Swansea University captains at the Liberty Stadium ahead of the Welsh Varsity 2015

Welsh Varsity 2015 – As it happened

Swansea University v Cardiff University

Quite simply it’s one of the biggest student sports events in the country and second only to Oxford v Cambridge in terms of participation and support.

What started nearly twenty years ago as a rugby match between Swansea University and Cardiff University has grown beyond recognition and is now a chance for students at both universities to compete against their rivals in their chosen sports and we backing the Swansea Green & White Army this year!

2015 will see 37 teams taking part in a massive day of sport – the culmination and highlight of a hectic sports year for the students. BUCS points and finals go out of the window because for both the players and the huge number of spectators its bragging rights and pride that are at stake.

For the first time in five years the Welsh Varsity is being played in Swansea and the home sides will be backed by a huge number of fans as exams and coursework are put on hold.

The Swansea teams, in their specially designed Samurai kits, will be looking to close the gap on their big rivals before the finale of the day, the men’s rugby match played in front of more than 20,000 fans at the city’s Liberty Stadium.

For Samurai it’s our first taste of the Welsh Varsity and we’re getting behind the teams on the day, you’ll notice our website, Facebook and Twitter pages turning green in the build up and we’ll bring you live updates and pictures throughout the day as the action gets underway from 10am with Badminton, Netball, Sailing, Swimming, Tae Kwon-do and Tennis starting the action.

Swansea Lacrosse
Swansea Netball

2015 Welsh Varsity Final Score

Swansea University

13 – 24

Cardiff University

Saturday 18th April

Sport Venue Result
Rowing River Tawe Cardiff win

Monday 20th April

Sport Venue Result
Equestrian Dinefwr Cardiff win
Cycling Maindy SWANSEA WIN!!
Boxing Refectory SWANSEA WIN!!

Tuesday 21st April

Sport Venue Result
Shooting Swansea Rifle Club SWANSEA WIN!!

Wednesday 21st April

Sport Venue Time/Result
Badminton (Mens) LC2 Drawn
Netball Sports Hall Cardiff win
Sailing Tata SWANSEA WIN!!
Cricket Bishopgore Cardiff win
Swimming National Pool SWANSEA WIN!!
Taekwando Pavillion Cardiff win
Badminton (Ladies) LC2 Cardiff win
Tennis (Mens) Outdoor Courts Cardiff win
Golf Pennard Golf Club SWANSEA WIN!!
Squash (Mens) Tennis Club Cardiff win
Ultimate (Mens) Astroturf 2 Cardiff win
Volleyball (Ladies) LC2 SWANSEA WIN!!
Football (Intramural) Sketty Lane SWANSEA WIN!!
Fencing (Mens) Pavillion SWANSEA WIN!!
Football (Mens) Sketty Lane Drawn
American Football Sketty Lane Cardiff win
Ultimate (Ladies) Astroturf 2 Cardiff win
Hockey (Ladies) Astroturf 1 Cardiff win
Rugby (Ladies) Sketty Lane Cardiff win
Lacrosse (Ladies) Council Pitches Cardiff win
Basketball (Ladies) Sports Hall Cardiff win
Tennis (Ladies) Outdoor Courts Cardiff win
Canoe Polo National Pool Cardiff win
Squash (Ladies) Tennis Club Cardiff win
Volleyball (Mens) LC2 Cardiff win
Football (Ladies) Sketty Lane SWANSEA WIN!!
Lacrosse (Mens) Council Pitches Cardiff win
Fencing (Ladies) Pavillion Cardiff win
Hockey (Mens) Astroturf 1 SWANSEA WIN!!
Rugby (Freshers) Sketty Lane SWANSEA WIN!!
Basketball (Mens) Sports Hall Cardiff win
Rugby (Mens) Liberty Stadium Cardiff win
New Sale Sharks fluro away shirt

New Sale Sharks fluro away shirt launched

We are delighted to announce the launch the new 2015/16 Sale Sharks away shirt, a design that will undoubtedly stand out from the crowd both on and off the pitch.

Designed using our market leading fluorescent ink technology the hi-vis yellow kit is a complete contrast to previous designs and gives a striking contrast the navy and white home shirts for next season.

Samurai are pioneers in the use of fluorescent colours in shirt designs, with the Samurai 7s team wearing fluro kits as long ago as 2009 when the team won the Manchester 7s, but this is the first time one of our Aviva Premiership sides have chosen to wear a fluro design.

The Sale fans are able to pre-order the shirt before the end of this season, and the kit will get its first wear by the team for Sale’s final home game of the season when Newcastle are the visitors to the AJ Bell Stadium in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday 9th May.

Lisa Robinson Sale Sharks Retail Manager said, “This is by far the most striking kit the club have ever designed and marketed. Staff at the club who have seen the kit are impressed and we hope the fans like it as much as we do. Samurai have done a fantastic job getting this turned around and we can’t wait to see both the players and supporters wearing it.”

Mike Humble, Sales Director for Samurai added, “We are delighted with the new Sale Sharks away kit design. The brief was clear, to create an instantly recognisable design, and one that both the players and supporters could be proud of. The new kit is something a bit different from the previous kits we have produced for Sale Sharks and we firmly believe that this is a kit that will stand out. Both the colours and design create a shirt that is vibrant and bold, and one that will turn heads both on and off the pitch.”

Image credit: Connor Kilroy

Team Derby thrash MK on home NBL debut

Team Derby made a stunning start to life at their new Derby Arena home by thrashing Milton Keynes 5-0 in the National Badminton League live on Sky Sports last night.

The match was the first major sporting event at the new arena which had only openned its doors on Friday, with the court and seating setup in the middle of the velodrome in the £27m building. The setting proved perfect with 800 fans packing the seating courtside and the Sky cameras on hand to record the victory.

Decked out in the Samurai orange and blue kits, that are part of the sportswear and leisurewear used by the University of Derby, the Team Derby players looked the part both on court and in the stands supporting their team mates.

Team Derby captain Donna Kellogg named herself in the Women’s Doubles as she made a return to competitive action, and her side bounced back from a heavy defeat against Surrey to win a crucial tie against MK convincingly. The victory puts Derby third and right back in the mix for the end of season play-offs in the NBL’s first season.

Experienced Derby pair of Gail Emms and Martin Campbell had started slowly in the mixed doubles with a number of errors handing young Milton Keynes pair Jess Pugh and Ben Lane the first game, but they fought back strongly to win the tie 3-1 with the fourth game seeing a resounding 9-1 victory.

Team Derby’s German star, Karin Schnaase, built on the momentum recording a comprehensive win over Elizabeth Cann in the Women’s Singles, before Kellogg and Kate Robertshaw combined in the Women’s Doubles to beat Jess Fletcher and Sophie Sankey 3-1 to clinch the match for the hosts.

Derby captain Rajiv Ouseph put on a masterclass in the Men’s Singles as he demolished Sam Parsons 3-0, before the final tie of the night saw Andy Ellis and Chris Coles give up a 2-0 lead as Milton Keynes forced a decider, but on a triumphant night they clinched the fifth game and with it the clean sweep for the team and the perfect debut for the Derby Arena.

Team Derby have one more regular season match, when they host Nottingham at the Derby Arena on Monday 27th April and they will be hoping to cement their place in the playoffs with a win.

Image used courtesy of Connor Kilroy.

Samurai 7s Hong Kong

Samurai aiming for elusive Hong Kong victory

Despite being arguably the most successful invitational sevens team in the world, the GFI Hong Kong 10’s remains one of a very small number of tournaments that Samurai has never won, and after two heartbreaking final defeats in the last five years the boys are back for another crack at clinching the title.

GFI Hong Kong Tens | Day One Fixtures | Wednesday 25 March 2015
05.05 GMT (13.05 HKT) – Samurai International v Natixis HKFC
08.25 GMT (16.25 HKT) – Samurai International v Stockholm Exiles
12.35 GMT (20.35 HKT) – Samurai International v Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles

2015 marks a ninth appearance in Hong Kong for Samurai and despite reaching the semi-finals last year there remains a real sense of unfinished business for the squad, and particularly the management. As usual the Samurai side features an exciting mix of youth and experience, with amongst others Omari Caro, one of Rugby League’s fastest men, set to turn heads this year.

The Samurai team will be wearing an eye-catching red and white version of the famous warrior ICONIX rugby shirt, sponsored for the event by Sevens specialists Next Generation Sevens.

The team come to Hong Kong full of confidence on the back of yet another successful year for Samurai, both on and off the field. Victory in Amsterdam, an eighth title in the last ten years, was followed by domestic success with the team retaining their national GB7s Series championship. A strong showing at the Safari Sevens in Nairobi was then backed up by a fifth straight Invitational crown at the Dubai Sevens in early December.

Off the field the launch of the Bulldogs academy side has seen Samurai working hard to grow the game, by offering youngsters, many still at school or college, and the chance to experience invitational sevens. The aim is to see these young players progress through to representing Samurai and their national sides on the global stage, and it will be exciting to see these stars of the future grace Hong Kong in years to come.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, which takes place at Hong Kong Football Club on the 25th & 26th March, Samurai Chairman of Selectors Terry Sands was looking forward to the event, saying “It is no secret that this is a tournament we would really like to win, but the standard gets tougher and tougher every year and 2015 is no different. There are teams packed full of players with a fantastic rugby experience and we will have to be at our very best to have a chance of winning the title.”

Samurai are in Pool C, as third seeds for the event and will face pool games against hosts Natixis HKFC, Stockholm Exiles and Hong Kong Scottish. Favourites and 2014 winners BGC Asia Pacific Dragons head Pool A, with last years runners up Tradition YCAC fancied in Pool B and 2013 champions Penguin International top seeds in Pool D.

Humphrey Kayange returns for Kenya

Kayange returns for Kenya in Hong Kong and Tokyo

Former captain Humphrey Kayange returns for Kenya as Head Coach Felix Ochieng named the 12 man squad that will do duty at the sixth and seventh legs of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong and Japan.  Kayange has been out of action since sustaining an ankle injury during the Commonwealth Games last August.

Ochieng said, “Humphrey has worked hard but still has his own personal targets to achieve but I am not going to focus on him alone. I am focusing on getting the best combinations in every position to be able to give us the best possible results going forward.”

Speaking about the side’s pool in Hong Kong where they are with England, Wales and the USA, Ochieng said, “ We’ve got teams that are pretty consistent in their structures and the way they play. We know it’s going to be a tough pool but we are expecting to apply what we have been doing at home and obtain positive results.”

The team departs on Sunday 22nd March, returning to the country on 7th April. They have been grouped in Pool D for the Hong Kong alongside England, USA and Wales.

Kenya Squad: Andrew Amonde – (KCB, Captain),Collins Injera (Mwamba),Dan Sikuta (Mwamba),Humphrey Kayange (Mwamba), Lavin Asego (Mwamba), Tonny Owuor (Pan Africa Strathmore Leos), Michael Wanjala (Pan Africa Strathmore Leos), Billy Odhiambo (Pan Africa Strathmore Leos), Bush Mwale (Homeboyz), Leonard Mugaisi (Homeboyz), Felix Ayange (Kenya Harlequin), Patrice Agunda (Kenya Harlequin)

Non Travelling Reserves : Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba), Philip Wamae (KCB), Sammy Oliech (Resolution Impala Saracens)

Management: Felix Ochieng (Head Coach), Vuyo Zangqa (Attack Coach), Graham Bentz (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Lameck Bogonko (Physio), Steven Sewe (Performance Analyst / Team Manager)