THREE rugby players from the Teifi area played starring roles in their first games of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Newcastle Emlyn’s Gareth Davies and Gareth Thomas performed well in Wales’ nail-biting 32-26 win over Fiji on Sunday, September 10.

33-year-old Davies played well in the scrum half position, having a hand in Josh Adams’ opening try early on in the game after following up George North’s midfield surge before passing out wide, with the ball being received by Adams who went over to score, continuing where he left off as top try scorer in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Tivyside Advertiser: Gareth Davies, from Newcastle Emlyn, complains to referee Matthew Crowley after a high tackle.Gareth Davies, from Newcastle Emlyn, complains to referee Matthew Crowley after a high tackle. (Image: PA)

He was sprightly throughout the first half and used the experience gained during his previous two World Cups to help dictate play.

However, towards the end of the first half, he was on the receiving end of Selestino Ravutaumada’s high tackle, and after a brief period of treatment on the field, he returned to play, only for the referee to rightly stop the game again to send him off for a head injury assessment.

He was back at the start of the second half after passing the head injury assessment before later being replaced again by Tomos Williams.

Tivyside Advertiser: Gareth Davies receiving treatment after a high tackle.Gareth Davies receiving treatment after a high tackle. (Image: PA)

29-year-old Thomas held his own well in his debut World Cup appearance, particularly in the scrum against Luke Taji, who had 12kg on him. It looked at one point during the first half as if Thomas took a knock after being on the receiving end of a big tackle but he was able to continue before being replaced around the 60 minute mark.

Also featuring in the opening weekend of Rugby World Cup action was Stephen Varney who put in a strong performance at scrum half for Italy against Namibia on Saturday, September 9.

The 22-year-old from Rhoshill, near Cardigan, was lively and involved in the action throughout the game in both attack and defence.

Wales’ next game is against Portugal on Saturday, September 16 (kick off, 4pm), with Italy facing Uruguay on Wednesday, September 20 (4.45pm).