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Probable v Possibles teams announced

Rob Howley and Robin McBryde have named their sides for Friday's Probables v Possibles senior trial.

England-based players including Gavin Henson, Paul James and George North miss out, leaving Henson's hopes of a Wales return looking slim.

WRU announces Wales Senior Trial at Liberty Stadium

The match will be played at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on Friday 30 May Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

The Probables versus Possibles Wales rugby trials will return after a 14-year absence this summer, the WRU has announced.

The match will be played at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on Friday 30 May and will be a chance for players to impress ahead of selection for the upcoming tour to South Africa.

Warren Gatland says it will also act as important preparation ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

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Survey: 'international rugby grips the nation'

Survey: '41% of Welsh adults have watched Wales at the Millennium Stadium' Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

The WRU says a survey shows more than half the population of Wales is involved with rugby as a player, supporter or follower of broadcast and newspaper coverage.

It also says 41% of the adult population in Wales have been to the Millennium Stadium to cheer on Wales and 30% (equivalent to 732,000 people) told researchers they would attend a match in the future.

The Union commissioned the eightyone600 survey as a benchmark to help it understand the position rugby has in Wales.

The All Blacks are Wales fans' favourite opponents. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Price is the major factor of influence when it comes to supporters deciding to attend matches, with half saying the cost of attending is their biggest consideration when preparing to buy.

The WRU says the full detail in the survey will be used to steer its strategy to enhance the relationship member clubs and fans in general have with the game in Wales.

New European Rugby - at a glance

THREE TIERS:

Rugby Champions Cup - replaces Heineken Cup. 20 teams: 6 English and French clubs, 7 from Pro 12 including best placed side from Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy. Final place decided by England/France playoff.

Challenge Cup - 20 teams, including 18 from Pro 12, Premiership and Top 14 + 2 other countries.

Qualifying Competition - 12-18 teams from developing nations and Italy

NEW MANAGING BODY:

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). Replaces ERC

EXTRA FUNDING:

An extra £1m a year for Welsh regions

Competition funding split equally between member leagues

SHARED BROADCASTING RIGHTS:

Sky and BT to show joint coverage of European competitions

Rugby stars launch child sex exploitation campaign

The Welsh rugby squad have given their support to an all Wales campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.

The More You Know The More You See’ campaign, which is being run across all four Welsh police force areas featuring Captain Sam Warburton, Rhys Priestland and Mike Phillips.

The films aims to deliver a message that sexual exploitation is child abuse which puts young victims at risk of damage to their physical, emotional and psychological health, and highlights that many young people who are being abused don’t realise that they are at risk and so don’t ask for help.

Detective Superintendent John Hanson of North Wales Police, who led on the campaign, says, “If people know what to look out for they can take steps to help a child. People listen to their sporting icons and we are very grateful to the WRU for agreeing to help us deliver these important messages.”

WRU: Competitions uncertainty 'close to resolution'

The Welsh Rugby Union's chief executive says the uncertainty over competitions for next season is "close to resolution".

Roger Lewis has told ITV News a meeting is to be held tomorrow with colleagues from France, Ireland and England to "thrash out" details of a new European competition.

"Qualification through Europe will be through the Pro12. So the two competitions - the Pro12 and a European Cup competition - looks close to resolution," he added.

The subject has been one element of an ongoing dispute between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regional teams, with additional concerns over funding and player control.

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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.

Warburton's Agent: 'no cast iron guarantees that Sam will be able to play for Cardiff Blues next season'

Wales Captain Sam Warburton's agent has said that because of the current fallout between the Welsh Rugby Union and the regions, "there are no cast iron guarantees that Sam will be able to play for Cardiff Blues next season."

Derwyn Jones says Warburton intends to play for the Blues next season should all the issues be resolved.

The warning comes after Warburton signed a WRU National Contract yesterday.

The WRU have said that Warburton will be released for Cardiff Blues games outside his Wales duties.

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