Welsh rugby’s winners and losers as uncapped prop demands Wales inspection and fans rue controversy

It’s been another busy week in Welsh rugby.

There’s been Rainbow Cup action, contract news and all the other usual rumblings as the season winds down to a close.

Here, we look at the weekend’s winners and losers:


Corey Domachowski

The Cardiff Blues prop has been a revelation this season.

An impressive scrumagger, he is also a strong ball-carrier – often making dents in the Munster defence on Friday night.

There’s a fair bit of loose-head competition heading into the summer, with Nicky Smith, Gareth Thomas, Rob Evans and Rhys Carre all looking to step into Wyn Jones’ boots while he’s away with the Lions.

Domachowski, though, arguably has the biggest claim when it comes to form.

Could he get a look-in this summer? Only time will tell.

Aneurin Owen

This young man just looks the real deal.

A playmaker in a 12 jersey – something that Welsh rugby has perhaps lacked in recent years – he’s just got time on the ball whenever he gets it.

Christened ‘NHS’ by team-mates due to his namesake and founder of the National Health Service, Anuerin Bevan, there are already calls for Owen to receive an international call-up this summer.

Whether or not it’s a little too soon for a maiden cap, you’d say for certain he’d feature in Wayne Pivac’s discussions, with the Wales coach likely to want to get a closer look at him.

Josh Turnbull

It’s been some season for Josh Turnbull, with the Cardiff Blues forward playing some of his best rugby.

Unsurprisingly, there are even calls for the 10-cap international to be involved in Wales Tests against Canada and Argentina this summer.

But perhaps the moment of magic he produced on Friday night in Limerick might have caught even his most ardent supporters off guard.

With Cardiff in desperate need of breaking down the Munster defence as they searched for a score which would draw them level, Turnbull received a pass with seemingly little on.

However, from his box of tricks, he sold a dummy which took him past four defenders before offloading for Lloyd Williams to score.

Simply marvellous.

Greg Bateman

The prop’s first season with the Dragons hasn’t gone exactly to plan, with injuries stopping him from nailing down his place in Dean Ryan’s side as he might have liked.

But last week saw Bateman take a step which transcended what he does on the pitch.

He recounted his own experiences with severe depression and how a beer with a mate drove him to seek help.

And now, with his own brewing business and foundation, he is looking to raise £1million that would go towards charities such as the Samaritans and Young Minds.

A wonderful gesture.


Captain’s challenge

What more is there to say about the captain’s challenge that hasn’t already been said before?

Few things ruin matches as spectacles as much as people like to claim they do. Not red cards, excessive kicking or repeated scrums.

But the farcical captain’s challenge? That genuinely does ruin games. The farcical ending to Munster v Cardiff Blues proved exactly that.

Just do us a favour and bin it.

Ross Moriarty

The Wales back-rower has endured a tough season with injuries displacing him from the Wales squad and costing him the chance of a second Lions tour.

Handed the captaincy for the Dragons’ final home game of the season against Glasgow Warriors, this was a chance to end the season on something of a high.

However, a yellow card for Moriarty proved costly, with the Scottish outfit taking charge of the match during his absence on their way to a 27-16 victory. Glasgow had scored three tries six minutes either side of half-time, two of them coming while Moriarty was in the sin-bin for a no-arms tackle.

However, the reason Dean Ryan has been moving the captaincy around the Dragons’ team was to grow leadership and responsibility. Moriarty will undoubtedly learn from this error.

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Scott Williams’ injury fortunes

Rugby truly can be the cruellest of sports.

Last week saw the Ospreys release 12 players, including Wales international Scott Williams.

Injuries have been unkind to Williams and the 30-year-old’s future now looks unclear despite his undoubted class.

However, anyone who saw how Williams came from not being able to bend down to the brink of Wales’ World Cup squad in 2019 would attest to the fact that the man doesn’t know when he’s beaten.

Hopefully there is another chapter in his rugby career yet to be penned.


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