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Three changes to Scarlets side for Cardiff

Posted By RobertLloyd58

Scarlets will take on Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Friday evening (7.35) showing three changes to the side that took the field against the Ospreys on Boxing Day.

All the changes come up front with Werner Kruger replacing Samson Lee at tight-head prop, Fijian international Tevita Ratuva coming in for Sam Lousi at lock and Uzair Cassiem taking the place of Blade Thomson at No. 8. Lee, Lousi and Thomson are named among the replacements.

Head coach Brad Mooar has given a vote of faith to the same match-day 23 that registered a record 44-0 victory over the Ospreys.

With Johnny McNicholl still nursing an ankle injury, Leigh Halfpenny, Ryan Conbeer and Steff Evans continue in the back three.

Evans’s derby double took his try tally to six in the Guinness PRO14 this season and the winger now has an impressive strike rate of 44 tries in 108 appearances in a Scarlets jersey.

Steff Hughes remains the one ever-present this season and again links up with Wales international Hadleigh Parkes in midfield.

Angus O’Brien, on the back of successive man-of-the-match performances, partners Gareth Davies at half-back.

Kruger joins Wyn Jones and skipper Ken Owens in the front row, while Jake Ball packs down alongside ‘Tex’ Ratuva in the second row. Aaron Shingler and Josh Macleod start alongside Cassiem in the back row.

Scarlets sit third in the Conference B table, four points ahead of the Blues after nine rounds of action.

Scarlets forwards coach Ioan Cunningham said: “It’s a massive challenge, we had a difficult time at the Arms Park last year so we know how tough it is going to be.

“They are a good side, well coached, but we are excited by the challenge and the prospect of playing in front of a packed crowd in the capital. The Conference standings also add an extra spice to it.”

Scarlets team v Cardiff Blues (Cardiff Arms Park, Friday 7.35pm ko)
15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Ryan Conbeer, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (capt), 3 Werner Kruger, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Tevita Ratuva, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Uzair Cassiem.
Reps: 16 Phil Price, 17 Ryan Elias, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Paul Asquith.

Unavailable because of injury
Jonathan Davies (knee), Rhys Patchell (shoulder), James Davies (back), Rob Evans (neck), Johnny McNicholl (ankle), Dan Jones (ribs), Tom Phillips (hand), Kieron Fonotia (calf), Tom Prydie (hamstring), Dan Davis (foot), Joe Roberts (knee).

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Blog posts

Blooming great plants for autumn

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Crocus, cyclamen and pansies have been named amongst seven of the best plants for blooming autumnal gardens.

The gardening gurus at GardeningExpress.co.uk have revealed their top plants for brightening up autumnal days.

Others include heather, dahlia, winter aconites and aster.

Whilst spring and summer are the seasons most closely associated with gardening, British households can still enjoy thriving backyards throughout autumn and well into winter if the right plants are chosen.

From delicate pansies to bold and low-growing heather, these are the plants you should opt for to keep your garden looking fresh and inviting as the temperatures drop.

A spokesperson for GardeningExpress.co.uk commented: “As the days start to get shorter and a little bit colder, this doesn’t mean that we have to stay cooped up in the house and neglect the outdoors – at least not just yet.

“There are some tough little plants and shrubs that can survive the changing weather, braving the cold and wind to bring a splash of colour and brighten breezy autumnal days.

“Choose the right plants, and autumn gardens can be a spectacular sight.”


With pink, white or purple petals, heather is a brilliant plant for low-growing texture and it looks great in pots too. They handle bad weather particularly well and have a long flowering season, from November to March.


The autumn weather forces crocus blooms out through the fallen leaves among the lawn and their upright, cup-shaped flowers look great in pots and borders. Still, occasionally they can be spoiled by autumn weather so plant them beneath trees and shrubs where they will be protected from heavy rains.

Winter aconites

These cheery plants look a lot like buttercups with their lovely yellow flowers and are suited to growing underneath deciduous trees and shrubs. They prefer rich, moist soil in shady parts of gardens.


Pansies are a gardener’s staple all year round. Many varieties stop blooming when it gets really cold, but then you can opt for special winter-flowering pansies which will keep going until late spring. These are ideal for filling pots and window boxes for a flash of colour to be seen from indoors.


The striking blooms of these plants start to open in summer, but are at their best from August to September, bridging gaps in borders as other perennials begin to tire. Dahlias are best for working in borders and as they come in a range of sizes and exotic colours, they’ll work with almost any colour theme.

Aster ‘Little Carlow’

Sprays of small lavender-blue daisies throb in late summer and autumn, particularly in evening light. They like lots of sun and good, well-drained soil.


Cyclamen are well-loved heroes that can be brought to flower from autumn all the way through to spring. The flowers come in red, pink and white shades and look fantastic in pots or planted under trees, but cyclamen hederifolium is the usual choice for autumn flowers. Its silvery, marbled leaves follow the sugar pink and white blooms, remaining unscathed through winter weather before dying back for a dormant summer.

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Charity fashion show for Tenovus Cancer Care

Posted By Robert Lloyd

A charity fashion show is being organised by the Rotary Club of Pembrey and Burry Port.

The ladies fashion show will be held at The Ashburnham Hotel, Pembrey, on Wednesday, October 16.

The event will feature fashion wear by Nanette Fashion, of Gwendraeth Store, Kidwelly.

Tickets are £5 and include a drink on arrival.

Proceeds go to the local branch of Tenovus Cancer Care.

Tickets are available from The Ashburnham Hotel, Pembrey, telephone 01554 834455, Nanette Fashion, telephone 01554 890206, or from any Rotary Club member.

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Press releases

Society welcomes court decision to protect journalists’ notes

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Society of Editors has welcomed the decision by the courts to refuse to order journalists to hand over their notes to counter-terrorism investigators.

The Met Police had sought an order for material from the Times, Sky News, ITN and the BBC from their conversations with 19-year-old “Isis bride” Shamima Begum after she was discovered in Syria earlier this year.

But an Old Bailey judge has ruled that the news providers cannot be compelled to hand over their unpublished notes to the police.

“This is an important decision in protecting both the rights of journalists to protect their sources but also to ensure journalists are not put in increased danger when they are pursuing stories where there is a risk of reprisals,” comments Ian Murray Executive Director at the Society of Editors.

“Anyone giving an interview or information to the media should do so in the knowledge journalists cannot be forced to reveal sensitive information they discover. Journalists also need to be assured they will not be seen as seeking information to then pass on to the security forces.”

At a hearing at the Old Bailey last month, lawyers for the Met applied to have unpublished material from interviews carried out by The Times, BBC, ITN and Sky News handed to counter-terrorism command under the Terrorism Act 2000.

All of the outlets resisted the application, arguing it would undermine their journalists’ ability to cover foreign conflicts.

Gavin Miller, for Sky, ITN and The Times, said the order would deprive journalists of their neutrality and place them at risk by making them de facto actors of the state.

Ms Begum was one of three girls from Bethnal Green, east London, who left the UK aged 15 in February 2015 and travelled to Syria to join Islamic State.

She was tracked down when nine months pregnant with her third child by Times correspondent Anthony Loyd in a refugee camp in northern Syria.

Ms Begum, who has since been stripped of her British citizenship, later gave interviews to broadcasters including the BBC, ITN and Sky News.

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Press releases

Seven tricks and tips to help kerb appeal . . .

Posted By Robert Lloyd

While most Brits will spend the majority of their hard-earned cash and spare time on their back yard, homeowners are being encouraged to invest in their front gardens too.

Outdoors experts at BillyOh.com have compiled a list of seven tricks and tips to help homeowners reinvent their front yard, maximising their property’s kerb appeal – and potentially its value.

Seven Tips to Maximise Kerb Appeal

Homeowners are being encouraged to make the most of their outdoor space by investing in their front gardens.

Most Brits will spend the majority of their hard-earned cash and spare time in the back yard, whilst front gardens are left neglected and unloved.

So outdoors experts at BillyOh.com have compiled a list of seven tricks and tips to help homeowners reinvent their front yard, maximising their property’s kerb appeal – and potentially its value.

Advice includes adding a gate for extra security, painting the front door to add personality and utilising space by using wall climbers.

Researchers have found that planting greenery can help combat pollution and increase the value of property. This trend is replacing the paved driveways which is a common site nationwide.

A spokesman from BillyOh.com explained “The first impression of a house is the front garden, so is a great opportunity for homeowners to show individuality and personality.

“Paved driveways without greenery lack identity and can make a house feel cold and unwelcoming

“Increasing kerb appeal does not have to be stressful and can be achieved easily, a new lick of paint and introducing a variety of plants can do wonders, with little cost or effort need.

“Homeowners should first know what image of themselves they want to present to the world and then translate that when planning the garden.”

Here are BillyOh.com ‘s seven top tips for maximising kerb appeal:

Add a gate

Placing a gate at the entrance of the garden alongside being an additional security measure can also add a warm and welcoming for guests and sets the tone of the garden.


Rather than putting in a new pathway a cheap and quick alternative is to instead use a power wash to give the existing footpath a good scrub. Add gravel to hide paths that are past saving.

Enhance with an Arch

Putting an arch over the pathway is enticing and adds dimension to the area. Train plants like beech or hornbeam to make an evergreen arch, in winter the bare branches provide a strong structure.

Variety of greenery

When deciding on greenery, include a mix of different leaves and foliage to add dimension and interest. Stick to low maintenance plants such as hostas and lady ferns which thrive in shaded areas. Perfect for all seasons so no risk of looking bare or dull in colder periods.

Utilise space

For residences with a smaller front garden such as townhouses, wall climbers should be considered. Taking no floor space and growing directly onto the outer walls of the house. Greenery can be introduced no matter how small the area.

Harmonise colours: When adding colour into the garden from front doors to plants and flowers choose complementary colours to unify the garden as one whole. This is an incredibly effective and easy way to add kerb appeal.

Upgrade the door :

The main focal point of the house is the front door; a lick of paint refreshes the home and draws the eye alongside polishing existing hardware. Before going for a bright colour consult with residents and ensure that it is appropriate for the location.

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Press releases

Ditch artificial and go natural for fresh smells

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Experts from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have revealed the best sweet smelling plants.

Among them are mint and lavender which last longer and are cheaper than air fresheners.

In a bid to turn Brits against artificial air fresheners, five of the best smelling plants have been revealed.

Experts from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have compiled a list, including mint and lavender, of plants which will help keep houses smelling fresh for longer – and cheaper.

Air fresheners are believed to be causing adverse health effects such as migraines, asthma attacks and earache, causing many people to look for a natural alternative.

By swapping air fresheners for flowers, not only can it stop these harmful side effects, but plant can help improve mood and have positive effects to mental health.

A spokesperson for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “The side effects of air fresheners are not well known and can have an extremely negative impact on health.

“By swapping them with fresh flowers you are reducing the amount of chemicals people in the house are being exposed to, whilst achieving the same end goal.

“Just like air fresheners there’s a wide choice of scent meaning personal preference can play a large part in which plant you choose.

“Colours and the amount of space you are able to provide means that you can also add a decorative touch to rooms.”

This is GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk ‘s list of best smelling plants:


Famous for its remedial smell, Lavender is thought to have a calming effect which causes many to fall asleep. It has a distinct smell and has recognisable purple tipped flowers. Although it is famous for its soothing effect, it is still unknown how it works.

Lavender requires plenty of sunlight, so the window sill is the best place to leave it when growing indoors.

Citrus Plant

The sweet smells emitted from lemon, lime and grapefruit trees can help anyone relax, but can cause a lot of maintenance issues when grown inside. Needing at least eight hours of sunlight a day and a large water once a week, the plants survive best in the sunnier climates of Spain. A sourness can be created in the fruit, and smell, of the plant if enough sun isn’t received.


The flower is a regular ingredient in many perfumes, even if it isn’t found in the name. The sweet-smelling aroma can help keep houses and rooms smelling fresh for months. The plant will survive well under bright light and with a water once a week.

Scented Geranium

These plants can be chosen in unique scents, including apple, lemon and strawberry which can add a natural fragrance to any home, saving money on air fresheners. They can be split into seven main categories depending on their smell: rose, lemon, mint, fruit and nut, spice, pungent and oak. The plants also don’t take much looking after, with potted geraniums needed to be watered once every four weeks.

Mint Plant

If you’re not a big fan of flowery fragrance, fresh mint plants will give your house a clean smell without being overly floral. The most popular scents are peppermint and spearmint, which can also be used in the kitchen. The plant does need watering at least three to four times a week.





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