Seven-year old karter Poppy Thomas has been given a major vote of confidence as she chases her dream of one day becoming a professional racing driver – with Welsh International rugby star and Ospreys centre Scott Williams offering her a helping hand up the racing ladder. In addition to playing top class rugby, Williams opened his own motorsports car build and fabrication company in April 2016. Since then, Scott Williams Motorsport has built a number of stunning Escort Mk1 and Mk2 rally cars, giving the firm a reputation for outstanding quality and attention to detail. And when his Ospreys and WRU training and playing commitments allow, Williams undertakes much of the rally car testing himself and has proven himself to be a very capable rally driver.
Wales Women have been given autumn fixtures aimed at linking with the men’s national team matches in November. The women will play South Africa, Hong Kong and Canada on successive weekends at Cardiff Arms Park as they host three autumn Tests for the first time. The idea is that fans can watch all the action in a day-long stretch of rugby in Cardiff, for two of those three weekends. The other women’s match is being played on the day before the men’s team face Tonga.
This time 12 months ago Elfyn Evans was on the verge of making motor sport history. By winning last year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, Evans became not only the first British driver to win Rally GB for nearly 20 years but also the first Welsh driver ever to win a round of the FIA World Rally Championship. It was a huge result for British motor sport and the biggest ever for Welsh rallying. Understandably, the victory celebrations in Llandudno were pretty special.
One of Wales’ greatest Paralympians, archer Pippa Britton, has been appointed as a member of the International Paralympic Committee’s anti-doping committee. Already the vice-chair of Sport Wales, the two-time British Paralympian was voted onto the influential committee following a meeting of the organisation’s governing board in Madrid this month. She will serve on the committee until a governance review has addressed the organisation’s committee structure.
Remember the good old days? Delivered newspapers, roast beef for Sunday lunch, a pint in the clubhouse and back in time to watch Scrum V? Robin Davey does. And he’s missing his fix as the BBC Wales programme descends into an unwatchable mess. It’s been BBC Wales' flagship rugby programme for years and it's still going, but what on earth has happened to Scrum V? Life was always going to be difficult for it once the BBC lost the contract to shown Guinness Pro 14 rugby, with subscription channel Premier Sports stepping in with a better offer.
Graham Potter may not have got the money he wanted to buy big in the summer, but he intends to pull out all the stops to hang on to two of Swansea City’s golden products. Locally produced rising stars Connor Roberts and Joe Rodon are both out of contract at the end of the season and Potter has opened discussions to keep them at the Liberty Stadium long-term. With Manchester City already rumoured to be casting envious eyes at centre back Rodon, the manager will be hoping to convince both players to stay put.
The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Anthony Joshua all helped the Welsh Rugby Union announce a record turn-over of £97m last year. Concerts, boxing and other non-rugby events at the Principality Stadium played a huge part in a 30% increase in revenue at the home of Welsh rugby. Away from international rugby, takings rose to £4.8m with hospitality and catering income rising more than £7m to £18.0m as a direct result. The hosting of rugby Tests in the Welsh capital still accounted for 46% of the Union’s overall income – up to £44.9m from £35m – but CEO Martyn Phillips still opted to carry forward a profit of £2.3m to act as a contingency fund moving forward with fewer games in World Cup year.
You can’t measure the influence that the Twelfth Man has on a sportsperson or team, but there’s no doubt that fan power can certainly make something extraordinary happen. It did on last year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, when a group of Elfyn Evans supporters got together via Twitter and created Elfyn’s Corner – and from there witnessed the M-Sport Ford driver march to his maiden FIA World Rally Championship victory. Elfyn’s Corner was the brainchild of Phil Duke and Sam Walker, who just wanted to bring Evans fans together to show their support of Britain’s top rally driver on home soil. Together with Peter Jones, Steve Taylor and Lee (such is the informal way Elfyn’s Corner was organised over the internet, nobody knows Lee’s surname), they began to put their plans into place. Despite none of them having contacts at Wales Rally GB or within the FIA World Rally Championship, it all came together very quickly – thanks to the help of WRGB official Terry Jones and the encouragement of the event.
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