Tonight's rugby news as Ospreys stadium decision takes next step and Wales skipper speaks out

Dewi Lake of Ospreys
Dewi Lake of Ospreys -Credit:Huw Evans Picture Agency

Here are your rugby evening headlines for Thursday, May 16.

Ospreys set to issue stadium update

The Ospreys are set to issue an update next week as the search for their new stadium heats up.

Earlier this week, Neath pulled themselves out of the race to host matches at The Gnoll - meaning it is now a straight choice between St Helen's in Swansea and Bridgend's Brewery Field.

Sources close to Swansea RFC are quietly confident that St Helen's will be the host ground.

Next week's update won't be a final decision, with Ospreys insiders stressing there is no preferred option at this stage.

There are several considerations to be taken into account beyond what both offer as purely rugby venues, with the opportunity to drive non-matchday revenue likely to be a key factor.

Lake hoping to catapult himself into Wales squad

Dewi Lake hopes a strong end to the season for the Ospreys can catapult him back into the Wales squad this summer.

The powerful hooker missed the Six Nations due to a hamstring injury but returned to action a fortnight ago. Lake's immediate priority is to ensure the Ospreys reach the United Rugby Championship play-offs but wants to figure for Wales against South Africa and Australia this summer.

"Yeah, 100%, it's always the goal," said Lake when asked whether he was targeting a place in Wales' squad this summer.

"My main focus is still here (Ospreys) and there's still a lot of rugby to be played in an Ospreys jersey. Selection is not mine to make I guess.

"I've got to play well in this jersey first and earn the right to hopefully wear the Welsh jersey again. It's definitely a goal of mine to get back into the red jersey again and hopefully play in the summer.

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"There are a couple of interesting games coming up with that international series. There's not too much pressure on us yet.

"Playing two of the best teams in the world will be exciting for anybody to even think about or look forward to. Hopefully it gets to that point where I can start thinking about those teams but until we get there I'm solely focused here."

Wales suffered the ignominy of picking up their first Wooden Spoon since 2003 and but Lake has challenged Warren Gatland's men to bounce back this summer. "It was tough as a supporter and as a fan but I am sure it was a lot tougher for the boys involved," he said.

"You know the hard work they would have put in week-in-week out to try and stop that. A couple of results unfortunately going the other way.

"As I said earlier with our couple of losses it's part of the game sometimes. You can't win them all and there's going to be losses but it's how you bounce back.

"I think if you bounce back and start winning games soon people will start forgetting about the losses. It was tough to watch and I'm gutted for the boys but I'm sure it'll be much harder for them."

Dragons handed boost ahead of derby

The Dragons have been boosted by the return of Ben Carter and Ryan Woodman ahead of their URC derby against the Ospreys.

Dai Flanagan's side are bidding to avoid bottom-place in the league heading into the final two rounds of fixtures - with a win over play-off chasing Ospreys likely to boost their chances of finishing ahead of Zebre and the Scarlets.

The Dragons haven't won an away game against the Ospreys since 2010 - when Flanagan was starting at fly-half for the home side - but the return of Wales lock Carter after suspension and promising back-row Woodman after a thumb is a boost.

“They give us a bit of size and aerial presence,” said Flanagan. “They give us options.

“When Ryan got the injury we pinpointed these two games to get some experience in derbies and he will be playing at a fantastic stadium against Jac Morgan & Co.

“Then he will playing at Cardiff City Stadium against a Scarlets back row of Dan Davis, Taine Plumtree & Co, so these are two really good opportunities.

“Ben has had a disjointed year with injury but was looking really good in his last game before the red card. He is fully fit and ready to see the season out well.”

Saracens pair forced to retire on injury grounds

Saracens pair Cameron Boon and Ralph Adams-Hale will both retire from rugby at the end of the season after being advised to end their careers on medical grounds.

Prop Adams-Hale made 29 appearances for Saracens - featuring in the Premiership final victory against Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham in 2019.

"It was not an easy choice to make, and I deeply wish I could keep playing, however I have been medically advised to retire because of my shoulder and I must prioritise my long-term health and well-being," the 29-year-old said.

Second-row Boon made 11 appearances for Sarries.

"Thank you to everyone who has been involved in my rugby career and giving me the opportunity to live a young lads dream," said the 24-year-old.