06/04/2012 Sport Wales


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Good evening. It is a huge weekend for the Cardiff Blues but their big


week has been overshadowed by what happened on that flight from


Glasgow to Cardiff. We've got the latest on Gavin M -- Gavin Henson


and much more. Also on tonight's show, we are in France with Lee


Byrne. Players cannot get back home what they are getting in France. If


so many offers you double, you go. We assess the Blues chances in


Europe. The they can use that negative press to create a siege


mentality. Nobody likes us but we don't care. And just 112 days to go


in the latest of our London 2012 previews. Can Brett Morse crack the


Olympic gold? -- code., he's had four clubs in Wales, England and


France in just under two years. This weekend, he probably would


have been part of the squad to take on Leinster in their Heineken Cup


quarter-final in Dublin tomorrow night. But once again, Gavin Henson


finds himself out in the cold. Gavin Henson is coming on for the


final 15 minutes. Gavin Henson has been suspended. Will Gavin Henson


ever play rugby again? In a statement, the chief executive said


the decision sent out a clear message that such behaviour would


not be tolerated. A Cardiff Blues gave him an opportunity and he has


messed it up again. There are some -- several hundred examples like


this and people don't get sacked. There was more drama today as Blues


chairman Peter Thomas hit back at criticism for sacking Gavin Henson


over his drunken behaviour on a plane. Tom James and Ceri Sweeney


were arrested and bailed back in February after an alleged late-


night assault on a man in Cardiff. So did Gavin Henson has antics the


warrant the p 45? They have sent a harsh precedent in my view. I think


there are plenty of examples, Danny Care has been caught drink-driving


but is still playing for Harlequins, for me, he is on a short-term


contract and they have just lost Jimmy Roberts, I would have told


him to put his boots on and proved so wrong against Leicester.


feel a bit sorry about the way he has been sacked. It is unacceptable


behaviour. There's a bit of history with the Blues and players getting


into trouble. They have said, any more trouble and there will be


severe consequences. Why did Cardiff signed him if they weren't


going to play him choirs like he has not been given a chance.


wanted to play at 10 but he's not been given a chance. They're


cutting costs there. We know the board and Peter Thomas has probably


had enough of pumping money into a region which has not to be going


very far. Who can blame him? Peter Thomas has been a fantastic


benefactor. Gavin Henson is a member of the Welsh Rugby Players'


Association. They told us support was available if the needed it but


that he had not been in touch. Going out drinking has landed a


Gavin Henson job and the past. But is this entirely his own fault or


is he a victim of a deep-rooted rugby culture? A lot of


professional sportsmen abstain from alcohol for long periods of time


but they have these binges or a blow-out, usually after the


tournament or an important game, where they do drink and consume not


to knock a hole. These are often organised by the club's and for


some players, they seem not to be able to deal with that very well.


Gavin Henson the brand has taken a hit with an s Late dropping one


sponsorship package. But is there life in Gavin Henson the rugby


player? I think somebody will take a gamble on him. He remains


potentially a fantastic player. He is in good physical condition. If


he goes abroad somewhere like South Africa or Australia. Bristol are


looking like they will be promoted in England. They will come into the


Premiership and they have to make a late call on signings. Somewhere


like that will meet senior players to lead things and that could be


the makings of Gavin Henson. Whether they would consider having


him, who knows? Is that it for him in terms of Wales? We have better


centres playing for Wales at the moment. Has he got the chance? It's


a long road back to play for Wales. So another very difficult week for


Gavin Henson. Somebody who knows him very well is the former Ospreys


coach Sean Holly. Waders define himself in these difficult


positions? -- why. He has got into trouble again and it's very


disappointing. He was a very rugby intelligent guy and super


professional. He has got himself into a bit of trouble. He was at


his most comfortable when he was playing consistently in one


position. That has not happened since his comeback into rugby.


Ruddock this week said the Blues have set a precedent. He said they


have to look in the mirror and ask what they have carried out the same


action if it was Jamie Roberts or Sam Warburton. I think he's right.


They have been a few incidents in my time at the Ospreys. This is not


in isolation. It has happened in the past and it is not just Gavin


Henson. They have set their stall out and maybe the circumstances


mean that Gavin Henson is is it good. Why would the Blues players


want to go out and drink in the biggest week of the season? There


is this element that the train very hard and they have small windows.


But the window is not immediately after very late game when you have


an early flight the next day. You have to look at the management.


Things should be in place to prevent that. A good environment


and culture would ring-fence that and the players themselves would


control that. They and the players coming through have that, the likes


of Sam Warburton. They are prepared to sacrifice those things for a


Grand Slam or a Heineken Cup quarter-final. Gavin Henson has got


himself into a predicament. I don't think he has shown the patience and


sell for the people that have afforded him a lot of patience


since his comeback. That is disappointing. He played for you at


the Ospreys. He went to Toulon and Saracens. What next? Will anybody


take a gamble on him? It would be a gamble. He is building up a track


record. I think he has to earn the respect of the rugby public again.


That is not about going out and getting a TV deal. Maybe he's


should do something for charity and give something back. My fear is now


that he will enter into the TV world again. That is not the Gavin


Henson I know. Will he ever achieve anything again in the game? It is


only down to him. We will talk more later. According to the bookies,


the Welshman most likely to lift the Heineken Cup does not play for


the Cardiff Blues, he plays for Clermont Auvergne. Lee Byrne is


part of the Celtic invasion, the army of last players heading across


the Channel. Graham Thomas went to find out what makes French life and


French rugby so attractive. This is worth 50,000 Frenchmen gathered to


celebrate when their club became champions of France for the first


time a couple of years ago. If they become champions of Europe, at


least as many will gather here again and amongst those there'll be


solution -- saluting will be a Welshman. Lee Byrne was recognised


as one of the leading full-backs in the world until he fell from favour


with the last phrase last season. - - with the Ospreys. It was probably


one of the worst times of my career. I am fortunate that Clermont


Auvergne have come into for me. -- come in for me. I feel like a new


player. There were other offers on the table but I decided to come


here because of the club on the culture and history. It is run so


professionally. When you hear stories from being back in Wales


that the French are not as professional, I can honestly say


this is the most professional club I've ever been at. It is a city the


side of Cardiff and the play in a modern stadium but that is where


the similarities end. They play before a sell-out 20,000 crowds


after assembling a fantasy 15. They blend foreign imports with French


stars. It is not just Clermont Auvergne. This was the other teams


have are unbelievable. Playing week-in week-out in this league, it


is well have the best in the world at the moment. It is great to be


part of that. I am playing with some great players. It is a


privilege. He is first choice fullback and there is some good


competition. Every week, you after perform here because there is


competition on the bench. There is a real motivation to keep your


level of performance high. Lee Byrne is a competitive and thrives


on that competition. Lee Byrne is one of three large squad players


currently in France. Next season, the figure will rise to seven and


even youngsters like Alex Cuthbert have held talks with French clubs.


So what is the main appeal? If I am totally honest, if it is down to


money. If somebody gets offered a job which is higher paid, playing


at a higher level in such a great League, why wouldn't you take it?


Back home, of people have got families and they have short


careers. You have to make the most of it. I don't blame these players


for making the most of it. difference, is it marginal or huge


differences? Probably double. Probably double what players can


get back home. You're talking double the pay. If somebody in an


ordinary job was offered double, you would go. Warren Gatland keeps


banging on to Welsh players, if you do-gooder France, make sure you get


release clauses written into your contract. Is it that simple? It is,


if you are at the right club. If you have a squad you can -- that


can deal with you being away, fortunately, I have great players.


Does it still had not being in the team? If he does. Being a squad


member is not what I am about. The boys that works so hard, I am happy


for them, but I would have liked to have been there collecting my medal


with them. It is up to me now. I really have to put a performance in


Lee Byrne is another play you know well. Good to hear he has British


and Irish Lions ambitions for next year. Yes, he has some unfinished


business there. He has made the move. He has played 14 games for


Clermont and reached the latter stages of the Heineken Cup and they


will be challenging the top 14, so he will get good quality games. I


am glad he has got ambition for that because he is a fine player


when he is on a roll and he has unfinished business from the last


tour. Lee story is similar to the lot of the boys who go to France,


they have been honest, they have gone there for the money. You can't


blame them, can you? No, you can't, particularly someone in Lee's


position, where he is coming to the twilight of his career. These


offers come along and it is big money. You can't blame them. With


regards to the regions as well, they have books to balance and it


is good business in the end if they have talent coming through. You can


understand the situation as far as Lee Byrne is concerned. Welsh rugby


is in a financial black hole given the situation and the regions find


themselves in. Realistically there is no way they will compete with


French clubs? No, there is not. The differential in the Budget is huge.


That is reflected in the Heineken Cup. If Welsh teams get to the


quarter-final, the semi-final or final, they are doing very well.


And against Irish teams. But there are difficult times out there. They


have to manage themselves. But the World Cup and the Six Nations has


shown there is a lot of young talent coming through now, maybe


our developments to stick -- systems are starting to work and if


we can give young players a chance to flourish in the big games, we


can see what we can produce. There are good times ahead as long as the


region's trust in what they have got. We will go head to the big


European games in a moment. First, the build-up to London 2012. The


discus was one of the icon exports of the Olympics. It has been in


every modern games since 1896. It is one of the few disciplines to


survive from the ancient Greek Olympiad added has been some time


since we had success in a field event. -- and it has been some time.


Lynn Davies, whose parents are watching in Cardiff, 1st August and


some speeder. Terrific height and a wonderful run, over a eat meat


again. Lynn Davies stunned athletics with his winning jump in


Japan almost five decades on a young Welshman hopes does bring a


similar shock in the world of track and field. -- hope it does bring a


similar shock. Brett Morse is the only Welsh discus thrower to have


won the UK title and yesteryear -- last year was the youngest in the


final at the World Championships. Aged 23, he is a relative newcomer


competing in an event dominated by sporting giants. A lot of discus


flowers are big, tall guys, six ft eight, strong as an ox, but I'm not.


I need to do something to throw as far as them and my skill is my


speed. One of the favourites coming in here, struggled a bit under the


pressure. Cam Morse pull-out a big threat? No, not quite. Everybody in


British discus throwing knows this guy can throw well. His current


coach knows there is a world-class tower in Brett Morse. A future


British record holder, I am sure. Morse had been coached by Nigel


Bevan, who had taken him from junior level to the brink of world-


class standard but his form as a senior had been inconsistent so in


the autumn of 2011 he decided to change coach. I wanted to be like


this guy, a discus coach, he has coached guys who were like me, all


about speed and his emphasis on speed, so I thought I would do it.


Most athletes see their coaches almost every day but not Brett


Morse. His Icelandic coach is based in Sweden. He sees him on training


camps but most of the time receives his coaching regimes of life. His


practice throws a film that he emails the footage for analysis.


After reviewing the clips his coach provides feedback. I really liked


the first one... He coaches a lot of athletes this way, from afar.


The way we are doing it because I can't get to know him, I can't get


to be too friendly with him, so I like it this way because he is the


boss and he tells me what to do and that is the way it has to be. As


long as I stick to my programme and see a specialist, the conditioning


guys, those kinds of people, I will be fine.


Ranked 19th in the world as he goes all out to gain his place for


London his aims are far more than just becoming the first Welsh throw


it to reach an Olympic final. time last year, just being in the


Olympics, it was amazing to get picked for Team GB but now, because


I made the final in Daegu, exactly the same people, basically the same


competition apart from the Olympics, which is huge, so I feel if I


compete well I can make it into the top five, and if you are good


enough to get into the top five, maybe the top three. I know saying


bronze medal as a bit like, oh my God, but I would not write myself


off. I am capable if I get it right on the day.


And moorland and added 12 profiles in next week's programme. -- 0


London 2012 profiles. Now the biggest stories of the last seven


days. Congratulations to Gyan Thomas, part of the British team


pursuit who won the gold medal at the World Track Cycling


Championships in Melbourne. They beat Australia in the final in a


world record time of 53.295 seconds. It reminds me of Manchester before,


when the Danes pushed as hard there and we broke the world record. We


made a lot of games after that and I am sure we will do the same now.


Three Welsh rowers have boosted their Olympic hopes after being


selected for the GB World Cup squad. Victoria Thornley has been named in


the women's quad, Chris Barkley in the men's lightweight four and Tom


James will be an immense four or eight. I am either in the eight or


the 4th. We have a good chance of winning a gold medal. It is a win-


win. Further injury problems for Glamorgan bowler James Harris. He


could miss it to the first month of the season as he looks to recover


from a mystery groin injury. The Cardiff Devils have qualified for


the Elite League play-off finals after beating Coventry Blades. They


will pay -- play the Belfast Giants in Nottingham tomorrow with the


whinnied facing the whole stingrays or the Nottingham Panthers on


Sunday. Former Swansea player Giorgio Chinaglia has died aged 65.


He started his career at the Vetch Field. He is one of the pioneers of


the North American Soccer League with Pele and Beckenbauer. On


Wednesday Wrexham player manager Andy Morrell side two year contract


extension. The 37-year-old's new deal is to be player-manager for


one more year, then a second year as racecourse boss. In a


Championship, Cardiff City remain outside the play-off spots after a


goalless draw with Millwall. This header was ruled out. Next up,


Middlesbrough tomorrow, followed by Watford. We want to win games. Over


the weekend we have two tough games and we have to make sure we try to


come out of this weekend as positively as we can going into the


last four. Back to rugby and it is a tough


European weekend for the Blues and the scarlet. Tomorrow night, the


Blues had to Leinster. On Sunday, the Scarlets had to Brive in their


quarter-final in the Amlin Challenge Cup. Gwyn Jones reflects


on the prospects of Welsh success this weekend.


After all the euphoria of a third Welsh Grand Slam in the past eight


years and with Wales now ranked as one of the best teams in the world


comes a Blues and this -- can the Blues and the scarlet spilled on


that momentum by going all the way Europe? Well, for the Blues, ranked


4th at the start of this year's Heineken Cup, their preparations to


face Leinster in Dublin could not have gone much worse. There was


that woeful performance last weekend in Glasgow that was


described by their own coach as embarrassing. And if that wasn't


depressing enough, Gavin Henson grabbed the headlines again but for


all the wrong reasons. So just how do you prepare a team after a


weekend like that? There has been a tough couple of days to accept, but


the decision was made to cover now the focus has been on the Aviva


Stadium on Saturday evening. Things have happened off and on the pitch,


it isn't ideal, but it happens sometimes but the game is too big


to concentrate on things that have happened in Glasgow. Even more bad


news for the Blues when Jamie Roberts was ruled out of action but


six months with a cruciate ligament injury but at the same time


Leinster have been boosted by the return of the inspirational Brian


O'Driscoll for stab as much as your bread and butter, you want to be


competing against Europe's best. Alas state game this weekend is


exactly the -- a last eight game is the tonic I need after five months


out. Leinster are overwhelming favourites and their aim is to be


the best passing side in Europe. I believe the Blues must slowdown


leads to's high speed offence, compete hard, gamble by putting


more bodies in the tackle area to frustrate Leinster and try and get


their hands on the ball in a tackle to stop the offload and stop men


still going to ground to recycle. The consistency we have managed to


show over the last two of three months is brought forward and if


anything raised the standard because when you get to the


knockout stages of Europe the best teams carry on through into the


semi-finals and finals, so we have to make sure we are in that side.


The Blues have a man to cope with pressure as he proved with that


penalty to seek Wales' win backing debris. The Heineken Cup game was


one of the biggest games of the season so far and if you can't


score in Leinster in the quarter- final, with a packed stadium, you


would never get up for a game, so a huge game and I am looking forward


to it. Two sings the Blues can do this weekend. They can use that the


negative press and criticism to create a siege mentality. No one


likes us but we don't care. They could create some much needed team


spirit. Most of the attention has been on the Blues, the Scarlets


have been preparing for the trip to Brive in their quarter-final of the


Amlin Challenge Cup. Brive -- Brive may not be intimidating a hostile,


who can forget the game in 1997, the infamous Battle of Brive?


also unseemly and unsightly, it is absolutely mayhem. In fact the


Scarlett should have nothing to fear, having beaten them home and


away two years ago. The French side are struggling in their domestic


championship this year. But it will be tough. This is their only chance


of silverware and to get something back for the team and for the fans


of Brive editors going to be very noisy and hopefully some good


weather and a hostile place for the Scarlett to play. On Sunday the


Scarlets pak+ avoid -- must avoid trench warfare and must do a smash-


and-grab with the ball coming using the power of George North and


Jonathan Davies to maximum effect. We must go out there was a real


edge and a good start to promote the crowd, turning on the home team.


It is difficult prospect and the boys will relish it. It will be one


in the backs. If Brive can contain the likes of George North, the


Brive with their passion and fans behind them will get the result.


Camp the Welsh side make it through to the semi-final? For the Blues it


is too much to ask but for the Scarlets there is a realistic hope.


We can talk about some matters on the pitch now. It is a massive task


for the Blues, they have won only five times in 20 attempts against


Leinster. It is, the current European champions shows --


champions. They are worthy champions. The Ospreys had a great


win a couple of weeks ago. It is a big ask but having said that Welsh


teams seem to do well as underdogs and they'd go into the Aviva


Stadium, is that a good thing for the Blues? I think it is. It is a


big occasion, they have very little to lose. On the flipside of that,


things clearly are not all well behind the scenes. There are some


player issues, players leaving, keep injuries to people like Sam


Warburton and Jamie Roberts, who leads to would have feared on their


day. But they are not there. But for me the Blues have it but --


haven't functioned of late. There are problems with their game, their


set pieces are not functioning and for all the ability and effort what


people around the field, the scrum hasn't gone well. That is somewhere


they need to get some parity of their going to get anything out of


the game. The Scarlets had to Brive. A tough task. It is a tough task


but they are not a top side. They have lost three of their last six


at home. IC the Scarlets having a chance. They have six Grand Slam


people in their midst, and Ben Morgan, so they should go there


with confidence. For meat, and I am sure the supporters, there has been


a lot of talk about this team now but it is all about silverware for


the Scarlets. They haven't won any silverware since 2003-four. It is


about time we saw some. Are you enjoying life away from the


Ospreys? I am. I haven't known much difference for the last ten or 15


years but I am enjoying being with my family, dinning gardening and


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