Wales' rise and fall since Rugby World Cup 2011

  • Wales lose 9-8 to France in World Cup semi-final

    Wales lose 9-8 to France in World Cup semi-final
    Wales’ World Cup dream ends after a red card for captain Sam Warburton sets them on the path to defeat against France.
    To compound the agony, Leigh Halfpenny fails by centimetres to land a penalty from halfway with five minutes remaining, with his effort on target but dropping just below the crossbar.
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    Wales' rise and fall since Rugby World Cup 2011

    Since coming with a point of their first ever World Cup final, Wales have won a Grand Slam - but also recorded seven successive defeats
  • Wales beaten by Australia to finish fourth at World Cup

    Wales beaten by Australia to finish fourth at World Cup
    Wales save their worst World Cup performance until last as they lose the bronze medal match against Australia in Auckland.
    Warren Gatland’s men have to be content with fourth as they fail to emulate the third place finish of 1987.
  • Wales finish World Cup ranked eighth in the world

    Wales finish World Cup ranked eighth in the world
    Wales fall to eighth place in the IRB World rankings after the 21-18 defeat against Australia.
    A big victory would have seen Warren Gatland's side climb to an all-time high of second, but they now lie two positions lower than they were on the eve of tournament.
  • Shaun Edwards signs new deal with Wales

    Shaun Edwards signs new deal with Wales
    Welsh rugby chief Roger Lewis speaks of his delight at securing the services of Shaun Edwards in an expanded role through until the next World Cup in 2015.
    Edwards had been linked with a move to the England set-up, but Wales beat off the competition to retain the much sought-after defence guru as right-hand man to Warren Gatland.
  • Wales well beaten by Australia in Shane Williams' last game

    Wales well beaten by Australia in Shane Williams' last game
    Wing wizard Shane Williams bids an emotional, try-scoring farewell to international rugby – but can not prevent Wales from suffering more pain against Tri Nations opposition.
  • Wales begin pre-Six Nations training camp in Poland

    Wales begin pre-Six Nations training camp in Poland
    Wales return to Poland for a week-long training boot camp ahead of the SIx Nations.
    The squad begin their stay in Eastern Europe, that will see them use cryotherapy chambers and train in freezing temperatures, with a number of key squad members nursing injuries.
  • Wales beat Ireland away in Six Nations opener

    Wales beat Ireland away in Six Nations opener
    Leigh Halfpenny is the hero for Wales as his last minute penalty earns Warren Gatland's side an epic win over Ireland in Dublin.
    A thrilling Test is settled in controversial circumstances after flanker Stephen Ferris is dubiously penalised for a dangerous tackle on Ian Evans, giving Halfpenny his chance.
  • Wales beat Scotland to make it two from two

    Wales beat Scotland to make it two from two
    Leigh Halfpenny is Wales' Six Nations hero once again as he scores 22 points to fire Wales to victory over Scotland.
    Halfpenny scores two tries and kicks 12 points as Wales' attacking armoury eventually slices apart a resolute Scottish defence.
  • Gethin Jenkins move to Toulon revealed

    Gethin Jenkins move to Toulon revealed
    Gethin Jenkins agrees a deal to leave Cardiff Blues for Toulon at the end of the 2011/12 season.The Lions prop signs a two-year deal with the high-flying Top 14 outfit to join international stars like Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau and Bakkies Botha in a star-studded outfit for the start of next season.
  • Twickenham win secures Triple Crown for Wales

    Twickenham win secures Triple Crown for Wales
    Wales lift the Triple Crown at Twickenham after a thrilling victory over England.
    Replacement Scott Williams is the hero as his sensational second-half try completes a dramatic Welsh comeback.
  • Win over Italy keeps Grand Slam dream alive

    Win over Italy keeps Grand Slam dream alive
    Tries from Jamie Roberts and Alex Cuthbert are enough to see off Italy and keep the Grand Slam dream on for Wales.
    Wales fight to keep in front most of the game and only pull away late in the game when winger Cuthbert finishes off a good move.
  • Grand Slam glory for Wales after France win

    Grand Slam glory for Wales after France win
    Wales hold their nerve to clinch a remarkable third Grand Slam in eight years on a glorious afternoon for Welsh rugby.
    Youngster Alex Cuthbert is the try-scoring hero once again as his beautiful first-half try proves the difference between the two sides.
  • Warren Gatland seriously injured in ladder fall

    Warren Gatland seriously injured in ladder fall
    Warren Gatland suffers serious injuries after falling from a ladder at his home in New Zealand.
    The double Grand Slam winning Wales coach breaks both heels falling three metres to the ground while cleaning windows at his house in the North Island resort of Waihi Beach on Easter Monday.Gatland sustains multiple fractures to his right heel and a fracture in his left heel and requires surgery by the leading orthopaedic surgeon in Waikato to reconstruct his right heel.
  • Luke Charteris confirms switch to Perpignan

    Luke Charteris confirms switch to Perpignan
    Luke Charteris becomes the latest Wales international to join the exodus to France after confirming his switch to Perpignan from Newport-Gwent Dragons
  • Ospreys secure RaboDirect PRO12 title

    Ospreys secure RaboDirect PRO12 title
    Shane Williams signs off in fairytale fashion as his try double helps the Ospreys edge out Leinster in an epic six-try RaboDirect PRO12 shootout.In his last ever game for the Welsh region, the diminutive winger ducks out of Rob Kearney’s challenge to wriggle over in the right corner for a 78th-minute try.Dan Biggar shows nerves of steel to land the difficult conversion, etching the Ospreys into the record books as the first team to win four Celtic league titles.
  • Goodbye to Shane and Martyn in Barbarians win

    Goodbye to Shane and Martyn in Barbarians win
    Wales come from behind to win a scrappy encounter against the Barbarians as Martyn Williams and Shane Williams say goodbye to rugby.
    The two veterans play their last ever rugby match at the Millennium Stadium, as flanker Williams is handed his 100th cap at the age of 36.
    Harry Robinson proves the shining light of an inconsistent Wales display, scoring a blistering try after just 10 minutes that has Shane Williams’ renowned finishing prowess stamped all over it.
  • Accounts show Blues' losses have tripled

    Accounts show Blues' losses have tripled
    Accounts show the Cardiff Blues’ financial losses have more than tripled to £2.3m.
    The multi-million-pound loss for the financial year ending May 31, 2011, compare with a £651,156 loss the previous year, Cardiff Rugby Football Club Limited’s figures showed.The accounts relate to the 2010/11 season, prior to the resignation of former coach Dai Young in June 2011, when the Blues failed to reach the knock-out stage of the Heineken Cup.
  • Wales start Australia series with 27-19 defeat

    Wales start Australia series with 27-19 defeat
    Wales suffer a disppointing first Test defeat as Australia scrum-half Will Genia inspires the Wallabies to a deserved victory.
    Rob Howley's side launch a spirited fightback after a disjointed first-half display but it is not enough to gain the upper-hand in the three Test series.
  • Wales work hard for 25-15 win over Brumbies

    Wales work hard for 25-15 win over Brumbies
    James Hook comes to Wales’ rescue as he grabs 15 points in a scrappy win over the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium.
    Wales make 14 changes from the team that lost the first Test in Brisbane four days earlier and seem to be in control at the break after scoring three tries.
    But the home side rally in the second half and cut the gap to four points heading into the final quarter to test the Welsh resolve ahead of Saturday’s second Test in Melbourne.
  • Warren Gatland returns to Wales camp

    Warren Gatland returns to Wales camp
    Injured Wales coach Warren Gatland returns to the Wales camp in Melbourne ahead of the second Test against Australia.
    The Kiwi appears at training on coaches, but caretaker coach Rob Howley retains overall control of the squad.
  • Last-minute kick costs Wales chance to level series

    Last-minute kick costs Wales chance to level series
    Wales lose to Australia in agonising circumstances in the second Test after a last-minute penalty clinches a nailbiting 25-23 victory for the Wallabies.
    Replacement Mike Harris's nerveless kick from the left touchline earns Robbie Deans' side an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
    But it could all have been so different for Wales, who led by a point in the Etihad Stadium as the game ticked into overtime, after a superb kicking display from Leigh Halfpenny levelled the scores.
  • Single-point victory wraps up 3-0 series win for Australia

    Single-point victory wraps up 3-0 series win for Australia
    Wales suffers another narrow defeat as Australia secure a 3-0 series whitewash with a 20-19 win.
    A try from Ryan Jones and 14 points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny puts Wales in a strong position for their first win on Wallaby soil for more than 40 years, but Rob Howley's side come up just short.
    Wales once again lead in the closing stages but Berrick Barnes steps up to break Welsh hearts again with a 75th minute match-winning penalty.
  • Ospreys kick off title defence with Treviso defeat

    Ospreys kick off title defence with Treviso defeat
    The Ospreys endure the worst possible start to their RaboDirect PRO12 defence with a 12-6 defeat against Treviso in Italy.
    Kris Burton does much of the damage for the home side, landing 12 points with the boot in a flawless kicking display, while opposite number Dan Biggar misses three shots.
    Ian Evans is sent off for the Ospreys.
  • Warren Gatland confirmed as Lions coach

    Warren Gatland confirmed as Lions coach
    Warren Gatland says he is is prepared for "one hell of a challenge" after being confirmed as the British and Irish Lions' head coach for the 2013 tour of Australia.
    Gatland was the outstanding candidate for the post after leading Wales to the semi-finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup and last season's Grand Slam triumph.
    The Lions will tackle Australia in a three-Test series as part of a 10-match tour, which opens with a fixture against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1.
  • Dan Lydiate suffers serious ankle injury

    Dan Lydiate suffers serious ankle injury
    Six Nations player of the tournament Dan Lydiate faces being ruled out for the season after fracturing his ankle.
    The Wales flanker breaks and dislocates his left ankle in a “freak” accident while making a tackle just two minutes into the Dragons' 32-12 victory over Edinburgh.
  • Blues thrashed at home by Ulster

    Blues thrashed at home by Ulster
    A promising start to the RaboDirect PRO12 for the Blues is stopped abruptly as they are thrashed at home by Ulster.
    The Irish side, in their first outing since the tragic death of their young centre Nevin Spence, have the four-try bonus point in the bag inside 53 minutes and cross seven times in all, with Lions winger Tommy Bowe touching twice on his first appearance for the Ulstermen.
  • WRU reveals central contract offer rejected

    WRU reveals central contract offer rejected
    It emerges that Wales' four regions have turned down an offer from the WRU to centrally contract the nation’s leading stars.
    In an open letter to Welsh rugby, WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis says the offer was made on August 14.The WRU had planned to use the £6.2m they already give to the four regions for the release of Welsh players for international duty to fund the new central contracts.
  • Scarlets on brink of Heineken Cup exit

    Scarlets on brink of Heineken Cup exit
    The Scarlets are beaten 20-13 at home by Leinster to put them all but out of this year's Heineken Cup.
    The match falls out of the reach of Simon Easterby's side in the second half as Rhys Priestland comes off second best in a kicking battle with Jonny Sexton.
  • Blues dumped out of Heineken Cup by Toulon

    Blues dumped out of Heineken Cup by Toulon
    The Blues face certain European elimination after a second successive European defeat against Toulon, in the aftermath of the opening weekend loss at Sale.
    With just one point from the opening two games, the Blues would need a miracle to remain in the competition.
  • Wales return to Poland to prepare for autumn internationals

    Wales return to Poland to prepare for autumn internationals
    Caretaker coach Rob Howley takes his squad back to Spala in Poland to prepare for the autumn internationals.
    The 35-strong squad, including a number of uncapped players, are told key selection decisions will be made on the basis of performances at the training camp.
  • Blues thrashed 59-22 by Leinster

    Blues thrashed 59-22 by Leinster
    The Blues leak nine tries against European giants Leinster to slump to a fifth successive defeat.
    The Blues are totally outclassed by the European champions, particularly in the first half when the rampant Dubliners run in six tries.
  • Report warns financial problems could kill regions

    Report warns financial problems could kill regions
    A report into Wales four rugby regions has warns that they may not all survive their financial difficulties.
    The report, by accountants PriceWaterhouseCooper, dismisses a return to a club-based system and suggests central contracts for leading players as a potential solution.
    It recommends tighter collaboration and a more powerful management board to enforce financial discipline.
    Other options considered are for the regions to be reduced in number or scrapped entirely.
  • Jamie Roberts set to join Racing Metro

    Jamie Roberts set to join Racing Metro
    Jamie Roberts reveals he will quit Welsh rugby to join French big spenders Racing Metro.
    The Blues confirm the Lions centre will leave the region at the end of this season, having turned down an offer that would have made him one of the best-paid players in the UK.
  • Poor Wales thumped at home by Argentina

    Poor Wales thumped at home by Argentina
    Wales suffer a demoralising defeat in the opening international of the autumn series as they are outplayed by Argentina at the Millennium Stadium.
    Caretaker coach Rob Howley's clearly undercooked side are outscored by two tries to nil, with the Grand Slam champions looking a shadow of the side that swept all before them in last year's Six Nations, succumbing to a fourth consecutive defeat after the 3-0 series whitewash in Australia this summer.
  • Wales sink into crisis after Samoa thumping

    Wales sink into crisis after Samoa thumping
    Wales' autumn campaign is plunged into crisis as Samoa ran in three tries to condemn Rob Howley's men to a fifth consecutive defeat.
    It is another disastrous night for the Grand Slam champions as the South Sea Islanders outplay their hosts in almost every aspect of the game to record a 26-19 defeat.
  • Wales thrashed at home by All Blacks

    Wales thrashed at home by All Blacks
    Wales crash to a predictable 33-10 defeat against the world champion All Blacks despite a brave second-half performance that went some way to restoring Welsh pride this autumn.
    Warren Gatland's men produce a spirited show to score two tries after being totally outclassed in the opening period.
  • Last-gasp try costs Wales win over Australia

    Last-gasp try costs Wales win over Australia
    Wales' remarkable rugby year comes to a heart-breaking end as Kurtley Beale's last-minute try wins the match for Australia and condemned Warren Gatland's side to their first ever autumn series whitewash.
    The 12-14 defeat sees Wales slip out of the world's top eight, and they now face the daunting possibility of being drawn in the same 2015 World Cup group as the All Blacks and hosts England, who record an incredible 38 – 21 win over the world champions at Twickenham.