Once Wales’ most capped rugby player, most prolific tryscorer and most decorated captain, Ieuan Evans was the wide man who always held centre stage. Now, he’s seeking to be at the hub of events in a different role – as a member of the Welsh Rugby Union’s council. Graham Thomas hears why. When Ieuan Evans lifted the 1994 Five Nations trophy as Wales captain, he wore the look of a man who knew the truth. His team had won the title, but they had just been beaten by England at Twickenham – a Grand Slam opportunity had been lost – and the skipper’s instinct was to reflect the mixed emotions he felt inside rather than dance to the tune of TV producers who wanted joyous celebration.
Melissa Courtney-Bryant came within a whisker of setting a new 1500m personal best on her first outdoor outing of 2020 on Tuesday night. The Welsh 3,000 and 5,000m record holder was in imperious form as she overcame a high quality field at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland. Courtney-Bryant produced a masterclass in front running before breaking the tape in a new meeting and stadium record of 4:03.69.
Mark Williams has jumped to the defence of snooker’s young brigade and called Ronnie O’Sullivan “disrespectful” for his criticisms of their standards. Wales’ former world champion saw his pursuit of a third title ended by O’Sullivan on Tuesday when the five-time champion won their quarter-final 13-10 at the Crucible. It was a clash between two of the game’s ageing legends with Williams now 45 and O’Sullivan 44. But it was a contest given more spice by O’Sullivan’s comments that levels of performance among the younger generation was so low that he would, “have to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50.”
Port Talbot Ladies head coach Hayley Williams admits there was a fair degree of apprehension before her players went back to training this month. After all, it had been a long time since the Welsh Premier Women’s League squad members had last got together for their twice weekly sessions. But thanks to a grant of just over £1,000 from the Be Active Wales Fund, the players are now back on the grass – although having to get used to new conditions and demands imposed by coronavirus restrictions.
Dan Jervis went to swimming’s world championships last year and failed to cope with the anxiety of expectation. Now, after lockdown and time spent out of the pool, he tells Graham Thomas he will be a calmer man heading towards next year’s Olympic Games. Dan Jervis is glad to be back in the pool, but the Olympic hopeful admits lockdown has altered his outlook to training, swimming, and even life itself. The Commonwealth Games silver medal winner from 2018 is part of the small group of 11 elite Welsh swimmers currently back in the water in Newport.
The draws have been made, the maps have been checked, and now Welsh football clubs are preparing for their summer stint in the sun. Matthew Burgess says the cards – as usual – are not stacked in the Welsh clubs’ favour, but one-game shoot-outs might yet enable the likes of Connah’s Quay and Barry Town United to make their mark. Anticipating how Welsh clubs will fare in European competitions is generally a difficult summer task at the best times, yet the ongoing impact of the coronavirus on Welsh football only serves to muddy the waters further. In football's new normal, all qualifying rounds are to be decided over one game and ties could be hosted at neutral venues - or determined without a ball even being played - should Covid restrictions dictate.
Alun Wyn Jones may be poised to become the most capped rugby player in history – but his first plan is to impress his new boss. The Wales captain is scheduled to pass Richie McCaw’s mark of 148 international caps this autumn, but his more immediate aim is to show new Ospreys coach Toby Booth the true meaning of staying power. Jones has been involved in his 18th senior pre-season routine with the Ospreys in recent days, but his first since Booth became head coach and the former London Irish chief says: “He’s at the start of his career for me.
Cymru Premier clubs Connah's Quay and Barry Town have learnt the identity of their respective European opponents later this month. Connah's Quay will face FK Sarajevo at home in what will be the Nomads' first ever UEFA Champions League qualifying tie, while Barry Town have been handed an away draw to Faroe Islanders RSI Runavík in the UEFA Europa League.
Dewi Griffiths smashed his 5k personal best in a lightning-fast elite men's race at the Podium 5K event on Saturday evening. Cambridge and Coleridge athlete Marc Scott finished first in a new British record time of 13:20 at the event in Barrowford, Lancashire, a mark which was just outside the European record. But it was Griffiths' sixth placed time of 13:43, which caught the eye in the week that it was announced this year's London Marathon would be an elite only race.
The Dragons have turned themselves around in recent months in a way that few saw coming, not least the other three Welsh regions who used to regard beating them as something to take for granted. Not any more. Robin Davey looks at the transformation at Rodney Parade. Two wins and... Read More
With former footballer Aaron Wainwright and ex-basketball regular Tomos Williams excelling for Wales at the Rugby World Cup, multi-skilling is all the rage. Owen Morgan speaks to Welsh Athletics’ Fyn Corcoran about the benefits of being Jack or Jill of all trades. Fyn Corcoran wants to give Welsh children the... Read More
Robin McBryde believes the future is bright for Welsh rugby as a new era dawns. As Wales return home, having ended their World Cup campaign in Japan with a 40-17 defeat in the bronze medal match against New Zealand, forwards coach McBryde believes there should be a sense of optimism... Read More
Wales back row forward Aaron Wainwright has been one of the success stories of the World Cup. But had Newport County got their man five years ago, then, as Graham Thomas reports, it would been a whole new ball game. If Aaron Wainwright had taken a different path at 17, then... Read More
Warren Gatland has pinpointed David Pocock as the man Wales must stop if they are to beat Australia in Sunday’s World Cup clash in Tokyo. The Wales coach – who has named an unchanged side to face the Wallabies – knows the damage Pocock can do at the breakdown and... Read More
Aaron Wainwright has made a big impact for Wales in recent months, but it has come as little surprise to those in the know at Cardiff Met. The Dragons player – who celebrates his 22nd birthday today – was on a familiar path to success as Kasey Rees discovered. As... Read More