New Dragons recruit Jonah Holmes knows better than most the risks that rugby players will face when they are permitted to go back to training after lockdown. The Wales international can’t wait to meet up with his new team mates at Rodney Parade after securing a move from Leicester, but returning to a safe environment is the key after seeing what happened to his brother is critical. A doctor working on the front line of the NHS in the intensive care unit at Royal Bolton Hospital, Raphael Holmes was struck down with pneumonia and forced to self-isolate for two weeks. That forced his brother, Jonah, to also go into lockdown.
The Celtic Dragons have encouraged their fans to donate their ticket money to the club, rather than seek refunds following the cancellation of the Vitality Netball Superleague season. The club state the cash would go towards attempting to secure the continuation of top level netball in Wales. In a statement on their website following the decision by England Netball – the Superleague owners – to end the 2020 competition, the Cardiff-based Dragons say supporters can either claim refunds or make a donation to the franchise by not claiming.
Vicky Thornley has vowed to keep fit on her static bike at home after the road crash in which she suffered a broken elbow. The Welsh rower was hurt in an accident while out cycling last week and needed surgery on her right arm. Thornley, who is preparing for her third Olympic Games appearance in next year’s postponed event, was out on her bike near Reading with training partner Richard Egington when she hit the tarmac.
Aled Davies can take his rugby to new heights according to his new boss at Saracens, Mark McCall. The Wales scrum-half has left the Ospreys to join the London club, even though they have just been relegated from the Gallagher Premiership. The move will mean a halt to Davies’s Wales career as he was won 20 caps – 40 less than the 60 required to be eligible for national selection if a player is based outside of the four Welsh regions.
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, called A Sporting Chance, focuses on how professional football below Premier League level, cricket and the two codes of rugby are coping during the coronavirus pandemic.
New research suggests that lockdown has worsened the gap between active and inactive people in Wales, with those from more deprived backgrounds suffering the most. A survey carried out by Savanta ComRes on behalf of Sport Wales has found that although the overall levels of physical activity have not shifted significantly – 34% of Welsh adults say that they are doing more at this time than before the COVID-19 restrictions, while 33% say that they are doing less – there are noticeable variations within certain demographic groups. Among adults from higher socio-economic backgrounds, 39% say they are doing more activity and 32% are doing less, meaning that there has been a +7 percentage point increase in activity. However, for adults from lower socio-economic backgrounds, 29% are doing more and 33% are doing less, meaning that there has been a -4 percentage point decrease among this group.
Andy Morrison is hoping Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton get sent to cover his European adventure with Welsh champions Connah’s Quay Nomads – as pay back for 26 years ago. Morrison – whose team were crowned winners when the Welsh domestic season was halted last week – was a team-mate of the BBC’s punditry pair when they were together at Blackburn Rovers. The former defender - who will turn 50 in July, two weeks before Shearer does – was at Blackburn when they crashed out of the UEFA Cup in 1994 to Trelleborg, a bunch of Swedish part-timers.
It was meant to be a celebratory match, a feel-good occasion. And for 80 minutes it was. But when Barry John came off the pitch in 1972, he had decided something. He wouldn’t be going back on. Now, S4C have unearthed rare footage from that match which may offer some clues and pointers as Graham Thomas reports. Barry John’s shock decision to walk away from rugby at the age of just 27 left a nation stunned – but not his one-time young rival, Phil Bennett. Forty eight years on from one of the biggest sports stories of the 1970s, the dazzling genius of John – the player they called The King – remains accessible through YouTube clips or in the memories of those fortunate enough to see him play.
Elynor Backstedt – Wales’ most promising young cyclist – has suffered a huge setback after breaking her leg in a training accident on Sunday. The world championship junior bronze medallist, who has been in her debut World Tour season, suffered a spiral fracture of the tibia – her shinbone - in a crash. The injury is likely to require surgery, although her team - Trek-Segafredo – have not yet confirmed when that will take place.
Which Welsh sportsman has made the biggest impression overseas? John Charles in Turin? Ian Woosnam at Augusta? Colin Jackson in Stuttgart and Seville? Gareth Edwards on the rugby fields of New Zealand and South Africa? Or was it Jack Evans in the ice hockey stadia across North America? Owen Morgan has dug around and states the case for the man they called “Tex”. If I had been asked a month ago who I believed was the most influential sports person to hail from my native Amman Valley, three names would have sprung to mind. Global rugby superstars Gareth Edwards and Shane Williams would probably have vied for the title with former Wrexham, Everton, Swansea City and Wales goalkeeper Dai Davies putting in a valiant, but unsuccessful, bid on behalf of the round ball game.
Jeremiah Azu was involved in a dramatic 60m final at the England Athletics age group championships in Sheffield at the weekend. The Cardiff teenager got off to a relatively slow start, but soon got into his stride to challenge Liverpool’s Henry Nwoke for the title with a late dip for... Read More
Sam Gordon led a Welsh sprinting showcase at the national indoor championships on Saturday. The Cardiff athlete took the men's 60m title with a championship best performance as all eight finalists finished under seven seconds. In a medal clean sweep for Cardiff Athletics on their home NIAC track, Gordon claimed... Read More
Olympic year will well and truly get underway with a top quality Welsh Senior Indoor Athletics Championships in Cardiff on Saturday. Sixteen reigning Welsh champions, a host of Commonwealth Games internationals and a sprinkling of Olympians and world championships competitors will be among more than 350 athletes going head-to-head at... Read More
Forget Manchester United’s flying winger Dan James and Wales’ rapid Rugby World Cup try machine Josh Adams, Wales’ real speed kings will be going head to head in Cardiff on Sunday afternoon. Sam Gordon and Jeremiah Azu are due to meet in a sprint showdown over 60m in the Non... Read More
Jeremiah Azu's bid to become European Under-20 100m... Read More
Versatile Welsh runner Remi Adebiyi has been added to the Great Britain team for the European Under-20 Championships in Sweden later this month. Adebiyi will join fellow Welsh athletes Jeremiah Azu, Sarah Omoregie and James Tomlinson, who qualified automatically for the team and were named in the original selection of... Read More