Here are the latest rugby headlines on Tuesday, December 26.
Boxing Day Six Nations trial
Wales’ Six Nations rugby hopefuls face off today on one of the most important days of the season.
As well as bragging rights and United Rugby Championship points, international selection hopes are on the line as Cardiff host the Dragons and the Scarlets play the Ospreys.
In the first game at the Arms Park (KO 3pm) wingers Rio Dyer and Mason Grady are directly against each other, with both aiming to impress Warren Gatland and the watching Wales coaches. Welsh legend Shane Williams is tipping Grady as a Six Nations starter out wide after his recent form.
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Young Cardiff number eight Mackenzie Martin starts against Aaron Wainwright, the man likely to wear the Wales jersey at the start of the Six Nations with Taulupe Faletau an injury doubt. Martin is only in the initial throes of his rugby career but has impressed so much he’s been tipped as an outside bet to make to squad, which Gatland names just a couple of weeks into the New Year.
The Wales head coach is currently back in New Zealand but with have his coaches, likely to include the re-appointed Rob Howley, in the stands today.
Others with a chance to raise their hand for a place in the Wales squad are Cardiff full-back Cam Winnett and flankers Alex Mann and James Botham, who plays his first match of the season. Gatland will also be keen to see how Cai Evans goes at outside-half again for the Dragons as he looks to create depth in some key positions.
The Scarlets v Ospreys (KO 5.15pm) throws up some intriguing match-ups, with Sam Costelow returning at outside-half for the home team and facing Owen Williams. Ioan Lloyd, who has impressed at 1src in Costelo
…. to be continued
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