Here are your rugby evening headlines from Wales and further beyond for Thursday, January 16.
Adam Beard re-signs with the Ospreys
Wales lock Adam Beard has signed a new two-year deal to stay with the Ospreys.
The 20-times capped Welsh international, named in this week’s Wales Six Nations squad, has made 68 appearances for the region since his debut six years ago aged 18.
Beard, 24, said: “I’m a local boy, have come through the Academy system and have been here about eight or nine seasons.
“I played through all the age-grades and I have a lot of close friends here and we all want to see the region get back to winning ways.
“Signing for the region shows how much it means to me and how we all want to stay around and make this region great again.
“There have been tough times but I am sure there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is a lot of young talent in this squad and, with the experienced guys we have here, I am sure we can do something special.”
WRU begin search for new chief executive
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips is to step down in the summer, with the search for his successor already underway.
Responsible for appointing Wayne Pivac as Warren Gatland’s successor, Phillips will leave after five years in the role. He was at the helm when record turnover of £97million was recorded for 2017-18.
Phillips said: “As things turned out, there were priorities that needed to be addressed that have meant that I have extended my tenure, but I am now confident that the foundations are in place for Welsh rugby to thrive over the next few years as the global rugby landscape inevitably evolves.”
Chairman Gareth Davies said: “Against a backdrop of a changing global landscape for rugby, the WRU is evolving as a business.
“With exciting capital projects aimed at providing sustainable income to support the game in Wales, such as the hotel project on Westgate Street, it is vital that we recruit someone who is as comfortable representing Welsh rugby internationally as they are working on sizeable commercial projects and directly with the clubs that make up our union.”
Wales’ Rugby League World Cup 2021 announced
Wales Rugby League’s men’s and wheelchair teams have discovered who they will face at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
Wales’ men’s team will take on Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Cook Islands in the group stages.
While Wales have faced Papua New Guinea and Cook Islands in World Cups at men’s level as recently as 2017 and 2013 respectively, it will be the first time they have come head-to-head with Tonga.
The wheelchair team will take on France, Scotland and USA, who they will meet for the very first time in their history.
Both tournaments will take place in England, with the men’s competition kicking off at St James’ Park in Newcastle on October 23, 2021 and Wales’ wheelchair team fixtures being played at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Men’s team captain Elliot Kear, who was man of the match in Wales’ 2013 World Cup fixture with Cook Islands, said: “It’s going to be a tough group for us, but we’re hoping to give it a really good go and build on the last couple of years.
“We’ve got a young, up-and-coming squad and we want to do well at this tournament.”
Wheelchair team head coach Steve Jones added: “I’m really happy with the draw.
“It’s going to be very hard playing world champions France as we know what they’re capable of.
“Even though we’ve got an impressive win-loss record against Scotland, we won’t underestimate them as, with their coaching set up and the players they’ve got coming through, they could certainly pull off a win.
“The USA are another team we won’t be taking lightly as there’s a lot of work going into the team and a there are a lot of good things being said about them. But we’re looking to put out our best team to date and hoping to progress from the group stages to the semi-finals.”
Eddie Jones prepares to name Six Nations squad
England head coach Eddie Jones is set to name his training squad for the Six Nations on Monday, January 20, at midday, iNews report.
The coach of the Rugby World Cup runners-up could bring in new faces with an eye on 2023, while new coaching additions have already been announced in Simon Amor and Matt Proudfoot. They join defence coach John Mitchell and Steve Borthwick.