09/11/2012 Sport Wales


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Passion. That is where it starts. Power. It is this opportunity to


come and get the world title, so I have to be on my toes. One shared


goal. The Pumas. Gone are the days of being friendly. The knockout of


the Hawk. Life can change for you desert night. Will the Dragons


reign supreme? Hello and welcome took Sport Wales.


And we will preview Wales against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium


but first, we head to the City of Angels. In the early hours of


Sunday morning in Los Angeles, Nathan Cleverly will step into the


boxing ring to defend his WBO light-heavyweight title against the


American Shawn Hawk. And we have been granted exclusive behind-the-


This is the life, isn't it? Brilliant. Since I arrived in LA,


the Sun has been out. A great reception from the people. I have


been really enjoying it. Take us through your decision to come here.


Basically, I was meant to be fighting in the arena on the


credits at the October but we had an opportunity to fight in America


two weeks later. I'd thought I would get some new s exposure,


ready to set up big fights in 2013. It is a major step for my career.


Had things gone a little stale? Possibly. In the last year. This is


only my second fight in nine months, which is quite inactive. So you


could say it has gone a little stale, but I have had a good break.


I had a good break in the summer, went on holiday, mentally freshened


up, physically freshen up. I feel back to my best. It has not been


ideal, the preparation. No. I have practised with a southpaw fighter.


From the US. Political issues. He could not go ahead with the fight,


so the search is on for another opponent. Actually, we have another


fighter this week. It is a golden opportunity to get the world title,


so I have to be on my toes for this. We are heading out to the renowned


Wild Card Gym in LA. When Manny Pacquiao trains. It is Tuesday now


so we have four days until the fight. Mickey Rourke is meeting us


here at the gym. The Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, run by the world's


most respected trainer, the form what professional Freddie Roach. A


man who has mentored over 30 world champions and a good friend of


another ex-boxer, star Mickey Rourke. What do you think of him?


Joe Calzaghe told me about him. I was in London and there was a fight


going on. Of all the fights and saw I was most impressed with Nathan


Cleverly. I think he fought some really strong Russian kid that


night. He was at boxing him because he is a fantastic boxer. Does that


bring back memories for you? Yes, it is hard for me to come in the


gym. I get very sad and depressed, when you come in and you are around


guys doing step they used to be able to you -- to do. Do you miss


it? Tara pier. -- terribly. America he is not too well known.


It is his first ride in America. I think he is starting to get nervous.


He is an excellent boxer. He has been knocking guys act. He is


getting there. Saturday night. was Nathan Cleverly? He was really


good. He throws a lot of punches and he is really shop. He has some


decent power as well. Is this long- term strategy? Can you see yourself


relocating here? Yes, possibly. There is a strong possibility I


could come here for a lot of my future fights. I have enjoyed the


training over here, the experience in the gym. It was great. It is


something I definitely want to experience again. Provided Saturday


And there will be more from California later on in the


programme so stay with us. But here, tomorrow, at the Millennium Stadium,


Wales kick of the autumn series against Argentina before facing


some other, new Zealand and Australia. Four matches that are


billed as friendlies, but as Rob Harris reports, there is so much


In current form, Wales remain the leading lights of the northern


hemisphere, but are about to lay it all on the line, as the world's


best teams arrive on British soil. It is a massive challenge for the


acting head coach, keen to atone for a 3-0 series defeat in


Australia. Agor y bleidlais is to win all four games. That is our


mindset. -- ORACLE is to win all four games. Most of the team have


returned from ate porridge training camp. It has served them well ahead


of the World Cup and Six Nations. - - returned from a Polish training


camp. We did a lot of fitness. always, there has been speculation


surrounding selection. Jamie Roberts has held on to his spot


despite competition. A lot has been made of the kicking and I agree it


has not been up to scratch and I'm disappointed. Obviously I would


like to be paying -- playing better but I have had a few injuries but


you just do the best you can. Blues announced this week Jamie


Roberts will be leaving at the end of the season, with Racing Metro is


likely destination. Prior to that, he had been singled out for


criticism in the press. The only thing that matters to me is my


coaches, fellow players and parents. Whatever some clown journalist


wants to write about my form, guys who have not experienced rugby at


the highest level, it does get over my head. Eyebrows also raised at


the selection of Scarlets scrum- half Tavis will. I am over the moon


for Tavoris Cloud. It is not get replacing or bringing Kong.


also probably Mike at these moment in time is probably available for


Australia. We cannot get to the Australia game with three or four


key players not available. Up front, there is an Adam Jones for shaped


hole to fill that management is confident his regional team-mate


Aaron Jarvis is up to the task. have been delighted with his


performances for the Ospreys when he has replaced Adam, and the


impact of Matthew Rees as hooker and Gethin Jenkins, two British


Lions players, Winnie that experience. And although many


thought they would see very Warburton combination in the back


row, it is dross Turnbull who will start as blind-side flanker. We did


discuss the other two left and right but you have to do things


naturally. We are probably better off to have a specialist six. We do


a lot of tackling and make the sevens look good. There is more at


stake than usual this autumn, with the 25th league World Cup draw


taking those in December. If world -- Wales can break into the world's


top four, they will avoid the southern hemisphere Super Fowler.


So what are the challenge posed Argentina? Gone are the days of the


Pumas arriving at prepared. This is a team battle-hardened after their


first season competing in the rugby championships against the top three


teams in the world. We are very aware of the fact that they have a


good scrum. So we have to make sure we really don't take too long to


get into it. Why a hat -- one thing you have to do with Argentina is


take them out of their comfort zone. That is what we have been trying to


get our mindset rant. We will be ready for kick-off on Saturday.


I am joined by former Wales captain Gwyn Jones. Good to see you. Let's


start with the news that has come this week about yet more player


drain, Jamie Roberts. Are you surprised he is leaving the Blues?


I do not think anyone is surprised. It has been talked about for a long


time. I can understand that the Blues are upset because they have


looked after him and they have allowed him to play so much for


Blues -- Wales and not so much for the Blues, so they might have


expected some will be there, but he is keen to use rugby as a passport.


Let's go on to the series, starting this Saturday with Argentina. A


huge task? A difficult task, are theseth, because Argentina are a


good side, but it is four games in four weeks which is the thing. It


is a tough month for rugby. On the back are the regional game which


has reached record over the last few weeks, especially in Europe, so


they have to try to bring the Welsh squad back together. What about the


team, then, the changes? Injury has unforced most. The any selection


decision was to bring in Tavis well ahead of Mike Phillips and again


this place into Gatland small. And the manager saying, if you go


brought you might miss out. So a bit of a warning shot to those who


are going to leave, but that is the only big decision. Let's look up


front. Traditionally, historically, perhaps where Argentine have been


strongest, how will Wales do? a challenge. They do not want to


get caught down into the challenge. That has been the difficulty for


them, scrum, line-out... They have to be able to stop Argentina


dominating in those areas. Once they can do that, they want to move


Argentina Iraq. Week sought Rob Howley in that piece saying he is I


think three Quins out of four. were semifinalists in the World Cup,


they're playing at home, I think people would expect them to beat


Samoa and Argentina. They have every chance of beating Australia,


who have with a windy outside. And any comes up against the All Blacks.


They are number one in the world, but I do not think they have quite,


for Wales anyway, the invisibility tag that they used to have. We will


take a closer look at Argentine Shawky. To cycling and after the


success of Four Geraint Thomas in London 2012, with his second gold


medal, Wales has a new crop of young, talented cyclists looking to


follow in his tracks. Welsh Cycling have set up their own team to


compete alongside Team GB at international events, and to give


the next generation the best possible build-up to the


It is a long-term project. He is easy to say we need medals at the


Commonwealth Games, but to get to that they need the racing and the


competition. That is when you stop thinking about the World Cups. I


thought, if we can go to the World Cups and race at that level, be


competitive, offer the right experience, when it comes to the


Commonwealth Games, although the expectation on Wales to perform at


that level, the actual level of the competition is probably slightly


less than what they have experienced at the World Cups.


Winning two medals in the Track World Cup in Colombia was a success.


To the project. The reward for the Riders is an exhaustive training


programme ahead of the next event, There are a lot of early mornings


and at lunch back on the track. Caps on the sofa and watch


television! A track race is about 60 minutes. We're going around six


kilometres an hour by the end. Looking up at the clock and seeing


how much I have done, it is not the best feeling of morale but that is


All the World Cup is a track based event, training on the open roads


around south-east Wales is key to future success indoors. On a


Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we have got a road in the morning and


to track in the afternoon. That is giving you your base and a level of


endurance. Sundays it is tough but insurable but other days it feels


like you hit a brick wall but you get through it and have the


motivation to get you through your sessions. It is exciting that I get


to race with the best in the world and I'm still the youngest. Huge


opportunity because every time you go to an international event or a


World Cup, the amount of experience he gained his invaluable. You get


to learn more about yourself when you're racing, you get to work on


any weaknesses and build on your strengths. It is a huge advantage.


There is little rest after the morning's exertions and it is back


An opportunity for the Welsh riders to do more World Cups through the


winter. If the girls got a sink -- silver-medal -- the girls got a


silver medal which was great for them. Then I was ill for much of it.


I missed the second day but then came back and came third in the


points race. To come back with a medal, I had a smile on my face.


The support from sports psychologists, physiologist its, it


is a big team effort to help us get to get -- get a fair we want to get


to. The brain controls everything your body does, so if you can make


your brain work as effectively as possible then you will get the most


out of your body when you're out on the track or on the road. There is


a lot work teams going to Glasgow. The Olympic champions are going to


be there. It will be better to aim for a time rather than a position.


We are getting stronger, we are getting our track legs back, so


will slowly build on Columbia. is like a home World Cup, really,


to be with the Scottish crowd. They are other Celts, so hopefully they


will get behind us! I do not want to put too much pressure on myself.


I will see what happens. At back to California now and to the build up


of the Nathan Cleverly fight. And to the tragic story of the last


Welshman to box in LA. Johnny Owen was that the Welsh,


British,, Welsh and European champion. Fighting at the Olympic


Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, or one was ahead on points in the


9th round. However, heavy blows took their toll and he was floored


twice. He was knocked unconscious and rushed to a local hospital. He


would never regain consciousness, eventually losing his battle on 4th


December 1980. It is no longer a boxing venue, but


there is something quite poignant about being here ahead of your


sight. It is quite so real beings two-tier outside his building. To


think that myself on Saturday night, I am fighting about half-a-mile up


the road from a world title. It is a strange feeling, but it is one


that I feel inspired by. God bless Johnny Owen and rest in peace. I


feel that I should be under pressure but I think that being and


coming year has kind of given me strength and confidence. It makes


me want to perform on Saturday A mile up the road from the Olympic


Auditorium is this place, the Staples Center, holder of the


Lakers, the Kings and the clippers and home patch for this legend of


the sport, Oscar De La Hoya. Nathan Cleverly is about to be introduced


to the American public. I want to introduce to you, with our record


of 24 or tree or and 11 knockouts, Nathan Cleverly. We at what you're


poster behind you. His name is not on the poster. He is that an


indication of where he is right now in regards to his name in the US.


His name will be splashed inside the ring. This is a big stage now.


Nathan Cleverly, his fight have not been televised here in the States.


But this is the opportunity. People have described you as the most


I would not go that far. Should Nathan Cleverly win this fight.


Does he need a selling point? think he has got the tools. He is


good-looking, well-spoken, it all starts with winning. If he performs,


then we start looking at a secondary opportunities. Duty that


next step, he has to overcome Shawn Hawk,. -- overcomes on Oct. I am a


native American from Sceptre Court of. I grew up fighting. -- South


Dakota. I am not afraid of nobody. I do not think a lot of people know


a lot about Shawn Hawk. We know that he is from South Dakota and


has an extensive amateur career. I do not think that he will be the


toughest enemy that anything will ever ace, but we have got to wait


and see. People are seeing that they expect Nathan Cleverly to win.


How would to counter that? He is a world champion so when not win to


take any short cuts. I am going to do what I have to do. Nathan


Cleverly is the guy that, if he has a great fight, fans love poems. In


boxing, like unchanged are you overnight and this could be his big


opportunity. And Sport Wales cameras will be at


the big fight, as a lookout for more or behind the scenes coverage


on next the's show. By then, Wales will be hoping to head into their


second autumn international on the back on the victory over Argentina.


Or can the Pumas do what they did 11 years ago and when at Cardiff


this weekend? -- win at Cardiff. August last year, a World Cup


rehearsal and centre-stage the Wales as they beat Argentina. In


the tournament itself, there was promise, with victories over


Scotland and Romania. But you can stop New Zealand? Not Argentina.


There was no morning post World Cup, what followed was a five-match


unbeaten run, including victories over Italy and France. A perfect


launch pad for the Rugby Championship. There was one defeat


to South Africa and one drop against the Springboks. A sign of


better times ahead? That was about as good as it got. Next came five


successive defeats. Iran Australia close twice its -- tries but lead


at 75 points in all against New Zealand. Soap which side will be


see in Cardiff tomorrow? Perhaps they have never been better


prepared to face Wales. It is the first time that we are not coming


from six months without seeing each other. Of course, we have many


things to improve on as a team. Hopefully this is the start of that


growth. We learned a lot. Most things are that the improved with


the ball. The intensity with which these teams play, we must learn how


to bring it down and and bring velocity to the ball. It helps when


you have got your talisman around and after missing the Rugby


Championship, this man has fond memories of Wales. I started in


Wales in 1988 and I let in 2001. -- 1998. It was a big result and a big


game for the team. This team is well prepared and hopefully we will


show off some of the rugby we have been trained to develop. It should


not be any surprises here for Wales, they know Argentina will be big,


brutal and good luck or what could be a pleasing debut. It is about


strength and hopefully it will be a good move for us to target them. It


will be a massive battle. I think if you can get our dominance out


front in the scrum, then we will have a good save. We will have a


big chance. But do they have the nous to win in Wales in the -- for


the first time in 11 years? They have won the Six Nations this year,


they are very competitive. The play good rugby. They have a good system


of attack. They have very good individual players. We are prepared


for a difficult game. I think it will be tough. We're going out into


the game with huge respect. They are such a good side.


Yes, the Pumas are in town and ready to take on Wales here at the


Millennium stained -- Millennium Stadium. How fearful should Wales


B? Healthy respect. They performed well in the championship. They wear


without some of Birstall words. -- they were without some of their


stalwarts. They have some more variety and can take advantage of


this model. From the World Cup, it went from playing northern-


hemisphere rugby to the championship and back to northern


hemisphere rugby, 13 months of relentless rugby and I think they


might be a little bit tired. A in terms of first game, how important


is the back wheels good of to a good start? First time for the boys


to get back together. Momentum is everything. They are on such a


roller-coaster of rugby over the next month. A good when and then


see what happens against the big boys. But yes, momentum behind them.


All these things are important. A good when will be a good boost to


the spot. Rob Howley once for went after four, of what will happen?


think three is very possible. I think Australia will struggle. We


should beat Argentina. When we need Europe -- when we meet the All


Blacks, will base that again. I think the actor for is acceptable,


at two out of four at... -- I think three out of four is acceptable. I


think Wales will win by at least seven. It might take a little while


before we get to the last 20 minutes to show that will stop


Thank you very much. That his offer this week. We are


back next Friday, 9:35pm. We are looking forward to Swansea City's


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