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.
Wrexham pace ace Omari Patrick is built for speed - and former Olympic sprint gold medallist Linford Christie will testify to that. Christie is Godfather to Patrick, whose dad is a former Commonwealth Games gold medal winner. Slough-born Patrick, aged 23, scored both goals for Wrexham in their 2-0 Vanarama National League... Read More
Full-back Dan Summerfield has rejoined Merthyr Town and goes straight into their squad for Saturday’s home match against Blackfield and Langley at the MetCoaches Stadium (3pm). “It’s great to have Dan back at the club,” said Martyrs player-manager Gavin Williams. “We’ve had a lot of injuries this season defensively and to... Read More
Eastleigh FC are worried about the X-factor added by Dragons when they travel to Wrexham for Thursday’s play-offs eliminator. Hampshire club Eastleigh made it clear they preferred to play AFC Fylde and weren’t keen to face manager Bryan Hughes and his Wrexham Reds. “Fylde was our preference,” said Eastleigh manager Ben Strevens,... Read More
Merthyr Town face a test of character when they travel to Hampshire for an EvoStik Southern League fixture on Saturday. Hosts Gosport Borough are fighting for their Premier Division lives - and a win against the Martyrs could see the home team leap out of the bottom three. They are dangerous opposition... Read More
Ian Traylor, Merthyr Town’s leading scorer with 22 goals this season, is gunning for Hampshire club Hartley Wintney. ‘Traylz’ has netted a total of 178 goals for the Martyrs and would love to take that tally past the 200 mark. It won’t be this season, but former Hirwaun and Pontypridd Town striker... Read More
Manager Bryan Hughes and his Dragons head to Havant and Waterlooville in search of a third successive Vanarama National League win. Wrexham fired up their promotion hopes with back-to-back 1-0 wins and now go into a run of three away fixtures in eight days. They travel to Hampshire on Saturday before trips... Read More