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.
Jayne Ludlow’s Wales team are going to have to wait another year if they are to appear at their first major football tournament finals. The Wales manager has guided her team to within sight of qualification for the Euro 2021 competition, but those finals have now been put back until... Read More
Wales midfielder Hayley Ladd has insisted the team can use tonight’s friendly at home to Estonia as a stepping stone towards qualification for the Euro 2021 finals. There may be no points at stake at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground, but Ladd believes the game will form part of the squad’s vital... Read More
Wales have secured a play-off spot for Euro 2020 qualification thanks to Friday night’s victory for Sweden over Romania in Group F. But Ryan Giggs and Jayne Ludlow are both chasing more for their teams as Graham Thomas reports. Ryan Giggs and Jayne Ludlow both believe their respective Wales teams... Read More
Jayne Ludlow insists Wales have taken another step – rather than a stumble – towards making the UEFA Women's Euro 2021 finals after their goalless draw in Northern Ireland. The stalemate in Belfast leaves Wales four points behind leaders Norway after being held to a draw for the second time... Read More
Jayne Ludlow is preparing her Wales team for a vital upcoming Euro qualifier against Northern Ireland. Like the previous World Cup campaign, it’s a momentum-builder that is gathering energy and changing the perception of women’s sport in Wales. But she still sees limits on the opportunities for girls in all... Read More
Jayne Ludlow insisted Wales are back in the old routine after Rachel Rowe’s goal rekindled hopes of qualification for the Women’s Euro 2021 finals. A vital 1-0 win away in Belarus has put Wales in second place in Group C, just two points behind leaders Norway, who thrashed the Faroe... Read More