Former Wales U20 captain Tommy Reffell has revealed he was prepared to take a 25 per cent pay cut because he believes Leicester Tigers will one day lead him to greater riches. Reffell – who upped sticks from the family home in Pencoed to join the Tigers six years ago when he was still only 15 – agreed to have his wages slashed along with the majority of the rest of the squad. The measures were imposed by the English club in order to ease the financial burden placed on all sporting clubs due to the coronavirus crisis.
Having delved into the 70s, 80s, 90, and early 2000s, the rugby re-runs come right up to date this evening when Wales v Australia at last year’s World Cup in Japan is re-shown by S4C in the company of Wales pair Ken Owens and Rhys Patchell. The players join opera star Sir Bryn Terfel and Radio One’s Steffan Powell to mull over Wales’ tense victory on S4C’s Dyddiau Da. Watch the programme at 9.00pm on Friday 3 July, or on demand at S4C Clic. English subtitles available.
American pace ace Evan Mosey is heading back to South Wales for the 2020-21 Cardiff Devils ice hockey season. Mosey joins captain Joey Martin and Joey Haddad in confirming they will play for Devils next season. He is rated the ‘fastest skater in Elite League’ by Devils managing director Todd Kelman, who admits he was surprised by the speed of Mosey’s return following a knee ligament injury last season.
Matthew Jones was a Premier League teenager with the world at his feet. He packed a lot into six years, but a career-ending back injury brought desperation, depression, uncertainty, but finally fulfilment through coaching. Newly appointed in charge of Wales U18s, he tells Owen Morgan about growing up, growing wise, and a growing reputation. Matthew Jones was being touted as a future Welsh football captain from the time he first ran on a field. The exciting Llanelli prospect had skippered his country at every age group up to senior level.
A small group of Welsh athletes have put their Olympic and Paralympic dreams well and truly back on track following months of improvised training routines. A selection of elite throwers and sprinters took part in a controlled outdoor session at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s outdoor track on Tuesday as the sport takes the first tentative steps back to normality. Sprinters like Welsh 100m champion Sam Gordon and multiple Paralympic and world champion thrower Aled Davies, were amongst those taking part after the list of athletes and new coronavirus safety protocols were signed off by Sport Wales and the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Rugby Union hope to stop the flow of top women players to England by creating two super clubs in Wales. In recent weeks, what was once a trickle of players over the border has become a pipeline with Jasmine Joyce – Wales’ most recognisable star – returning from the Sevens circuit to join Bristol Bears. Back row forward Alisha Butchers also signed for Bristol where she and Joyce will play alongside Test captain and No.8 Siwan Lillicrap, flanker Manon Johnes, prop Caryl Thomas, scrum-half Keira Bevan, fly-half Elinor Snowsill and full-back Lauren Smyth.
The Guinness Pro14 is gearing up for a return on August 22 when fixtures are due to resume for the first time March. The Scarlets will host the Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys will face the Dragons but only the Scarlets have a chance of making the play-offs and then it appears unrealistic. Contrast them to Leinster – unbeaten after 13 rounds of the Pro14 and unbeaten in Europe. If this season ever finishes, then Peter Jackson says Leinster will be history-makers, setting a standard other can only marvel at. Had the season run its natural course, one team might well by now have succeeded where every other failed. Not Liverpool, Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain but Dublin United RFC, alias Leinster.
Athletics in Wales is slowly coming back to life. There are no races or competitions, but at least some elite athletes are doing more than just running in the park. The man responsible for the return – and the sport – is James Williams. Owen Morgan asked him about the track that lies ahead. It’s probably fair to say the past six months have been interesting for new Welsh Athletics chief executive officer James Williams. The former Welsh international probably wished he’d had a background in hurdling rather than middle distance given the number of challenging obstacles he has been forced to negotiate.
Steve Cooper has urged his Swansea City players to keep their faith as their play-off hopes continue to fade. The Swans manager had little to offer but optimism after his side were held to a 1-1 draw at Millwall that moved them up to eighth in the Championship table. But they remain four points adrift of the play-off places with games fast running out and the only consolation of a disappointing night was the fact that Cardiff City failed to extend that gap to six points.
There was a distinctly Cardiff-based theme running through the fastest times registered during the Bannister Virtual Miles event held this week. The time trial was organised by the British Milers Club to raise money for charity and celebrate the 66th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile barrier.... Read More
By Owen Morgan Some of Wales’ top runners are finding ways of sharpening their competitive edge during the coronavirus crisis. Welsh Athletics, in conjunction with the other home nations, this week announced that the suspension of all competition had been extended until June 30. So, with road races and athletics meetings shut down... Read More
Coaching Guru James Thie . . . On Work-Outs, Kids, And Avoiding The Loneliness Of The Lost Distance Runner
James Thie is a busy man – even when he’s locked down. The former top four world ranked 1500m runner, now the power behind athletics at Cardiff Met, is keeping his own wheels turning, as well as those of plenty of others, as he told Owen Morgan. Athletics has played... Read More
Welsh athletes will be out in force at this weekend’s British Athletics Cross Challenge event in Liverpool. Sefton Park will host the third leg of this year’s series along with the Great Britain team trials for the European Cross Country Championships in Portugal next month. Leading the Welsh challenge in... Read More
There will be no Welsh athletes competing at the World Athletics Championships in Doha later this month – unless the sport’s global governing body step in to offer world ranking invitations. The final Great Britain team was announced on Tuesday with the news that marathon runner Dewi Griffiths – who... Read More