Sunday’s rugby headlines Alun Wayne Jones reportedly making a decision on his future and English giants Wales chase No 10 to replace Danny Cipriani

Here are the latest Rugby headlines for Sunday, 9 January.

Alun Wynn ‘signs new deal’ to stay at Welsh rugby – report

According to reports, Wales and Lions captain Alun Wayne Jones is set to lead his country in next year’s World Cup.

Match Claims the 36-year-old second-line veteran has agreed to a one-year extension to his Osprey contract.

If so, it means Jones could target the 2023 World Cup in France, his fifth appearance at the biggest rugby tournament on earth.

Osprey indicated during the week that they expect Jones to commit to Welsh rugby, despite previous talk of a lucrative move to Japan.

However, Mel believes the deal is done, giving Wayne Pivac and his Wales team a huge boost.

Welsh Rugby’s age-rock saw a one-year extension to his deal with Welsh Rugby Union and Osprey last April and it appears he has done the same again.

However, Jones is set to be ruled out of the Six Nations due to a shoulder injury that has required surgery twice.

He is expected to make a full recovery and lead Wales towards the World Cup next year, but in his current absence, Pivac will have to decide on the captain of New Wales for the upcoming tournament.

Wales started their title defense for Ireland in less than a month and Pivac has five options as captain – Justin Tipurick, Jonathan Davies, Ken Owens, Alice Jenkins or Dan Bigger.

Until the Dublin match, form and fitness will be the key to who gets the nod.

READ MORE: Scarlett sign All Blacks lock Via Fifita in surprise transfer coup

English Giants Bath Chase Pachel

The Wales fly-half is said to be on Rice Patchell Bath’s radar.

Bath are looking to reshape their squad ahead of the 2022-23 season, with Talupe Faletu leaving for Cardiff and fellow Lion Anthony Watson possibly leaving.

Former England star Danny Cipriani is out of contract at RE this summer and rugby’s Bath director Stuart Hooper is understood to be eyeing Pachel as a possible replacement.

Cipriani, 34, is yet to show his full potential at Bath and the West Country side, at the bottom of the English Premiership table, sees Pachel as the man who can help revive his fortunes.

Pachel made his Wales debut nine years ago but found himself out of the Test picture for different reasons.

They face competition for the coveted Wales number 10 jersey from Dan Bigger, Gareth Enscombe, Callum Sheedy, Jarrod Evans and Rhys Priestland, who have returned to Welsh rugby from Bath.

The fact that Pachel is unlikely to miss the bulk of the club season at international level is said to have made him an attractive option for Bath.

Botham issues injury update after related scenes

Wales and Cardiff back-rover James Botham has thanked supporters for their concern after he was pulled off the field on a buggy following a head injury on Saturday against Edinburgh.

The 23-year-old No. 8 got a bang on the head from Edinburgh replacement hooker Dave Cherry around the 56-minute mark. He received oxygen and the game was stopped for several minutes while doctors treated him.

In a post-match update, Botham said: “I have done all relevant investigations and have been cleared to go home with the team. I could not thank Edinburgh [and] NHS Lothian is sufficient for all care.”

He added: “Thank you everyone for the messages, it means a lot.”

Bigger earns fame

Northampton boss Chris Boyd talks about Dan Bigger’s performance after scoring 17 points from the fly-half and leading his side to a 44-8 win at Newcastle.

Bigger scored four conversions, two penalties and a drop goal to help Northampton register a bonus-point win.

The result means Bigger and his team are just three points away from the top four of the Premiership and Rugby director Boyd was thrilled with their performance.

“You can look at the whole team and you can see the quality that we have; Dan (Bigger) kicks really well and that gives you a platform to play your game,” Boyd said.

Cardiff Boss – ‘We have to be better’

Cardiff boss David Young has asked his players not to feel sorry for themselves after being beaten up by Edinburgh and seek immediate improvement in their fortunes.

Cardiff crashed 34-10 after trailing in every field, with the hosts running into five tries.

It was Cardiff’s first league match in two months and Young says he will have to return with European games against Harlequin and Toulouse.

“Of course it’s disappointing, but we have to be honest and take it on the chin,” Young said.

“We can make excuses in the fact that we haven’t played for a while, but those would just be excuses. We weren’t good enough and a better team beat us.

“We have to dust ourselves off and try to fix it next week. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves.

“We need to bounce back, we’ll stick together and we have to get better in the next game.”

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