CARDIFF NOT APPEALING AGAINST REES BAN

Cardiff blues have revealed that they will not be appealing against Ritchie Rees ban. Rees was banned for 12 weeks by an European Rugby Cup disciplinary hearing in Dublin on 6 January. The Cardiff Blues man was found guilty of making contact with Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley’s eye during their 23-19 Heineken Cup loss on …

HALFPENNY NAMED IN SQUAD

Cardiff Blues have named Leigh Halfpenny on the bench for their next game. The Wales wing has been out with an ankle injury since October, but back-row Xavier Rush (neck) is out despite completing a one-week suspension.

Centre Jamie Roberts makes his first start since surgery on a long-term wrist injury, replacing Tom Shanklin.

The Ospreys promote Andrew Bishop, Jamie Nutbrown, Paul James and Ian Gough to the starting line-up.

WALES SEVENS LOSE TO SOUTH AFRICA

An impressiveWales Sevens team lost to South Africa in the plate semifinals. On Friday, Wales beat Scotland, France and Australia to top Pool A. But a late Simaika Mikaele try saw the powerful Samoans beat Wales 19-14 in Saturday’s Cup quarter-final. Tom Isaacs and Ifan Evans had touched down but two tries from Samoa’s Alafoti …

REES WANTS MISTAKES TO BE AVOIDED

Welsh captain Matthew Rees has asked the team to avoid any silly mistakes in the future. Wales were beaten by Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, while they were also held to a dismal draw by Fiji.

But Rees insists they have been competitive in all of the games. “We know at this level the difference is error and until we cut them out in our game, that’s going to be difficult to get results,” Rees said.

SCARLETS BEAT AIRONI

Scarlets beat Aironi comfortably in the Welsh Rugby Union thanks to a hat-trick from Jonathan Davies. Andy Fenby started the rout on the half-hour before George North added a second before the break. Aironi lost Jaco Erasmus to a yellow card after the restart and Davies twice capitalised. Replacement Martin Roberts took the lead to …

TREVISO BEAT SCARLETS

Benetton Treviso defeated Scarlets 34-28 in a thrilling contest. The Scarlets led 22-9 at the break, but the home side stormed back to register a historic win.

Wing Tommaso Benvenuti scored the winning try four minutes from the end while scrum-half Tobias Botes played a starring role.

Scarlets debutant George North, 18, touched down twice.

But North’s night and that of his team-mates came to a dire end as the hosts signalled their intentions for the season by making the visitors’ suffer.

HOOK GETS WALES CALL

Ospreys star James Hook has been handed a second piece of good news in four days after he received a surprise call to play for Wales. Having previosuly watched from the Wales Rugby Hospitality Tickets, Hook has taken on a starring role!

Hook helped the Ospreys to Magners League glory on Saturday night, playing a key part in the 17-12 triumph over Leinster at the RDS,

That historic win was expected to be Hook’s last appearance of the summer as the 24-year-old prepared for shoulder surgery.

Rowley Hails Welsh Rugby

Wales have been granted automatic qualification for the 2013 World Cup, which will be hosted by the Rugby Football League in the United Kingdom.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome,” said Wales league boss Mark Rowley.

“This is momentous,” said Wales Rugby League executive chairman Rowley after receiving the news at the RLIF two-day meeting in Melbourne. “We achieved autonomous status in 2006 which was our first major step up the international rugby league ladder.

Wales get Automatic Place

Wales have been granted automatic qualification for the 2013 World Cup, which will be hosted by the Rugby Football League in the United Kingdom.

The Welsh, who reached the World Cup semi-finals in 1995 and 2000, were notable absentees from the last tournament in Australia two years ago after losing to Scotland in the qualifying tournament.

But they will be one of 12 teams granted automatic entry after becoming full members of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) at their meeting in Melbourne.