Sunday 22 October 2017

Williams set for landmark Welsh outing

MARTYN WILLIAMS is in line to belatedly win his 100th cap for Wales after he was picked on the bench for Saturday's Test with the Barbarians.

Stand-in coach Rob Howley has handed three players debuts for the clash against the invitational side who beat Ireland on Tuesday night. Cardiff Blues winger Harry Robinson, Scarlets full-back Liam Williams and prop Rhodri Jones will all make their bows at the Millennium Stadium.

Dan Biggar and Ashley Williams will be given a chance to build on their impressive form for the Ospreys after they were selected to start, while Matthew Rees captains the team from hooker.

Williams would become just the third Welsh player to reach a century of caps if he replaces Justin Tipuric, with Stephen Jones (104) and Gareth Thomas (100) the only others to have reached the landmark.

Wales will then embark on a three-Test tour to Australia where they will play Robbie Deans' Wallabies at Brisbane on June 9, Melbourne on June 16 and Sydney on June 23. They will also play the Brumbies in a midweek fixture on Tuesday, June 12.

Wales (v Barbarians) -- L Williams (Scarlets); H Robinson (Blues), A Bishop (Ospreys), J Hook (Perpignan), A Brew (Dragons); D Biggar (Ospreys), L Williams (Blues); R Gill (Saracens), M Rees (Scarlets), R Jones (Scarlets), A Wyn Jones (Ospreys), I Evans (Ospreys), J Turnbull (Scarlets), J Tipuric (Ospreys), R Jones (Ospreys). Reps: R Hibbard (Ospreys), P James (Ospreys), A Shingler (Scarlets), M Williams (Blues), R Webb (Ospreys), A Warren (Scarlets), W Harries (Dragons).

Van der Linde cleared of biting opponent

FORMER Leinster prop CJ van der Linde (above) has been cleared of biting an opponent during a Super Rugby game.

The Springbok (31) spent an injury-plagued two seasons at the RDS before returning home, but has been shrouded in controversy since being accused of biting an opponent during the Lions' recent defeat to Western Force in Perth. But he can now breath a sigh of relief after being cleared of the offence.

"For the citing to be upheld on such a serious breach of the laws of the game, it is necessary that there be a deliberate decision on the part of the cited player to bite," judicial officer Paul Tully said.

"The cited player denied biting. The finding of the judicial officer is such that he accepted the cited player's evidence that there was no deliberate intention to bite and that the marks were more consistent with a forearm being used in a levering type motion."

Irish Independent

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