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.
Former champions Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd will be home in round two of the WRU National Bowl on 6 October when they host Sully View. The 2014 winners overcame Fleur de Lys 19-3 in the opening round last weekend and will be hot favourites to reach the third round against a Sully side that received a walk-over in round one. Another former winner, Amman United, who were unable to defend their title last season after promotion, are back in the competition this season and were awarded a walk-over in round one. They will entertain South Gower in the second round.
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