Dafydd James has revealed he was offered a contract to play for Pontypridd in the Welsh Premiership two years ago at the age of 43. The former Wales and Lions star had just played in a testimonial game for Ponty stalwart Dafydd Lockyer and had been named man-of-the-match, playing for a Lockyer Select XV against the Sardis Road current first team XV. James – who also figures in the World Rugby Classic from Bermuda to be shown on S4C on Monday night – was forced to retire from full-time professional rugby in 2009 because of a neck injury.
Steve Cooper insists “heart and soul” will decide the Championship play-off race involving his Swansea City side and rivals Cardiff. The Swans head coach was left defeated but not demoralised by his club’s 1-0 home defeat to Leeds United on Sunday – a contest settled by former Swan Pablo Hernandez’s last-gasp winner. Cooper admitted it was a missed opportunity – his team would have gone above Cardiff and into sixth place had they held on for the draw – but thinks the outcome will not be settled by ability alone or the fact they only have a few days’ rest before facing Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.
This should have been the month Melissa Courtney-Bryant was competing at her first Olympic Games in Tokyo. Instead, she has had to test her resilience and ingenuity as she looks ahead to the re-scheduled Games in 12 months’ time as she told Jenny Nesbitt. The past four months have been challenging for us all, but what has it been like for elite athletes? For Melissa Courtney-Bryant, everything was seemingly going to plan. As January rolled into February, the Welsh middle distance runner returned from a stint at high altitude training in the running mecca of Iten, Kenya.
When Jesse Patton of Ystalyfera RFC became the latest Welsh rugby player to be banned for steroid use it helped give Wales an unwanted victory over England. There have now been more positive drugs cases in Wales (registered players – 83,000) in the last seven years, than in England (registered players 382,000) as Paul Jones reports. Welsh rugby was back in the dock last week after bans on three more players found guilty of drug taking were announced by UK Anti-Doping. It took the number of players currently serving UKAD bans in Wales to eight. That compares to 13 in England, one in Scotland, eight in Rugby League and six in UK Athletics.
Conor Gallagher wants to show Frank Lampard he’s ready to be Chelsea’s next cab off the rank by steering Swansea City towards the Premier League. The 20-year-old – on loan at the Liberty Stadium from Stamford Bridge - has been in impressive form lately as the Swans have moved to the cusp of the play-off spots. A point or more at home to Leeds United today would be enough to nudge the club into sixth place, above Cardiff City, and will be another opportunity for Gallagher to show Chelsea manager Lampard that he is ready for the Premier League – either for his parent club or for another 12 months in Wales.
The latest stage of the Football Association of Wales’ pyramid restructure was met with mixed reaction after the new third tier was officially unveiled. A statement released by the FAW confirmed the alignment of the still yet-to-be-named league that will serve as a feeder league to the Cymru North and Cymru South and will sit above the new Tier 4 regional leagues. A total of 64 teams were selected from a hopeful pool of 75 clubs, who satisfied Tier 3 requirements. Among those to miss out completely are former Welsh League champions Aberdare Town, who must now compete in Tier 4, despite earning a certificate.
Cardiff Devils have confirmed a fifth player signing for the 2020-21 Elite League ice hockey season. Defenceman Sam Jardine, a former Toronto Marlies player, returns for his second season as a Devil after putting up six goals and 14 assists for 20 points in 63 games last season. He led the Devils and finished second in the entire Elite League in plus/minus with a +24 rating.
With cricket finally back – and the West Indies playing England in the first Test of the summer in Southampton – it seems a good time to remember Ammanford’s Caribbean king, Linton Lewis. Owen Morgan tells the tale of one of Welsh cricket’s most remarkable success stories. The names trip easily off the tongue. They are pronounced as if spoken by someone born and bred in the area. Myddynfych . . . Pantyffynnon . . . Tirydail. They are place names that would not come naturally to anyone unfamiliar with the Carmarthenshire town of Ammanford.
Aled Thomas has called on the Welsh Rugby Union to invest more in their sevens programme - rather than go for the money saving option of amalgamating with England and Scotland. All three Unions are looking at ways of cutting costs at the moment and one of the latest ideas is to combine the three sevens teams into one GB team to play on the World Sevens Series circuit. Team GB already plays at the Olympic Games every four years. But Thomas, who famously helped Wales to win the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens title in Dubai, believes reducing the opportunities for young players to develop on the circuit could be counter-productive.
Aled Thomas has called on the Welsh Rugby Union to invest more in their sevens programme - rather than go for the money saving option of amalgamating with England and Scotland. All three Unions are looking at ways of cutting costs at the moment and one of the latest ideas... Read More
Aled Brew’s time at Bath may have run out, but the former Wales wing insists he’s not ready to hang up his boots just yet. Brew may be 34 next month, but he tells Peter Jackson he wants two more years - wherever that might take him. It was never... Read More
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... Read More
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... Read More
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,... Read More
Covid Rules, Cakes And Claustrophobia . . . But Jenny Nesbitt Is Running Towards Sunshine Days Ahead
Jenny Nesbitt is an international runner and a student. That’s proven a challenge over the past three months, but on Tuesday night there is an opportunity to see her in both worlds. Transatlantic Storytelling (8.00pm https://transatlanticstorytelling.com) involves seven sporting tales from Cardiff Met, including Nesbitt’s back story. Her more recent... Read More