify and recruit Welsh qualified players currently playing outside Wales.

He will work on a part-time basis with WRU Exiles programme manager Gareth Davies to unearth Welsh qualified talent across the UK and abroad, potentially making players available to the Welsh regions and the National Team.

I’m delighted to accept this role with the Welsh Rugby Union. It’s an area I’m very passionate about, having lived and worked outside of Wales for many years, and I’ll be looking for Welsh qualified players around the world who have the potential to play at the top level.

They may or may not be available to Welsh regions at the moment so I will continue to monitor their progress and their situation, in conjunction with the potential needs of the Welsh regions and Wales.”

– Paul Turner, Head Coach Newport Gwent Dragons

Bradley Davies signs dual contract with WRU and the Ospreys

Bradley Davies is returning to Welsh rugby Credit: PA

Bradley Davies is returning to Welsh rugby having signed a National Dual Contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Ospreys.

The 29-year-old has 54 Wales caps to his name.

He is part of this summer’s squad to tour New Zealand and will leave Wasps at the end of the season.

He will link up with the Ospreys on a deal through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Davies made his international debut in 2009 and spent nine years at Cardiff Blues.

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WRU calls on Welsh public to 'Shape our Game'

Wales' two longest serving captains, Ryan Jones and Sam Warburton launch 'Shape our Game'. Credit: WRU

The WRU has launched a nationwide consultation asking people to ‘Shape our Game’ and provide feedback about Wales’ national sport via an online survey.

It says the consultation will provide the foundation for the most comprehensive and far reaching review of the male adult and youth community game since the first official game of rugby was recorded in Wales 150 years ago.

If you have an interest in rugby we want your input. Regardless of your age or gender we are looking for insights and opinions from across the board. Whether you are a player – current or retired - a parent, a volunteer, a teacher, coach, a community supporter or a stay-at-home fan your opinion counts.

We want to harness the passion and opinions that we know exist throughout Wales and use these to help shape the future of our national game.

– Ryan Jones, WRU Head of Participation

Ospreys players both sign national dual contracts

Scott Baldwin and James King. Credit: Welsh Rugby Union

Welsh rugby have signed two new players on national dual contracts, Ospreys hooker Scott Baldwin and back-rower James King.

27-year-old Scott Baldwin made his international debut two years ago and has won 15 caps in his career, as well as starting as hooker in Wales’ recent 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign.

James King, 25, also featured in the recent World Cup, winning the latest of his seven caps against Uruguay in the pool stages of the tournament.

It’s excellent news, not only for the Ospreys but for Welsh rugby, that two key players who have been heavily involved with the region and the national squad have signed up to a future in Wales. Both James and Scott have the qualities and characteristics that we want from our players at the region and we are delighted that their talents are now being recognised on a wider stage.

– Andrew Millward, Ospreys Rugby General Manager

Scott Baldwin has signed a four year deal and James King has signed for three years.

Welsh rugby now have 14 players on national dual contracts.

Six point try to be trialled in Wales

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

A six-point try is set to be trialled in Welsh rugby's Principality Premiership this season.

The trial, which has been given a green light by the Welsh Rugby Union board but is subject to World Rugby approval, will also see penalties and drop-goals reduced from three points to two.

A penalty try, meanwhile, will be an automatic eight-point score, with no conversion taken.

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Horns banned at Millennium Stadium

With the World Cup just one month away, the Welsh Rugby Union are banning of the use of all horns at the Millennium Stadium. Fans are instead encouraged to support their teams through "singing and shouting".

Fans at the Millennium Stadium can sing and shout - but not use horns Credit: PA

While air horns are already banned from the stadium, the new rule now extends to all horns. Stewards will be encouraged to stop fans entering the venue with horns and even evict persistent offenders.

Our supporters are encouraged to generate noise through singing and shouting for their team but the intrusive use of these horns is extremely disruptive.

We have received feedback from supporters who have said the constant sound from these horns has distracted their attention from the action on the field and ruined their enjoyment of the games.

– Mark Williams, Millennium Stadium Manager

The ban will not apply to the Speedway Grand Prix events.

New WRU boss - Six Nations TV deal 'a priority'

The Welsh Rugby Union has unveiled Martyn Phillips, a former head of B&Q, as the new Group Chief Executive of the governing body.

Martyn Phillips the new chief executive at the WRU. Credit: WRU

The 46-year-old ex-Wales schoolboy rugby international, who is currently a director of the Leading Edge management and leadership consultancy, will take up his new role at the WRU in the autumn.

Phillips, who is originally from Fishguard, will work alongside WRU Chairman Gareth Davies.

I am both delighted and honoured to be taking up the role of WRU Group Chief Executive at this incredibly exciting time for the game of rugby union in Wales.

The brand of the Welsh Rugby Union is known across the world and I aim to ensure that we sustain and develop a business base which supports the entire game in Wales and exploits our opportunities to the full.

– Martyn Phillips

One issue the new chief executive will be addressing is negotiations for a new broadcast contract for the RBS 6 Nations.

Gatland plays down Faletau fears

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Wales coach Warren Gatland says Taulupe Faletau would not be hampered by rules favouring home-based players over those playing elsewhere should the number eight join Bath.

Faletau has a year left on his Newport Gwent Dragons contract but it seems increasingly likely he will be bought out of that deal with Aviva Premiership club Bath keen to sign the British and Irish Lions forward.

It has been suggested that the 45-times capped Faletau moving to play his club rugby in England could present problems for the Wales coach under the so-called 'Gatland's Law', which will permit only two wildcard selections from those playing outside the country after this autumn's World Cup.

But Gatland, speaking at the final Wales press call before his squad depart for a pre-World Cup training camp in Switzerland was keen to set the record straight.

The regions argued for financial reasons that a player could be released from his contract and that's what has happened in this situation.

When clubs come looking for Toby and offer a significant transfer fee then it's a business decision for one of our regions to potentially sell that player on, because they are struggling financially.

So if Toby does leave he would be protected. He would be one of the players on that quota list because someone's come looking for him and it's not his decision to go.

– Warren Gatland, Wales coach
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