Rugby Union

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The Independent Online
Neath, the reigning champions, survived a spirited Llanelli comeback last night to record their first Welsh National League First Division win of the season with a 25-20 victory. Three tries in the first half put Neath into a 22-0 lead, but late tries by the forwards Paul Morris and Mike Voyle brought Llanelli back to within one score and earned them a bonus point. Meanwhile, Neil Jenkins kicked 14 points to steer Pontypridd to a 24-14 victory against Cardiff at Sardis Road. Cardiff lost their Welsh scrum-half Rob Howley with an injury in the process.

WELSH NATIONAL LEAGUE First Division: Llanelli 20 Neath 25; Pontypridd 24 Cardiff 14.

Sale have appointed Howard Thomas, a marketing expert, as their chief executive in succession to Brian Wilkinson, who parted company with the Courage League One club yesterday. Richard Trickey, the Club president, was appointed as the new director of rugby, Wilkinson's other role and will be assisted by the former England captain, Steve Smith.

Cardiff have turned down an approach from Saracens for the back-row forward, Owain Williams.