Friday, 24 January 2014

Wales Deaf set for England clash

Cardiff Arms Park will host the world's first ever deaf rugby international on an artificial surface this Sunday when Wales and England clash for the Broadstreet Cup.
The two sides meet at the home of the Cardiff Blues with Wales, the current Deaf Rugby world champions, keen to avenge their last game with England - a 21-8 defeat at Fylde.
Since the first clash between the two sides was held in 2004, Wales lead the overall head-to-head by eight victories to two but anticipate another tough encounter with the men in white this weekend.
Wales Deaf captain Gareth John said: "The whole squad is eagerly anticipating this game and it will be extra special to play at the world famous Arms Park.
"The games against England are always a fantastic occasion and the artificial surface should allow for a great spectacle."
WRU President Dennis Gethin, who is also President of the Wales Deaf Rugby Union, said: "I'm honoured to be President of the Wales Deaf rugby team and I'm very proud of the extremely important work they do to help deaf people in the community at large.
"Wales are existing world champions after triumphing in 2002 and hopefully they will continue that success in this weekend's encounter.
"Any fixture against England is greatly anticipated and I am sure this game will be no exception."
John leads Wales from the right wing against England with Ben Pritchard of Pentyrch on the left wing. Richard Lewis and Kieron John combine at half back. Damien David, Daniel Vella and David Wellbeloved make up the front row with Adam Brake from Usk at No. 8.
England have been forced to reshuffle their pack with flanker Ian Collins out due to a back injury. Richard Browne has been promoted from the bench and will play in the second row with Grant Reynolds switching to the back row. England will be captained by Cleve scrum-half Graham Sage with tighthead prop Peter Altham his understudy.
"This is the first time I have captained the side in an international so it's a great honour," said Sage.

"I wasn't expecting to be made captain so it will be a very special day for me and as you can imagine, I am a very proud person at the moment knowing I am going to be leading out my country.
"As captain, I will use hand signals for our moves but we have signers who are allowed to come on if required."
To play for Wales Deaf, you don't need to be profoundly or totally deaf to qualify. You only need a combined average hearing loss of 25db or more in both ears. This is approximately a minimum hearing loss in both ears or a moderate hearing loss in one ear but normal hearing in the other.
Discover more about deaf rugby and to see whether you could qualify to play by going to
Sunday's game kicks-off at 1.30pm with entry £5 for adults and free entry to children under 16.

Wales: 15 Wes Pooley 14 Gareth John (C) 13 Sam Gallagher 12 Celyn Ashton 11 Ben Pritchard 10 Richard Lewis 9 Kieron John, 1 Damien David 2 Daniel Vella 3 David Wellbeloved 4 Andy Lloyd 5 Sean Driscoll 6 James Evans 7 Jonathan Cudd 8 Adam Brake.
Replacements: Jamie Watkins, Richard Hicks, Richard Jones, Mark Watson, Simon Liles, Rikki Rosser, Tim Parkinson, Jack Tugwell.

England: 15 Max Thorne 14 Lee Woollard 13 Jack Haddock 12 Tom Bridgeman 11 Adam Faulkner 10 Sam Scadeng 9 Graham Sage (C), 1 Joshua Sprules 2 Oliver Evans 3 Peter Altham 4 Ryan Arbon 5 Richard Browne 6 Luke Cheyne 7 Grant Reynolds 8 Barney Reed.
Replacements: Brett Pruce, Sam Taylor, Paul Cooper, Nick Todd, Richard Austin, Jack Hunt, Aaron Beesley, Liam Rowe.


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