Today’s rugby news as Wales fly out to South Africa but Shaun Edwards misses France trip for their own summer tour

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Here are your rugby morning headlines for Friday, 24 June.

Wales fly out to Johannesburg

Wales have flown out to South Africa ahead of their three-Test series against the Springboks.

Wayne Pivac’s men jetted out of Heathrow on Thursday evening, heading to Johannesburg where they were scheduled to arrive early on Friday morning. The capital of the Gauteng province will be their base for the first part of the tour, despite the Tests taking place in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

READ MORE: Top pundit Gwyn Jones loses belief in Pivac

Wales will do their training in South Africa’s biggest city until July 7, travelling to and from Pretoria on the day of the first Test.

Pivac’s side need to bounce back from their humiliation last time out at home to Italy.

Shaun Edwards yet to travel to Japan after positive test

France defence coach Shaun Edwards has been prevented from flying to Japan for their upcoming two-Test tour after testing positive for Covid. The former Wales assistant was one of four people– two staff members and two players – who were instead placed in isolation after it was confirmed that they had tested positive.

Edwards had spent the whole of last week working in London with France head coach Fabien Galthie as part of the Barbarians’ coaching ticket for their win over England. A French rugby federation statement read: “Laurent Labit, Shaun Edwards, Max Spring and Aymeric Luc tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, they were put in solitary confinement.

“The FFR medical committee immediately contacted the Japanese federation to inform them and define the course of action to take so that the tour takes place in the best possible conditions. The people concerned will join the France group when their medical condition allows it.”

U20s star learning from Halfpenny and Hook

Wales U20s fly-half Dan Edwards has opened up about learning from two Welsh legends ahead of the start of the Six Nations U20 Summer Series.

Wales face Scotland this weekend in Treviso in the opening fixture of the summer tournament before matches against Georgia, Italy and then one of France, Ireland, England or South Africa. For Edwards, who already has three U20 caps to his name and ended the season at Aberavon with the Young Player of the Year award as well as the gong for the Most Improved Player, it could be a chance to further progress towards senior rugby.

And he’s pointed to the work he’s done with Leigh Halfpenny and James Hook as perfect preparation. Halfpenny has worked with the U20s during this year’s Six Nations and also offered Edwards some more wisdom recently, while Hook has taken on a coaching role at the Ospreys since hanging up his boots.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky with getting advice from so many people. At Aberavon, I’ve had Aled Thomas to lean on, James Hook works with us at the Ospreys and then there is Leigh Halfpenny with the U20s,” Edwards told the WRU website.

“You can’t really go wrong when you are getting help from people like that. Aled has helped me out a lot with my kicking, especially with my re-starts, while James has done a lot of work with me on kicking off the tee.

“Leigh, like James, is a British & Irish Lion and he comes across really clearly in what he wants us to do. He has been a very good help with basic stuff like getting through the ball and staying tall.

“If you are confident off the tee it helps and it has been great having Leigh around, He always talks about confidence being one of the keys and I always feel that if I get the first one then I can kick them all.

“You find that some places are a bit more hostile than others, but you just have to drown it out and stick to your routine. I like being in pressure situations, it shows your character and who you are.”

Wales women name squad for Sevens

Wales Women Sevens have named a 12-strong squad has been selected for the Lisbon leg of the Rugby Europe Championship this weekend. Following the Lisbon 7s, the squad travels to Poland for the Krakow leg of the Rugby Europe Championship before a Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifying tournament in Bucharest.

Head of Sevens Richie Pugh said, “It’s an exciting time for women’s rugby. We have been training with a competitive young squad who are keen to learn from every opportunity. The energy in training sessions has been spot on, players have been absorbing detail like sponges and the skills on show have been impressive too.”

Wales Women Sevens squad, Lisbon 7s:

Meg Davies (Bristol Bears), Sian Davies (Lampeter), Abbie Fleming (Exeter Chiefs), Emma Hennessy (Cheltenham Tigers), Nel Metcalfe (Nant Conwy), Ellie Morgan (Cardiff University), Lowri Norkett (Pontyclun Falcons), Anwen Owen (Nelson) Ffion Owen (Pontyclun Falcons),Hannah Powell (Deri Diamonds), Seren Singleton (Cardiff Met), Lauren Smyth (Cardiff Met)

READ NEXT:

Bob Norster at 65, Wales’ king of the lineout jungle

Rugby evening headlines as Wales face capacity crowds in South Africa and Barbarians add to Welsh contingent

Gifted 17-year-old and famous Wales lock’s son picked out as top pro players in the making

Wales’ most important player, the fears over him and the back-up options that were let go

Former Wales U20s fly-half and Dan Biggar’s old understudy looking for new club after splitting with French team



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