Everything Is Up For Grabs As Wales’ Four Regions Plot To Seal The Welsh Shield  

Wales’ four regions are set to return to league action in the United Rugby Championship (URC) now that the Six Nations has reached its conclusion. With just a few fixtures left to go, everything is still to play for in the league, with the sides fighting for the Welsh Shield at the end of the month.

With teams from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and South Africa all competing in the URC, the competition to qualify for The Heineken Champions Cup, Europe’s premier rugby tournament has become extremely difficult.

There’s always an added spice to the local derbies, but with the Welsh Shield battle as well as the potential for European qualification added into the mix, Welsh fans will be spoilt with an exciting end to the season.

The Ospreys will be hoping the return of their Welsh players will help the team find their momentum as they aim to pick up successive Shields after winning it last year.

The Ospreys have found themselves within striking distance of Cardiff, and Toby Booth’s side will be confident they can strike a decisive blow come Judgement Day.

Ospreys’ winger, Keelan Giles, said: “I think the Welsh boys coming back will make a massive difference. Even in the day-to-day training, you can see the levels of intensity rise.

“We would have liked a couple more wins this season, but the derbies for us will be huge. The rivalry obviously adds fuel to the fire and a little bit more excitement. We want to win back the Welsh Shield.”

To do so, they will have to better Cardiff, who currently lead the Welsh Shield. The two teams will face each other at the Principality Stadium on the last weekend of the regular season, with everything at stake.

Dai Young’s side have improved markedly this season. Cardiff currently lead the Welsh Shield, but with the Ospreys and the Scarlets breathing down their necks, the side from the capital will have to finish the season off strongly to secure European qualification.

The Scarlets meanwhile have hit some incredible form since Christmas, and Dwayne Peel’s side will be hoping to force their way into contention for the Welsh Shield with a late push.

Scarlets head coach, Peel, said: “We’ve always wanted to play high tempo rugby at the Scarlets, even during my time playing. It has been difficult in certain periods, but the results of late have been encouraging.

“I think in terms of where we are at the minute, there has been progress. We’re not where I want us to be, but I think there’s a lot of growth in the team to come.

Dai Flanagan has brought an exciting brand of rugby to Rodney Parade this season, but the Dragons have found it difficult to turn good performances into wins since.

There is plenty of quality littered throughout the squad now and, with performances improving, the Dragons have shown they can compete with most sides in the league.