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show Me You Can Play For Wales – Hansen

show Me You Can Play For Wales – Hansen

Llanelli meet Ebbw Vale in the first of two Principality Cup semi-finals at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday (13 April) and national coach Steve Hansen was the first to book his ticket to see the array of talent on display.
While Llanelli try to improve on a record fifteen wins at this stage and remain in the hunt for three trophies, they join three of the top clubs in Wales for the doubleheader.
And with Cardiff and Pontypridd also still competing for league and European trophies respectively, and Ebbw Vale hoping to spoil their party, Hansen believes the fixture is the ideal shop window to assess players for international duty as he plans for the future.
“This weekend’s games are important, particularly after the loss against Scotland – it is an opportunity for people to put their hands up for a chance to play for Wales,” said Hansen.
“We have four of our biggest teams competing at the top level in the environment of our national Stadium and I can’t think of a better way to assess players than to view them in this capacity.
“Myself and the management team will be watching avidly and keeping a close eye on some of the youngsters in particular, to see how they rise to the challenge.”
The first doubleheader in the competition took place on 4th May, 1992 at the old Arms Park in front of a 24,160 crowd. Since then, the showpiece event has been repeated at the Millennium Stadium twice, in front of 28,000 in 2000 and 22,000 last year.
“This is the bargain fixture of our season with 180 minutes of top grade rugby for the price of 90 minutes,” said Dennis Gethin, secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union.
“A father of two could give the children a day out for £20 and see two title-chasing clubs in Llanelli and Cardiff, two clubs still in the hunt for a European trophy in Pontypridd and the Scarlets, and a determined Ebbw Vale side who are looking for their own piece of glory.”
The quarter-finals this season brought bumper crowds to Stradey Park, where Llanelli entertained Bridgend in front of 5,000, and Pontypool Park, which was filled to its 10,000 capacity for the visit of Ebbw Vale. Cardiff, who face Pontypridd in the second semi-final of the day, also filled the Arms Park to its 13,200 capacity for the visit of Newport and Pontypridd beat Caerphilly in front of a 3,000 strong crowd.
This all bodes well for a bumper gate at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Tickets can be obtained from the Stadium ticket office at 98 St Mary Street (Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.00pm, Sat 9.00am-4.00pm), from the ticket hotline on 08705 582 582 (Mon-Fri 9.00am-7.00pm, Sat 10.00am-4.00pm) or online at www.wru.co.uk. Numerous ticket outlets will also be open on Westgate Street from 10.00am on matchday. Prices are £15 and £10 for adults and £5 concessions.

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SEMI-FINAL WINNERS (30years – 60winners)
Llanelli – 5; Cardiff -10; Swansea -10;
Neath – 8; Bridgend 5; Newport – 4;
Pontypridd – 3; Aberavon – 2; Pontypool – 2; Ebbw Vale – 1.

SEMI-FINAL LOSERS (30years – 60losers)
Aberavon – 9; Llanelli – 7; Cardiff – 6; Swansea – 6; Bridgend – 5; Ebbw Vale – 5; Newbridge – 4; Newport – 4; Pontypool – 4; Pontypridd – 4; Neath – 3; Cross Keys – 1; Maesteg – 1; Seven Sisters – 1.

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