Wales

Kiwi coaches seeking their fortunes abroad

Even Sir Graham and Hansen themselves were forced to take a pathway through Wales en route to the top NZ role.

If you're in doubt about which teams to support at the Rugby World Cup when New Zealand aren't playing, this list of Kiwi-coached sides may swing your allegiance.

Joe Schmidt (Ireland)

International teams coached: Ireland (2013-present)

International record: 50-18-1 (72.5 percent)

Tournament titles: Three (Six Nations 2014, 2015, 2018)

Ireland knock off Wales, France thrash Italy

The Irish, beaten 57-15 by England, won in Cardiff for the first time since August 2015 after scoring three tries in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match, two for Jacob Stockdale and a penalty try bringing Wales' 11-game home winning streak stretching back to November 2017 to an end.

 The two teams meet again next Saturday in Dublin and the defeat will rankle more with Gatland as he remains bitter about the manner in which he was dismissed as head coach by the Irish in 2001.

"It was massive for us," man of the match Jack Carty told Channel 4.

Wales on top of the world for first time

After nearly 10 years at the top, New Zealand’s reign as the number one team in the World Rugby Rankings is over.

Even though the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup with a magnificent 36-0 victory against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland, Wales knew any form of victory against England at the Principality Stadium in the later of the two kick-offs would see them overtake the world champions.

McConnochie's a doubt for England

The Bath winger had been due to face Warren Gatland's side in last weekend's reverse encounter at Twickenham, which England won 33-19, only to miss out with a hip problem.

Head coach Eddie Jones said McConnochie's issue is not the same as the one that saw him sit out last time around, but his chances of playing at the Principality Stadium are in doubt.

"Ruaridh pulled up a bit sore today so we're not 100 per cent sure how he’ll be," Jones said on Friday.

"We'll find out later tonight. It's not the same injury. He's just sore, so we'll find out about it."

Pivac and Wales to face Gatland

Pivac will replace Gatland in charge of the Six Nations Grand Slam champions following this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

But Gatland, who has led Wales for 12 years, will soon return to Cardiff as the Baa-Baas coach, adding an intriguing narrative to Pivac's debut match.

Pivac said: "The Barbarians are a special side and it will be a great way to start my Wales career facing the Baa-Baas and, of course, Warren.

Wayne Pivac wants Wales to tour New Zealand

Wales are planning a three-Test tour to face the All Blacks, less than a year after Pivac has officially taken over from fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland following the 2019 World Cup.

Wales last visited New Zealand in 2016 when they lost 3-0.

"That would be fantastic if it was to come to fruition," said Pivac.

"It would be a proud moment for me.

"I have heard it's on the horizon but when it's confirmed, it's confirmed.

"It would be a Six Nations followed by three matches against the All Blacks.

Wales to meet All Blacks in 2020

Wales Online reports that Wales will play a series against the current back-to-back World Champions in 2020 after Pivac takes over from Warren Gatland following the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup.

Gatland, who has been in charge of Wales since 2007, is stepping down from the role to return to New Zealand, where he's expected to contend for the All Blacks job, as current coach Steve Hansen confirmed earlier this month he would not seek reappointment after the World Cup.

Wales make five changes to line-up

Aled Davies, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis and Owen Watkin also come into Warren Gatland's line-up, with Hadleigh Parkes (finger) and Samson Lee (back) ruled out through injury. 

Jenkins will play blindside flanker, while Elias and Francis will make their first starts of the tour in the front row alongside Rob Evans.

Aled Davies will line up alongside Rhys Patchell at scrum-half, while the back three remains unchanged after Wales' opening victory in San Juan. 

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Commonwealth Games: 11-year-old Welsh table tennis sensation Anna Hursey drawing crowds

She's the youngest athlete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and it is believed she is the youngest athlete to represent Wales at senior level in any sport.

And while the dream for medals in the teams event is over after a quarter-final loss to Australia, Hursey is still gearing up for a shot at the singles starting April 10.

In her home country, she's a household name. In Australia, we're only just discovering this table tennis savant. But already, Hursey is drawing a crowd of international admirers.

Former Wales prop Jones to retire

Jones on Sunday announced that he will hang up his boots 18 years after making his professional debut for Neath.

The veteran front-row forward, who went on two British and Irish Lions tours, will remain at Harlequins as assistant forwards coach on a full-time basis when his playing days come to an end.

"I'll be officially retiring from playing at the end of the season. I've had a great career and never thought I'd go on to achieve what I have." said Jones.