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Cardiff And Llanelli Provide Wing Boost For Wales

Cardiff And Llanelli Provide Wing Boost For Wales

Wales wings Nick Walne and Mark Jones will both return to club action this weekend and provide a welcome boost to the international selectors.
Walne will turn out for Cardiff’s clash with Pontypridd at Sardis Rd on Saturday while Jones is named in the Llanelli side facing Caerphilly at Stradey Park.
Both speed merchants have been sidelined with knee injuries since the summer. Walne, who has scored 25 tries in 48 games for the club since his debut in 1999, has undergone extensive rehabilitation work in the past six months.
“It’s been a frustrating time for me,” he said, “but the medical support I’ve had at the club has been fantastic and I’m looking forward to getting back into action.”
Walne is one of seven changes in personnel from last week’s starting line-up against Ebbw Vale. Also coming into the side are Nick Robinson, Pieter Muller, Robert Howley, Jonathan Humphreys, Rob Appleyard and Emyr Lewis.
Howley is not underestimating Saturday’s task: “We are at the business end of the club season,” he said, “but if we are to realistically challenge Newport and Llanelli for the championship we must win at Pontypridd.”
Meanwhile, Gareth Jenkins continued his policy of using Llanelli’s strength in depth to the full in naming his team to face Welsh/Scottish league minnows Caerphilly.
Jones plays, but all other Welsh international stars lose out to the coach’s squad rotation system.
“The strength in depth in the squad this season is the best it has ever been,” said the Llanelli director of rugby. “And that is the primary reason for our successes in Europe and domestic competitions so far.
” There is a tendency to get carried away with the success we have had. When we beat Leicester and then Bath in the Heineken Cup those were tremendous achievements. That was at a time when we hit a rich vein of form and where gathering momentum, but all that has gone now.
” We are without a dozen or so players during the international part of the season and that has been disruptive for preparation. We need to concentrate on structure, pattern and desire to win and try to recapture the form that has put us were we are today.
” I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I wasn’t sure we could beat Caerphilly at Stradey Park this weekend, but they will offer a stiff challenge.
Llanelli Team to face Caerphilly at Stradey Park 16/03/02 (Kick-Off 2.30pm)
Garan Evans; Mark Jones, Neil Boobyer, Taliesin Selley, Salesi Finau; Gareth Bowen, Guy Easterby; Phil John, Marcus Thomas, John Davies, Luke Gross, Scott Morgan, Dafydd Jones, Ian Boobyer, David Hodges
Replacements: Phil Booth, Robin McBryde, Martyn Madden, Vernon Cooper, Dwayne Peel, Stephen Jones, Wayne Proctor
Cardiff Team to play Pontypridd at Sardis Rd:
Nick Robinson; Anthony Sullivan, Nick Walne, Pieter Muller, Craig Morgan; Iestyn Harris, Robert Howley (captain); Spencer John, Jonathan Humphreys, Gary Powell, Adam Jones, John Tait, Rob Appleyard, Emyr Lewis, Martyn Williams
Replacements: David Young, Andrew Lewis, Luke Tait, Francois Mounier, Ryan Powell, Matt Allen, Owain Ashman

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