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Sport Rugby headlines as Scarlets say injuries against Bristol would have been 'unforgivable' and quarantined Wales star misses graduation

10:29  08 december  2021
10:29  08 december  2021 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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Peel: Injuries would be 'unforgivable'

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel says it would have been "unforgivable" if any of his players picked up an injury had their Champions Cup match with Bristol Bears gone ahead this weekend.

Yesterday came news that the clash at Ashton Gate had been forfeited by the west Wales region due to the absence of 32 front-line players, who are currently in self-isolation in a hotel just outside Belfast.

They are able to leave quarantine on Friday - just 24 hours or so before they were due to face Bristol in their Pool B tie.

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Peel explained the reasoning behind the decision to forego the match, with player welfare at the front of his mind.

"I think it comes down to wellbeing," he said. "Wellbeing of the group to start, that's the most important thing for us.

"Our ability to go and play that game and perform on the best stage we can... we've been in isolation for two weeks, and the duty of care to the players is first and foremost to us.

"We are unable to do any meaningful training. We are obviously doing stretch bands in the room here.

"We get 30 minutes a day out in the car park which is very small and segregated obviously. The wellbeing of the team for us is first and foremost.

"I personally feel we're not in a position to go out there and perform to what we expect of ourselves and the club and the supporters expect, but it's a player welfare situation where it's dangerous - and for us to pick up injuries and so forth in these circumstances would be unforgivable if we were going to put ourselves at risk there."

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Priestland misses graduation

Wales star Rhys Priestland missed his university graduation due his quarantine stay in a London hotel.

Priestland was part of the Cardiff Rugby party in South Africa who found themselves stranded away from home following their troubled trip to Cape Town. Now back in the UK, the fly-half posted on Instagram on the day he should have been donning his hat and gown.

He also thanked his former club Bath following his move back to Wales with the Arms Park outfit.

"Today I should have been graduating from @uniofbath @bathsofm with a Masters in Business Administration," he wrote. "Instead, I’m at a quarantine hotel in Crawley…. so there’s no pic of me in my gown and mortarboard."


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Excitement back in rugby after 'deflating' Lions tour - O'Gara

Former Ireland fly-half Ronan O'Gara says there is "massive excitement about the game again" after the "deflation" of the Lions summer tour of South Africa.

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O'Gara, who coaches La Rochelle, believes that the upcoming Champions Cup can give the sport another boost after an exciting autumn series.

"I think [the Lions] gave us a big whack," he told BBC 5 Live.

"But when you look at the autumn internationals, everything was flipped on its head.

"I think the rugby played on that tour wasn't a representation of what we stand for on this side of the world.

"It was a massive disappointment to see the best of our players playing like that.

"But [during the autumn] the skill level, the tempo with which a lot of teams were playing, the mindset - everyone seems to be completely refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated, with a juicy Six Nations coming up, but before that four rounds of Europe which will, I think, get people even more excited again.

"So it's probably gone a complete 360, with crowds back, the best of rugby back, and the best of competitions with the European Cup and the Six Nations."

Bath sign Prydie

Wales international and former Scarlets man Tom Prydie has joined Bath on a short-term deal.

He and South African Jordan Venter have penned deals in the West Country.

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Prydie had been on trial with the Gallagher Premiership outfit and has done enough to earn himself a contract.

“We are really pleased to be able bring Tom and Jordan into the club,” director of rugby Stuart Hooper said.

“Tom is an experienced international player who does have Premiership experience from his short time with Wasps and European experience with Scarlets. He’s quick, he’s very committed and he’s added a very experienced head in training. He’s been someone we have been really impressed with so far."

Prydie said: “Bath is a great club with an amazing history and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“I know I have a lot to offer to Bath and I’m excited by the idea of helping the younger lads with my experience. I will give everything I can to contribute to the Blue, Black and White on and off the pitch.”

Welsh Premiership game called off

Llanelli's Welsh Premiership fixture with Cardiff RFC this weekend has been postponed.

With a number of the Cardiff players called upon by Cardiff Rugby due to their Covid-19 situation, a decision has been made to rearrange the tie for another date.

Cardiff Rugby have more than 32 players unavailable for their Champions Cup clash with Toulouse.

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