Gareth Bale would be welcomed back to Tottenham should he choose to call time on his spell at Real Madrid, according to Spurs defender Ben Davies.

Speculation over Bale's future at Santiago Bernabeu has been rife during a season in which Madrid have struggled to cope following the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.

Bale dazzled at Tottenham before moving to Spain, and his Wales team-mate Davies said he would relish the chance to play alongside his country's leading scorer on a more regular basis.

"He's come under a bit of flak at Madrid recently, but for Wales he's always been brilliant," Davies told reporters ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

"I'm always going to say it's unfair, he is one of the best players in the world, we see it every day in training.

"I'd definitely have him at Tottenham. But I don't know how likely that is."

Wales beat Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 in a friendly ahead of their clash with Slovakia, though Bale is not the only player to have impressed Davies during the international break. 

Ryan Giggs named David Brooks, Harry Wilson, Ben Woodburn and Daniel James in his squad, with their quality leaving Davies optimistic about Wales' long-term future. 

"If you look at the options we've got now, we definitely have a lot more up there," said the defender. 

"In the past, we only had Gareth with that pace, but we're lucky to be blessed with it now. 

"It's a good position to be in as a squad, the younger players will want to show what they can do when they get the chance of a regular place – that's the competition you want." 

Dai Young says Wasps are keen to bring Shaun Edwards to the club as uncertainty around the coach's future continues.

With his time as Wales' defence coach set to come to an end following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Edwards had been expected to join Wigan Warriors for the 2020 Super League season.

However, the Wigan legend caused confusion after helping Wales to win the Grand Slam by saying his future was up in the air.

The Warriors were initially concerned by the reports but have since said they will not stand in Edwards' way given his deal with them was only "an oral agreement".

A return to Wasps – where he coached for 10 years from 2001 – had been mooted, and director of rugby Young says there have been discussions.

"Shaun would be fantastic for us," he said after Wasps' 27-14 defeat to Gloucester on Saturday.

"We have spoken to him and made our interest known in someone who is a big part of the club's history, but I know we are one of a number of options he has.

"I do not know where we stand and we will be talking to him when he is back from holiday."

Gareth Bale says he is raring to go for Wales and has denied injury problems have played a part in a difficult season at Real Madrid.

The LaLiga giants have reappointed Zinedine Zidane - with whom Bale had a difficult relationship - after Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari both failed at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale was a surprise starter and found the net as Madrid beat struggling Celta Vigo 2-0 in Zidane's first game back in charge, with the similarly recalled Isco also on the scoresheet.

It was only Bale's 17th LaLiga start of the campaign, with the Wales forward having struggled to nail down a regular place in the Madrid team this season.

Yet ahead of Ryan Giggs' side starting their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign at home to Slovakia, Bale dismissed any lingering fitness concerns.

"I've only had one injury, I've been fine," Bale told reporters on Saturday. "I have been playing, I've scored a decent amount of goals.

"We want to be playing in the major tournaments and experience what we have been through.

"We need to produce again, we need to work hard as a team. I am ready, I am raring to go."

While Bale is available despite sitting out a warm-up against Trinidad and Tobago, Aaron Ramsey will miss the Slovakia game due to injury.

"Obviously it's a big blow for us," Bale said of the Arsenal midfielder, who is set to join Juventus. "He's a big player for us and we'll obviously miss him.

"But it gives someone else a chance to step in and do a good job, and hopefully help the team to a win."

Slovakia won their first Group E game 2-0 against Hungary while World Cup finalists Croatia also made a winning start, triumphing 2-1 at home to Azerbaijan.

"We are going for top spot, I don't know why we wouldn't," Bale added. "We are always the underdogs. The bookies aren't always right. We are going to go into this campaign looking to win the group.

"We know both countries got off to a winning start the other day but there is no reason why we can't. There's no reason why we can't go on and win the group."

Gareth Anscombe wants to stay in Wales with Cardiff Blues, according to coach John Mulvihill, and the two parties are close to agreeing a new deal.

Anscombe raised doubts about his future – and that of other top players – amid uncertainty over the restructuring of the Welsh regions.

A merger between the Ospreys and the Scarlets had been mooted earlier this month, and Grand Slam winner Anscombe suggested it could lead to Wales' heroes looking elsewhere – even though it could harm their international eligibility.

Mulvihill is confident Anscombe has no intention of leaving, though, despite greater financial rewards being available elsewhere.

"Hopefully we are getting closer," said the Blues coach. "There are a few contractual issues we are trying to work through to make a final offer to Gareth that I think shows his worth in the game in Wales.

"He can get a lot more money playing overseas, but he doesn't want to do that.

"He wants to play for Wales, he wants to go to the World Cup and I think deep down in his heart he wants to be at Cardiff Blues with all his mates here.

"We are just working through that and hopefully we can get something done in the next few weeks.

"I want him to stay here and hopefully sooner or later we can sort it out."

Aaron Ramsey will miss Wales' opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia on Sunday after failing to recover from injury.

The 28-year-old – who has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Juventus at the end of the season – has withdrawn from the squad and returned to Arsenal for treatment.

Ramsey played no part in Wales' 1-0 friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.

Wales manager Ryan Giggs said: "It's a blow, especially the form he's been in, but it gives a chance for somebody else.

"We made sure we had a plan B and we've worked on that during the week. We're going to miss someone like Aaron, but we've prepared for it as well."

Ramsey will hope to return to full fitness for Arsenal's next game against Newcastle United in the Premier League on April 1.

Wigan Warriors say they will not stand in Shaun Edwards' way should he renege on an agreement to become the Super League champions' head coach in 2020.

Edwards agreed to take over at the club last year, with his time as Wales' defence coach set to come to an end following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

However, the Wigan legend caused confusion after Wales wrapped up the Six Nations Grand Slam with victory over Ireland at the weekend, claiming his future was up in the air.

Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan has confirmed that no contract was signed at the time of Edwards' announcement and that the move to Wigan was "cemented by a handshake".

Wigan now say they will accept whatever decision Edwards - linked with a return to Wasps - comes to.

"Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club's position is that it has an oral agreement with Shaun Edwards to become head coach from 2020, cemented by a handshake and announced publicly in a press conference by both parties in August 2018," said Lenagan.

"I take full responsibility for including the mention of a signed contract in Wigan's press release at the time of Shaun's appointment. I have done business on many occasions on the basis of an oral agreement over a handshake.

"Shaun and I have known each other for a long time, have great respect for each other and share a passion for all things Wigan – of course the main focus for that being Wigan Warriors and its supporters.

"Following the announcement of his appointment we agreed not to distract Shaun, at his request, in any way throughout the Six Nations.

"With Wales' emphatic victory in Cardiff at the weekend, it is understandable why their coaching team have become so desirable throughout world rugby and Shaun is obviously an integral part of that.

"Rather than debating the merits and legalities of an oral or written agreement, I have had constructive dialogue with Shaun this week to make it clear that, despite our desire for him to take up the Wigan Warriors head coach role as agreed, we would not attempt to hold Shaun to any agreement - disputed or otherwise - if he now preferred to take up a different option.

"During our conversations, Shaun asked for more time to consider his options. I agreed to his request and fully understand his reasons for doing so.

"It is obvious we need to clear up this situation as quickly as possible in a dignified manner for the best interests of Wigan Warriors and Shaun.

"It is proving to be a difficult and emotive situation for us all to navigate, but I am determined to provide our loyal fans with the clarity they deserve once Shaun has come to his decision. We will support whatever decision he reaches."

Alun Wyn Jones and George North will miss the next month after picking up injuries during Wales' triumphant Six Nations Grand Slam campaign, the Ospreys have confirmed.

Jones led Wales to five wins out of five in the championship and was named player of the tournament on Friday after a public vote.

North scored twice in the opening match against France, but only played nine minutes of the victory over Ireland that sealed the Grand Slam.

They have both returned to club rugby ahead of the final weeks of the Pro14 season, but the Ospreys remain unsure whether they will be able to feature in any of their four matches.

"Alun Wyn suffered knee ligament damage last weekend and is currently rehabbing," an Ospreys statement read.

"He won't travel to South Africa [to face the Cheetahs and Southern Kings] with the squad at the start of April but at this stage we haven't ruled him out of the Judgment Day game against Cardiff Blues [on April 27].

"George fractured two metacarpals in his left hand early in the Scotland match. Having seen a specialist this week, he needs time for the bones to heal but we are optimistic about the potential for him to be involved on Judgment Day."

While Jones and North have a chance of playing again this season, Scott Williams is "progressing well" towards a return ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

"Scott is recovering from the disc problem in his lower back which kept him out of the Six Nations," the Ospreys' statement continued.

"He is progressing well but we aren't expecting to see him back representing the Ospreys before the end of the season. He will continue his rehabilitation into pre-season with the goal of making himself available for the Rugby World Cup."

Alun Wyn Jones has been named the Six Nations Player of the Championship after guiding Wales to their first Grand Slam in seven years.

After a comeback victory over France on the opening weekend, Wales defeated Italy before getting the better of England in round three. A monumental defensive display at Murrayfield saw them hold off Scotland and the Grand Slam was wrapped up in style with a 25-7 triumph over Ireland in Cardiff.

Jones featured in all five wins, starting four and coming off the bench in Wales' 26-15 success in Rome.

The 33-year-old was one of six players to be nominated ahead of a public vote, and he becomes the fifth Welsh player to be awarded the accolade after Martyn Williams, Shane Williams, Dan Lydiate and Leigh Halfpenny.

"I'm very flattered to be named the Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship," he told the tournament's official website.

"For me as the captain, it's a validation of what we've done as a squad throughout the campaign.

"To be up there as a nominee with three other Welsh players and two outstanding players from England would have been more than enough and I'm very grateful to the people who have taken the time to vote."

Jones beat off competition from team-mates Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams and Liam Williams, with England duo Jonny May and Tom Curry also nominated.

Ryan Giggs is hopeful his decision to rest key players will pay off when Wales face Slovakia in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday.

Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies and Joe Allen were among the established names rested by Giggs on Wednesday, as Ben Woodburn's late effort secured a 1-0 friendly win over Trinidad and Tobago.

Wales toiled for much of the encounter, though manager Giggs was pleased with the patience his side showed in finding the breakthrough midweek.

And Giggs is confident he made the right call in giving his star names some rest ahead of Sunday's Group E meeting in Cardiff.

"We've got players minutes who needed it, a lot of lads who weren't even on the bench are fresh," Giggs said.

"Slovakia are playing on Thursday, and it's not a given but we wanted to use that advantage. Going into the game fresh, with a win, there's a lot to be pleased about.

"I thought there was some really good stuff. We've only had a few days to work on stuff and some of it paid off.

"Second half I think the lads tired, which you can understand, and credit to Trinidad and Tobago they just sat in their shape and waited to counter-attack.

"But we kept going and got our reward in the end. We had our luck a little bit with Gunter clearing it off the line but I told the lads if we kept a clean sheet we'd always have a chance."

"Everyone's fine," Giggs added when asked for an injury update. 

"We've just got to monitor Aaron [Ramsey]. Everyone's come to the camp with different levels of fitness, some have played a lot of games, Gareth's just played a 90 minutes, a lot of players needed minutes. We'll have a recovery day on Thursday and then go again Friday."

Wales got their 2019 off to a winning start as Ben Woodburn's stoppage-time goal claimed an unconvincing 1-0 friendly victory over Trinidad and Tobago at the Racecourse Ground.

Ryan Giggs made nine changes from the XI that started the 1-0 defeat to Albania in November, with star duo Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey also left out.

And though their absence was felt as Wales' inexperienced line-up toiled for much of Wednesday's clash in Wrexham, Liverpool forward Woodburn was on hand to bundle home in the 92nd minute.

Things could have been different if not for Chris Gunter's goal-line block at the other end, but Wales will be buoyed ahead of their opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia.

Gareth Anscombe has warned members of the Grand-Slam winning squad could turn their back on Wales amid uncertainty over regional rugby.

Warren Gatland's side pulled off a Six Nations clean sweep despite an untimely domestic dispute.

A merger between the Ospreys and the Scarlets was on and then off as talks between the Welsh Rugby Union and the regions over restructuring continue.

Players who have won less than 60 caps are ineligible to play for Wales if they ply their trade for clubs outside of the country and fly-half Anscombe said there could be an exodus unless issues are resolved.

"Players have been let down a fair bit certainly when you look at the results we have provided them. We all want to play for Wales - there's no doubt about that - but players need to be treated well and we deserve to be," said the Cardiff Blues man.

"I think it's made all the boys think about that, to be honest. We've got only a 10-year window to really look after ourselves, and I guess the important thing is you don't want to look back with any regrets.

"There's a fair bit going on behind the scenes which needs to get sorted. I'd love to keep playing for Wales but we've got to work out a few things, for sure.

"I think we've given the union something to be pretty proud about and hopefully the union and the regions can come together and sort out the best deals for the players, because that is important."

Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of Wales wing Josh Adams from Worcester Warriors on a long-term contract.

Adams played a key role in Wales' Six Nations Grand Slam triumph, scoring three tries as Warren Gatland's side finished the championship unbeaten.

The 23-year-old's form for Worcester saw him break into the Wales squad at the beginning of last year and he has since won 11 caps.

However, the Welsh Rugby Union's eligibility criteria demanded that Adams' next contract be in Wales, or that he sacrifice his international career to stay in England.

The Six Nations Player of the Tournament nominee said:  "It is great to be returning to Wales and I cannot wait to link up with Cardiff Blues next season.

"I've been really impressed with [coach] John Mulvihill's vision for the future and the attacking brand of rugby the Blues play will really suit my game.

"I will always be grateful to Worcester Warriors for giving me the opportunity to become a professional player and I have loved my time at Sixways.

"But to play for Wales I need to play in Wales and Cardiff Blues is the best fit for me. I'm really looking forward to the next chapter at Cardiff Arms Park."

Mulvihill added: "It's an exciting signing for the region and demonstrates our strong rugby ambition going forward.

"Josh is a player we can build success around. He brings genuine hunger to succeed, enormous energy and the skill-set and speed to make a real difference to our group.

"Just from watching the Six Nations, you can see he's a really busy player, who makes big contributions both in attack and defence, and is a good team man. We're looking forward to getting him on board for next season."

Adams' 13 tries for Worcester last season was the joint-best tally in the Premiership.

Jonathan Davies, Ken Owens and Rob Evans have followed up their Grand Slam heroics with Wales by signing contract extensions at the Scarlets.

The trio were key players for Warren Gatland's side as they finished the Six Nations unbeaten, capping the championship with an impressive 25-7 win against Ireland in Cardiff.

Davies, Owens and Evans, who all came through the region's academy, were also part of the Scarlets side that won the Pro12 in 2016-17.

Outgoing coach Wayne Pivac paid tribute to the contribution of the players during his tenure and added that successor Brad Mooar had been eager to retain them.

"They have been a big part of our success in recent years and I know that our incoming coach Brad was very keen to secure their services moving forward," he said.

Davies, who was named British and Irish Lions player of the series in 2017, added: "I could not be happier to be staying with the Scarlets.

"I am excited about the end of the season and, having spoken to our new coach Brad, excited about what is to come.

"It is something I want to be part of"

Skipper Owens has made 238 appearances for the region, while prop Evans was named in the Pro14 Dream Team last season.

"I am delighted to have signed an extension to my contract," said Owens.

"I am looking forward to a big end of season and building on the success we have achieved in recent years."

Meanwhile, Ospreys and Wales hooker Scott Baldwin has become the latest man to join Harlequins from next season, following Martin Landajo, Santiago Garcia Botta and Michele Campagnaro into the club.

Wayne Pivac is "disappointed" Shaun Edwards suggested he was surplus to requirements with Wales and says there is no chance he will stay on as defence coach.

Edwards last year agreed to take over as Wigan Warriors head coach when he finishes his commitments with Wales after the Rugby World Cup.

It now appears the Wigan legend may not take up the role with the Super League champions after he stated that he will be "unemployed" following the World Cup, given he has not signed a contract with his hometown club.

Edwards said after Wales sealed the Grand Slam on Saturday that he is open to offers, but a role on the Wales staff is out of the question as incoming head coach Pivac is "going in a different direction".

Pivac confirmed he has secured a successor to Edwards, but says the Englishman was on the shortlist and the pair held talks. 

He said: "We have finished the process and we have recruited a defence coach and that will come out in due course, hopefully not too much longer." 

Pivac added: "Shaun has done a fantastic job - we all know that. He's a very, very good defence coach. Shaun was the first person I spoke with. He indicated early on he was under pressure from

Wigan and that the timeline that was imposed on us were unrealistic.

"I talked around a process we would be going through. That was pre-autumn and pre-Six Nations. Shaun signed with Wigan and that put paid to the discussions going any further.

"Shaun knew he was on the shortlist, that he was the incumbent. We'd had a meeting and subsequent conversations.

"We are a little bit disappointed that's come out over the weekend but we are certainly not going to let it detract from a great result at the weekend.

"It's between Shaun and Wigan. I have no control over that. I only know about the discussions we had way back in August."

Warren Gatland believes Wales can mount a strong challenge to win the Rugby World Cup after their Grand Slam triumph.

Gatland masterminded a clean sweep in his final Six Nations as head coach, a comfortable victory over Ireland on Saturday sealing the title.

The New Zealander will end his long reign after the World Cup and he sees no reason why he cannot sign off in style in Japan.

"I know that these guys won't go down in any match without a fight. We've got a very special group of players at the moment," said Gatland.

"We enjoy each other's company, we challenge each other on a lot of things, but once we make a decision we back each other 100 per cent.

"I promise you that these guys will give 100 per cent in every game at the World Cup."

He added: "You need a little bit of luck and hopefully we don't pick up too many injuries.

"We'll have a few months of preparation and as we have in the last few World Cups, we'll be one of the fittest teams, if not the fittest team there.

"There's some real depth, some real competition in this squad and that makes it tough on us as coaches. There are quality players that will miss out on the 31-man squad and that will be incredibly tough.

"I assure you that we'll go there with some confidence and belief that we can have a great World Cup."

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