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Today’s rugby news as Jiffy devastated by Phil Bennett news and Wales in mourning

Here’s your round-up of all the latest rugby headlines from Wales and around the world for Monday, June 13.

Jiffy’s tribute to Bennett

Jonathan Davies has been one of the many to pay tribute to Welsh rugby legend Phil Bennett, who sadly passed away on Sunday evening at the age of 73.

Bennett was a firm fan favorite in an age where international rugby was played less frequently, earning two Five Nations Grand Slams and three Triple crowns during a career that saw him earn 29 international caps.

He also captained his country and the Lions, while also impressing for the Barbarians.

His death has seen tributes pour in from across the rugby family, and beyond, with Davies among those to give their condolences.

Taking to Instagram, he wrote: “I’m so upset to hear the passing of the great Phil Bennett. He was my inspiration as a kid he even invited me to go sprint training with him when I was in school.

“He also called @neathrfc to tell them to give me the opportunity of first class rugby.

“He became a great friend and I will miss him greatly. My thoughts and prayers are with Pat his wife and rock and family and friends.”

Read next: Latest tributes to Phil Bennett as sad death confirmed

Welsh rugby in morning

There have been wider tributes paid to Bennett as figures from across Welsh rugby pay their respects.

Loose-head Rob Evans has spent his entire playing career in Llanelli, proudly representing his home region. He has moved on to the Dragons this summer but his heart will always be down west.

Upon hearing the news of Bennett’s passing, he said: “Brought a tear to my eye. Not only one of the greatest on the pitch but one of the most supportive and genuine blokes I’ve ever met in the rugby world. Love to Pat and all of the family. Rest easy up there Benny.”

Much-loved broadcaster Phil Steele added: “So sad to hear about the death of Phil Bennett. It goes without saying that his rugby achievements were legendary. But more importantly he was just the nicest, most humble and genuine man you could ever wish to meet. Thoughts with Pat and the boys.”

Grand Slam-winner Tom Shanklin said: “Phil Bennett, one of the greatest that’s ever lived. I was lucky enough to interview him with David Flatman, we sat and listened in awe. A Legend.”

Cardiff Rugby stalwart Josh Turnbull, who began his career in Llanelli, posted: “RIP Phil Bennett one of the greatest on the field and a true gent off it. Thoughts are with his family.”

Former Llanelli, Wales and Lions wing Dafydd James said: “Extremely sad news to hear one of the greatest players to take the field has passed away. The great Phil Bennett will be missed. Sincere condolences to Phil Bennett’s family. Rest in peace Benny. “

Ex-Wales scrum-half Rupert Moon said: “True legend…. so much to be grateful for…. on & off the field. Diolch yn fawr. My thoughts are with his family. Sincere condolences.”



Phil Bennett

Biggar hoping to win fitness battle

Wales captain Dan Biggar says he’s hoping to win his fitness battle for this summer’s tour of South Africa after limping off for Northampton Saints in the defeat to Leicester.

The 32-year-old was forced off with a suspected back problem during the second half of the Premiership semi-final, presenting a scare for Wales ahead of their three-Test tour of the Springboks, which starts with the first match on Saturday, 2 July in Pretoria.

“I am hoping I will be all right,” he said.

“As I have gone for a bit of a charge down, I have just tweaked my back a little bit and got a bit of a shooting pain,” Biggar added.

“It will probably be a stiff for a few days. It was just one that kept stiffening up and could not really move that well after it.”

All Blacks name squad

New Zealand have named their squad for the summer Test series against Ireland.

When Wales travel to face South Africa, Ireland will be playing the All Blacks in their own backyard on the same days in what is set to be a mouthwatering series.

There are six uncapped players in the squad, including former rugby league star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

“We’ve been delighted with his progress, particularly in the last four or five weeks,” said All Blacks boss Ian Foster.

There is no room, though, for scrum-half TJ Perenara.

“We’ve had five nines playing really well,” added Foster.

“So narrowing that down, we just feel that with Folau and Finlay, they offer something a bit different and a chance to see how we can incorporate that into an All Blacks game.”

“It’s a chance to get him in and have a look at him. While he’s earned his spot in there, there’s a lot to learn.”

forwards: Codie Taylor, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta’avao, Karl Tu’inukuafe, George Bower, Aidan Ross, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Josh Lord, Tupou Vaa’i, Scott Barrett, Sam Cane (captain), Pita Gus Sowakula, Ardie Savea, Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Hoskins Sotutu

Backs: Aaron Smith, Folau Fakatava, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Stephen Perofeta, Richie Mo’unga, Rieko Ioane, Jack Goodhue, Quinn Tupaea, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, David Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Caleb Clarke, Sevu Reece, Jordie Barrett Will Jordan

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