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.
Dan Biggar has been branded “world class” by his club coach Chris Boyd. The Northampton Saints director of rugby, who guided Beauden Barrett’s Hurricanes to the Super Rugby title in 2016, reckons the Wales No. 10 is “as good as anyone I’ve ever coached.” Boyd has highlighted the exemplary attitude... Read More
It was Shane Williams’ final match for the Ospreys and confirmation again of his genius for timing. There were only two minutes left of the 2013 RaboDirect Pro12 final – a classic which is being re-shown by S4C on Saturday at 5.45pm – when Williams chose to shape the match... Read More
Callum Sheedy has opened the door to an approach from Wales as Wayne Pivac considers his options at No.10 against England at Twickenham this weekend. Sheedy played a leading for Bristol on Sunday, guiding them to their first victory at rivals Bath for 14 years. His contribution was timely as... Read More
Dan Biggar is set to miss the rest of the Six Nations and may struggle to return this season after suffering a knee injury playing for Northampton. The injury was initially described as “not serious” by Saints coach Chris Boyd, but club sources have since admitted that Biggar has sustained... Read More
France have questioned Wales’ handling of Dan Biggar’s recovery from a head injury – despite the recruitment of a concussion specialist to oversee the player’s return. In a sideswipe from France team manager Raphael Ibanez that followed the former hooker’s dismissal of cheating allegations made against his team as “childish”,... Read More
Wales will field the most capped team in Six Nations history on Saturday – and head coach Wayne Pivac hopes that experience can be a factor against France. The Wales starting line-up contains a record 859 caps, with more than half the side having played at least 50 Tests and... Read More