Tonight's rugby news as Gatland dealt blow after training ground incident and Wales legend lined up for coaching role

Adams has suffered another injury blow
-Credit: (Image: Harry Trump/Huw Evans Agency)


These are your evening rugby headlines on Thursday, May 30.

Adams injured in training

Cardiff star Josh Adams has been ruled out of Saturday's Judgement Day clash with the Ospreys and could miss Wales' summer tour after injuring himself in training.

The wing picked up the injury on Thursday, just days before Warren Gatland names his squad to take on South Africa and Australia in June and July.

It is the latest blow for Adams, who struggled for form during the Six Nations, coming into the tournament having struggled with a knee injury. The nature of his latest injury has not been confirmed, but coach Richie Rees confirmed on Thursday that he would play no part against the Ospreys.

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Asked if there were any injuries in the squad ahead of the weekend, Rees said: "There wasn't until we just trained. We lost Josh Adams. If I'm honest, I'm not sure [what he's done]. He has struggled with his groin the last couple of weeks, so I'm not sure if it's that but he won't be playing on Saturday."

On whether Adams could now miss Wales duty, the coach admitted: "It may be, but I don't know. I honestly don't know. I've just come off [the training pitch]."

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Wales legend lined up for coaching role

Judgement Day will not be Dan Lydiate's final game for the Dragons with the region looking to keep the Wales and Lions legend on as a player-coach.

The 36-year-old flanker returned to Rodney Parade after being released by the Ospreys last summer and despite struggling with injury is set to make his 10th appearance of the season off the bench against the Scarlets this weekend. But while his one-year deal is coming to an end, coach Dai Flanagan says Saturday will not be the last time he pulls on the Dragons jersey.

"This won’t be his last game, I can guarantee you that,” he said. “He is a player I don’t want to leave this region for multiple reasons – playing, experience, what he can bring off the field going forward. It won’t be his last game of rugby, otherwise there would have been more made of that this week.”

Lydiate and Flanagan are in the process of discussing a new contract, with a real possibility being that the 69-cap international takes on a coaching role with the region.

“Coaching is something that Dan is curious to see what it would be like. I’ve told him how good a coach he would be," Flanagan added. “We didn’t have a defence coach all year after Simon Cross left and if we went to market then what Welsh defence coaches are out there?

“We have to start producing them in Wales and arguably there is no better defender in Welsh rugby than Dan over the last 10 years. I would pursue that if I was him.”

Wales international joins French third-tier

Former Wales international Sam Cross has reportedly joined French third-tier side Tarbes ahead of next season.

The 31-year-old was understood to be taking up an offer across the English Channel after he left Newcastle Falcons halfway through his contract earlier this month. He had become a mainstay in Steve Diamond's squad during a torrid season after joining from the Ospreys last summer, making 18 appearances, but was one of 15 players to leave the club at the end of the campaign.

According to LaDepeche.fr, Cross has now joined Tarbes, who play in the Nationale league, two tiers below the Top 14.

The back rower has two Wales caps, making his debut off the bench against Australia in 2017 before starting against Georgia a few months later. Cross was also selected in Warren Gatland's Six Nations squad the following year, while he is a former Wales Sevens international, who won Olympic silver with Team GB at Rio in 2016.

Carter impressed by England

By Phil Casey, PA

Former All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter believes England have the talent to move away from "risk-free" tournament rugby and will be out to make a statement against New Zealand this summer.

England will face the Kiwis in Dunedin on July 6 and in Auckland a week later, with Steve Borthwick's side looking for a first victory on New Zealand soil since 2003, when the head coach was an unused replacement in a 15-13 win in Wellington. The two Tests will be the first under new All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson, who succeeded Ian Foster after winning seven Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders.

"It's going to be really exciting," two-time World Cup winner Carter told the PA news agency at the launch of a new charity to support elite players after they retire from the game. "It's a new coaching group in New Zealand so there's a lot of anticipation.

"We've lost a lot of experienced players and obviously with the success Scott Robertson had at Super Rugby level, everyone's wondering if he can take that success on to the international stage up against an England side that will really want to come down here and make a bit of a statement up against a new-look All Blacks side."

England surprised many observers by reaching the semi-finals of last year's World Cup in France, where they lost by a point to a South African side which went on to beat New Zealand by the same slender margin in the final.

"I think England have actually even grown from the World Cup through the Six Nations, their ability or willingness to want to play with the ball a little bit more," Carter added. "I thought they played good tournament rugby to get as far as they did through the World Cup. There was a lot of risk-free rugby, they're looking to expand and grow that and they've definitely got the talent there.

"Now it's about being willing to continue to play with the ball more and play an exciting and attacking style of play which I'm sure a lot of their players would love to be a part of. It will be really interesting to see how they've progressed."