Tonight’s rugby news as Wales confirm approach for coach and All Blacks superstar tells of dementia

Your rugby evening headlines for Tuesday, June 21.

Pivac confirms approach

Wales boss Wayne Pivac insists assistant coach Gareth Williams is staying put for the tour to South Africa, and doesn’t expect any move to be confirmed until the squad return.

Williams has looked after Wales’ breakdown and contact skills for the last year but is expected to take up a role with the Scarlets as their new defense coach.

But first there is the matter of taking on the Springboks in a three Test tour this summer.

“Nothing has changed. Gareth is full steam ahead in terms of training and is fully committed to this tour,” insisted Pivac. “There has been an approach which is nice for any coach from another organization to say they would love to have you.

“It has been through the front door and we have been having open conversations about that. Nothing has been finalized and I would not be surprised if that does not happen until after the tour.”

Asked if it was a distraction, Pivac refuted: “No, These things happen to players and coaches on a regular basis. We are just looking at whether an alignment with a club would benefit with the game in Wales.

“I think the short answer to that is yes, it’s just about it being done in the timely manner so everybody gets what they need out of it.”

“We talk about alignment all the time about country and club and you see that in Ireland and New Zealand and a lot of places and it is certainly something we can get better at and we are looking to do that.”

Wales Women to play England

Wales’ women will face an all-conquering England side in their final run out before heading to the World Cup later this year.

Ioan Cunningham’s side will head down to New Zealand shortly after the game, which will take place at Bristol’s Ashton Gate on September 14 (7:30pm KO).

Cunningham said: “To test ourselves against the No 1 side in the world on our doorstep is a fantastic opportunity before getting on the plane to New Zealand. Along with Canada, another top four side, these are exactly the types of matches we need as we continue to raise standards and to help us become as competitive as possible at the world cup itself.”

Wales also have a warm-up match against Canada on August 27.

All Black Hayman tackles early onset dementia

All Blacks legend Carl Hayman says he is accepting his brain is ‘half full’ after being diagnosed with early onset dementia.

The former prop, who featured 45 times for his country and over 150 times for Toulon, went public with his diagnosis last November.

He has discussed the diagnosis further with media in New Zealand this week.

“I’ve got various symptoms from changes in mood, to forgetfulness to constant headaches. It was pretty much zapping the life out of me really,” Hayman told TVNZ’s Seven Sharp.

“It’s been incredibly tough, but it’s a matter of accepting that my brain energy is half full compared to other people, so I need to be careful about what I use that energy on. I need to plan my day, not take too much on and have little achievable goals for the day.

“Having that understanding and the tools to help deal with things, has really given me hope to move forward, in terms of having a productive future.”

England ready for confrontation

Eddie Jones insists England are ready to hunt down the Wallabies as they prepare for confrontation on and off the pitch during their three-Test tour of Australia.

Jones has named a 36-man squad that features recalls for number eight Billy Vunipola and scrum-half Danny Care, but counts Joe Marler, Ben Youngs and Elliot Daly as big-name omissions.

England’s last visit to Australia in 2016 ended with a stunning whitewash series but Jones and his tourists were forced to overcome a co-ordinated campaign of disruption off the pitch, including the head coach facing a prolonged search of his luggage at Brisbane Airport.

As a taster of what is to come, the host broadcaster has produced a trailer to the series in which obnoxious and sunburnt red rose fans drink tea and eat cakes before being interrupted by Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou.

“We’ve got to go after them. We’ve got a whole intention of going after them,” said Jones, who has won all eight meetings with Australia as England coach.

“Davie Rennie’s sides traditionally want to play on the front foot, so it’s going to be about who wins the front foot.

“There will be really hard, flat tracks and abusive crowds. They are in the face, the Australians. The media are going to be in our face – they are aggressive.

“It’s a really aggressive environment. You can learn so much about your players and your squad on those tours and we’ve missed that.

“I’m sure it’ll be fun. For Australians, it’s the biggest tour and it’s going to be huge. It’s going to be fantastic for rugby and it’s going to be fantastic for our squad.”

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