Your rugby morning headlines for Saturday, April 30.
Amos’ career looks over
The career of Wales and Cardiff full-back Hallam Amos looks like it could be over after he suffered what appeared to be a hamstring injury against Munster on Friday night.
The 27-year-old was the shining light in blue and black in what was an entertaining first half out in Musgrave Park but his time out on the artificial turf was cut short around the half hour mark. After making a break, Amos stayed down on the deck, clutching the back of his right leg.
There was an air of resignation on his face as he appeared to be diagnosing himself when in conversation with the physios on the field. He was then helped onto the back of a stretcher and his team-mates on the replacements bench raised to their feet to clap him off as he exited the field.
The 25-cap international has made the early decision to hang up his boots at the end of this season to pursue a career in medicine. With just three games left, this may well be the last time we see Amos on a rugby field.
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A tweet from Cardiff Rugby said: “Heartbreaking for Hallam Amos , who is helped off with what looks like a hamstring injury. It might be the final time we see Hallam on the rugby pitch. Wishing him the very best.”
Chief slams pathway structure
Pontypridd RFC legend Dale McIntosh has slammed Welsh rugby’s development pathway, branding the academy system a ‘joke’.
In a teaser clip put out by Scrum V ahead of a full interview on Sunday, the man affectionately known as ‘Chief’ voices his opinions on how the Premiership should be utilized to help bring young talent through to the professional game.
McIntosh, who gave a full interview on his fears for Welsh rugby to Wales Online earlier this month, has spent three decades in the Welsh game. He amassed over 400 appearances for Pontypridd RFC in his playing career and won two Wales caps. He has since coached at Ponty, Cardiff Blues and most recently Merthyr.
“The academies… they’re a joke,” he told Scrum V. “The academies should be shared out between each Premiership club and that’s not the case.
“What is the Premiership for? Is it the community game, is it a pathway for kids in the academy to learn their rugby? If that’s the case, it needs to be run along with the professional game, not in the community game.
“The regions might want to pick their coaches in the Pontys and Merthyrs. So be it, at least there is a buy-in from everyone. Let’s make some harsh decisions and get it right so that we all know exactly what we need to do .”
New Ospreys chief ‘surprised’ by Welsh rugby politics
Ospreys chief executive Nick Garcia admits he’s been surprised by how political rugby is in Wales one year after arriving in his post at the region.
Garcia’s appointment was viewed as somewhat of a coup by the Ospreys, coming with an impressive CV that included a previous role at European football giants Manchester City.
He sits on the Professional Rugby Board, which is tasked with the running of the pro game in Wales, along with representatives from the other regions and the Welsh Rugby Union.
“I will admit I have been surprised how political [Welsh rugby] it is,” Garcia told the BBC.
“It’s driven by a passion and deep love of the game and that is important, but we have to evolve that into an understanding these are businesses.”
The PRB is currently tasked with coming up with a long-term strategy that will get the regional outfits competitive again, as well as the national side. Talks have been ongoing but, as tends to be the case in Wales, things get difficult when it comes to all sides reaching an agreement.
“I am keen to get a plan nailed this summer so next season we can go in with a clear direction going forward,” he added.
“That’s almost the most important thing on our to do list right now. There are some smart people in the room to figure it out and working with Simon Muderack, David Buttress, Alun Jones and Steve Phillips and all those guys, we need to focus on getting that plan out.
“I have only been in here five minutes but it’s worth taking the time to do it properly because the legacy will run for generations if we get it right. If we don’t get it right, we will be back here with the same problems in two years’ time.”
Beard on his relationship with AWJ
As he prepares for his 100th appearance, Adam Beard has become a key player for the Ospreys, a leader others look to during challenging times. He had a quietly understated game against Cardiff a week ago, commanding in the lineout and working hard around the field, and he seems to be as effective for his region as he is for Wales.
Wayne Pivac has touted him a future Wales captain and Beard has had plenty of opportunity to learn from Alun Wyn Jones alongside him in the second row. Beard is Wales vice-captain these days while Jones was back in the ranks for the recent game with Italy, but the younger of the two players still doesn’t make a habit of telling the legendary figure alongside him what to do.
Being Wales’ vice-captain, he said, hasn’t changed a thing when it comes to their relationship on and off the field. “Even before I had the position, I felt we had a mutual respect. Al could ask me questions when he felt I could help him and and I’d ask him questions when I felt he could help me.
“We work hard together and have a friendship as well.
“It’s always special to pack down with him.
“His 250th game for the region was an amazing milestone last week. He’s Mr Ospreys, unbelievable.”
On the negativity that came Jones’ way after Wales’ Six Nations defeat by Italy, Beard said: “It’s tough. Supporters have a right to have their own opinions, but if you look at Al, he stepped back in and did his job fully. He was always going to give a hundred percent and he wears his heart on his sleeve and puts in the performances.
“Look, Al didn’t need to do any talking. He did it all on the pitch.
“He put in that performance which warranted his selection for the game.”