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.
Jake Bidwell still believes Swansea City can launch a late surge into the play-offs to give their fans something to bask in after a miserable summer. The Swans defender insists today’s (Sun) home game with Sheffield Wednesday can prove a launch pad to repeat their early season form in which they... Read More
Super Rugby may have returned to New Zealand – with crowds – but the activity of watching live top level rugby remains a distant prospect here in Wales. Owen Morgan has done all his fantasy teams, so he’s moved onto his fantasy fans. Watching S4C’s highlights of the Super Rugby... Read More
Welsh rugby fans have been warned not to cling to “false hope” that the sport is about to return any time soon. Football may be limbering up for its re-appearance on Wednesday night when the Premier League kicks-off again behind closed doors, but rugby is not on the same trajectory... Read More
Fans in both football and rugby should be helping run their sports, according to a report from a leading think tank. Both sports should seek the influence of supporters groups in plotting the way ahead for a sustainable and responsible future, according to Onward and their new publication. The report,... Read More
Neil Harris has blamed modern society for obscene chanting from Cardiff City fans during the 1-1 FA Cup draw at Reading. As play continued during the first half, an announcement was made over the public address, warning the “away fans” to desist from their alleged racist and homophobic behaviour. Cardiff... Read More
Oli McBurnie has been given the green light to continue his love affair with Swansea City. Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder says he can relate to his player after the striker was spotted taunting Cardiff fans while watching the Swans last week. Wilder has reminded McBurnie of his responsibilities but... Read More