11/02/2016 Sport Wales


11/02/2016

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Coming up: after the draw in Dublin, Wales will hope to get back to

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winning ways against the Scots. If you go into a game against Scotland,

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you think you will have to be there to win the game and you will come up

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short. Can Robert Croft get Glamorgan back on song? I will be

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trying to achieve more as a coach. Christian Malcolm catches up with an

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old friend. It was fantastic and something I will always look back

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on, one of the highlights of my career. Welcome to the programme,

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that was a stormy old week. Wild weather in Wales and pretty eventful

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in Dublin as well. Brutal and compromising, but who really wants a

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draw? No Grand Slam, notable crown on the cards, but the championship

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is still very much on. -- Triple Crown. For more than two years his

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has been one of the first names on the team sheet, but after Saturday's

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early exit it was feared that Dan Biggar would not get better. But his

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powers of recovery have astonished everyone. After the game we spoke to

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the medics who thought that the injury was a five-week injury, but

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the scan came back clear and he has worked really hard. He has made a

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pretty miraculous recovery. It is a timely boost for Wales and if they

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need another one, how about this or statistics. Wales have never lost

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when Warren Gatlin has been in charge. Their Six Nations record

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under them reads six one and six lost. I would always find it tough.

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The sides look more settled as we go along. They will be a tough nut to

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crack. They become a difficult side to beat. If Welsh fans expect us to

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roll away, it will not be, it would be a tough game. The Scots will have

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tough memories of their last game, one reckless challenge ended the

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game. That is a red card offence. The remaining team-mates were unable

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to stop the advancing red tide. Wales crossed the line seven times

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to record their biggest ever Six Nations win, but they say it will be

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of little significance this weekend. It is always a close game. As I

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said, we know we need to start the game in motion the better this week

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after Ireland, the first 20 minutes we were half asleep. We cannot

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afford to do that this week. Dan Biggar's recovery means that Warren

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Gatland can have a clear side. George North will be on the wings.

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Jonathan Davies wins his 50th cap and extends his record-breaking

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championship with Jamie Roberts. Gareth Roberts resumes his

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partnership with Dan Biggar. Upfront, Evans is holding off the

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challenge. Alun Wyn Jones is even closer to his century of caps. It is

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the same with Sam Warburton remaining on the blindside and

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Justin Tipuric on the other side. It will be a fast and open game. We

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have a game plan and we want to play a bit more. We have said that.

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Firstly we want to make sure we get in the game, get points on the

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board. If it does loosen up and we are chasing tries to win the game,

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that is what you have to do. It is a measure of how far Wales have come

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that they are disappointed to draw in Dublin. Cast your minds back to

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2013, Wales lost to Ireland on the opening weekend and still won the

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tournament. The grand slam may be out of reach, but the championship

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is still on. I am delighted to say that I am joined by Rhys Webb, you

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were injured just before the World Cup and you are just about ready to

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get back on the field. How does that feel? I am excited, it is like

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starting school again. It has been a long five months, but the last two

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or three weeks I have been ready, but I just needed to touch up on

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some other skills, the fitness and feeling good, feeling sharp, excited

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to do well this weekend. Have you parked to one side your

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international aspirations that the Six Nations? Yes, my focus is on the

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Ospreys, I need to earn my stripes there. I have worked hard trying to

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get that back. Wales draw against Ireland, no one is really satisfied

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with that, looking ahead to Scotland, what will be the message

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this week? The main point will be the slow start in the first half and

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obviously going 30-0 down, that is pretty tough. The message is that we

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need a good start, they know they cannot have a sloppy start. Just

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getting off to that good start. Just playing well. Dan Biggar, somehow he

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is passed fit. He is world class. The other day, he was one of the

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best World Cup tens. His leadership, the way the team involves around him

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really. He is a key part of the Welsh success, it is all to do with

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him. Missing out on the grand slam, does that make any real difference

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in terms of the team morale? It will be difficult, there are a lot of

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people in the team who want to win trophies. Two trophies are gone

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already, but hopefully we can still win the championship, there is no

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reason why not. There are the coaching staff and the players

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there, hopefully fingers crossed they can get off to a good win. Stay

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there, we will catch up later. Now from the road of Wales to the red of

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Liverpool and Wales has strong links to its football club, Ian Rush, Joey

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Jones, Craig Bellamy and Joe Allen and now Natasha Harding!

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This is Anfield, a place where plenty of Welsh heroes have made

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their name. Tradition, pride, trophies, there is a weight of

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history when you wear the Liverpool red. I am really excited to join

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such a great club with such a great history. Meeting my new team-mates,

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adding new additions, we all have bonded. I am excited, we have the

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prospect of what we can achieve this year. It is not like I am going to a

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low-level club, it is huge, it is probably on the same level as

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Manchester city and probably has more history. The forward move to

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Manchester city last March when there was a switch in the United

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States that fell through, then she signed the Merseyside Giants. I was

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happy, I did not plan on leaving and the opportunity came up with

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Liverpool and football is a business at the end of the day and I have not

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really looked back since and I'm happy that I am here now. I'm happy

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it is all sorted and it is time to move on and get used to my new home.

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She is a great signing for us, she has a lot of experience, technically

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a very good player. Very quick and she can play numerous positions over

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the top line. For us to bring in Natasha it is brilliant. This will

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galvanise us to do really well and be exciting to watch and hopefully

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win things. That is one of my best attributes, I am good at winning.

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Halfway through their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign, Wales have four

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points from four games. There is still a mathematical chance of

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making it. I will always say that we can, whether we have one game left

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and we need to get six points, you always get faith. We have made a bit

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of a hard job of it and we all know that and Jay knows that as well, it

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is down to the players. If we can start with Kazakhstan and get a

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great result there, hopefully that will snowball into an effect we can

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get results against Austria and Norway. We have those teams to play

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at home and if we can do the right thing, take all the positives that

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have been taken from other games and not concede as many goals as we did,

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it is still possible. You don't have to look too far for inspiration, the

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male counterparts have not qualified for a tournament in 58 years. I

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think it is a great achievement from them. It is putting us on the map

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and the men's team have great individuals and they know how to win

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as a team and they are a great squad and that is what Chris has

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implemented. That is what we are trying to inherit, we are not a team

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of one or two stars, we are a team. I do not get one or two points, my

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team does. If we can take all the positives than men have used, then I

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hope we can do the same thing. Like Iain Russell, Dean Saunders, Craig

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Bellamy, goals at Liverpool often lead to goals in the red of Wales. A

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legend as a player has now been given the task of bringing the glory

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days back to the Morgan. How does he plan to go about the job. Sport

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Wales caught up with Robert Croft as he took training the first time as

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the county 's head coach. -- for the first time.

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Congratulations, how long did it take you to say yes to this one? Not

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long I imagine. I did not finish the sentence! He did not finish the

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sentence before I said yes. I will have it! Was this always your

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ultimate goal? Did you always feel it was your destiny? I always had an

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interest in becoming a coach, yes. It is a dream come true to be a

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coach of Glamorgan. Did I go out and chase it, no, but it really appealed

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to me. I believe everything I achieved as a player I worked hard

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for and double try to do the same as a coach. It was a job that was

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advertised far and wide and we had applications from far and wide, some

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coaches who had been in international cricket, some in

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domestic critics and we whittled it down to rob. He was the best

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candidate we saw. He has been with us for a coach for four years and

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shown as what he is capable of. Out on the field and now as a coach. We

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know him and we know what he will expect of us. He will be putting his

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stamp on things. You know these figures off by heart, 1997 the last

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time you won the County Championship. How would you bring an

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end to the long wait for success? Before we think of championships it

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is movement from division two. There is a mission statement which is to

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make Wales proud. We want to make the country proud and we want to do

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it in the right way. Every time Glamorgan side goes onto the field I

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want them to be fiercely competitive. When they do play, we

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want to win more than we lose. Robert Croft in less than a minute,

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how old are you? I am 46, not yet, 45. When did you make your Glamorgan

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debut? Number of first-class wickets? 12,880! The number of

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England appearances. 50 ODIs. Closed irritating team-mate? I would

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probably say myself. Three words to sum up yourself. A proud, Welsh,

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man. People know Croft, the player, that was a heck of a long time ago.

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You mention we won in 97 and I was 27 them. I fell off that passion

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when I was a player. -- I fed off. I appreciate everybody motivates

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themselves and likes to go about their job slightly differently.

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Sometimes less is more. Does that mean you as a coach will be more

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serious? I guess when you or play a larger EU are interested in when you

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perform. The captaincy taught me that everyone needs to be happy on

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their own. -- when you are a player, you are interested in when you

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perform. He is very firm when he needs to be. As a player that is

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what you want, you want someone who will pick you up when you are down,

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but also give you a kick up the backside. What you want the players

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to call you these days? Crofty is fine. But all I want is respect not

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just to me but players to each other. Good luck.

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How would you cope when your professional sporting career is cut

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short by injury? That happens to Tim Benjamin, one of the finest 400

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metre runners who was 27 when he had to retire. Stu Malcolm went for a

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catch up with his old Wales and Great Britain team-mate -- Christian

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Malcolm. Benjamin Wednesday! He is the

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Olympic champion. How has life been since he retired? A complete

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journey. I look back at my career and it feels like I did not do it,

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like another life. Really different, loving what I am doing now.

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Completely immersed. Just as much as I was as an athlete. A lot of

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athletes do not make the successful transition, some of them suffer with

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depression, whether any times you thought, I wish I was still in the

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sport? No. I fell out of love with competing, mainly because of the

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injuries they suffered, my body could not withstand the training and

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the competition. I was quite numb and I did not enjoy competing, even

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at a high level. I did one European Championship brace before I retired.

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Tim Benjamin, coming through superbly, superb!

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I felt I was not able to fulfil my ambition through athletics. And that

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was causing me to get down. The second thing is suffered from, which

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I guess most athletes do, is the identity. What am I, who are my,

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what I do? It was searching for what I like to call that a personal best

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feeling. When you cross the line and you feel that... Nothing beats it,

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you could not be happier. I had to recreate that. So I had to find

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something to recreate that. I have certainly found that in what I do

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now. Still got it!

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I think I could probably lived more weights but in terms of power coming

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he is better! Power and speed, all day. Anything

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to do with endurance... What are the highs and lows of your career? The

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best moment stands out as breaking 45 seconds. Is a prized myself that

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season and was able to consistently run 44 seconds -- is a prized. New

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territory and they made a World Championships final, fantastic.

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Well done, Tim Benjamin, fifth place in the World Championships final.

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Beating the Olympic champion on home soil who had not been beaten for

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four years. Tim Benjamin on the near side. And

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he gets that, he has beaten the Olympic champion. What do you look

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forward to the most after the Olympic Games? As a British

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athletics fan, I am really looking forward to having British sprinters.

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I think we have awesome opportunities for British renting to

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put themselves on the map. And from a Welsh perspective, is there

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anybody you have an eye on? As a 400 metre runners, Sarah Davis is doing

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well. I would love to see how he progresses. I am a big fan. I would

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love for her to make it onto the plane. Not everybody thinks you were

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born in Wales because of your accent and it has changed. But you are from

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Cardiff. Yes, I am from Cardiff. You are Welsh? I am, yes. You are not

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born in Southampton? No. That is a big thing for me. I am looking at

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relocating back home as soon as business allows it. I want to bring

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my family up in Wales. It is important to me and my wife. We are

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both Welsh and we will be back. Sad news this week with the passing

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of a Welsh sporting great. John Leslie was born and raised in Wales

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and he started out as a PE teacher but his talent took him to the

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bigger stage of them all, the Olympics. I decided to do athletics

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in 1951 and 1952, worthwhile as I got a Bronze medal in Helsinki.

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Almost two miles long and a lot of obstacles. It was still a great

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achievement by one who only took up steeplechasing two years ago.

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John Disley will be remembered for setting up the London Marathon and

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last year, over 37 thousand runners finished the iconic race.

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Playing for Wales must meet the proudest moment of any player's

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career and it is no different for a night of the realm. So Gareth

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Edwards scored one of his most iconic tries against Scotland and

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his pride in the red jersey is as strong now as it was four decades

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ago. It is laid back for Gareth Edwards.

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Edwards over the line. Over halfway. Can he score? It would be a miracle!

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He may well get to it, and he has. You cannot get anything better than

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that in international rugby. To represent your country is still

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one of the highlights of your career. I can well remember

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listening to the radio, wonderful commentary. If Wales happens to be

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losing or going behind, I would leave the room and go out to play

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and kick a ball on the road outside, hoping when I got back, things would

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have changed. Sometimes they did and sometimes they never did! And I

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remember on the Black and wide television watching Clive Rowlands

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being captain for the first time against England. Dab went to buy a

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car in the Blackwood area -- my father. He arrived half an hour

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later with England leading and winning so that was a huge

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disappointment for my first television game! When you are young

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and you see these heroes playing, eagerly the game is beyond you and

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that captives beyond you. You dream about it and the desire is there to

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play for Wales. And when it actually did happen, I was in college in

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Cardiff and my friend and I just remembered that the team was being

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announced. I said, do me a favour and drink Cardiff and find out the

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team. He did that. I could see from his face, he returned with great

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delight. He gave me the thumbs up, you have got in! I said, I cannot

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be! I could not believe it would happen. And I made him telephoned

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the club again in case it had been a mistake.

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And the man playing scrum-half today for Wales, the young 19-year-old

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virtuoso, Gareth Edwards from Cardiff. There is a peer of playing

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and a fear of failing. The nation now rests on your shoulders -- beer.

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The expectation is great. All of a sudden, I am thrust in the company

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of my heroes. Guys I had been watching on the terrace five, six

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years before. Am I really playing with these guys, in the Welsh team

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Mr Mark but then of course you do not wish to become a one cap wonder.

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And once you get your second cap, you feel even better. And the

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adrenaline begins and it becomes a drug. Edwards is going! He is going

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to score. Bennett. Edwards. After Lewis.

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Inside the Davis. Davis... Gareth Edwards! I will never forget

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the jersey being presented. I picked it up and I kissed the badge and I

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put the jersey on. It was like no other jersey I had ever put on. At

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the very end, they still had that feeling, the same feelings I had in

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the first. It is something which is almost beyond description. To

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represent your country is still one of the highlights of your career.

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And all the hard work and all the dreaming has been realised. It is a

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wonderful moment, just make the most of it.

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Sir Gareth Edwards in red, a special feeling, do you also relates to

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that? It is one of the best feelings ever, you just want to play for your

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country and he scored amazing tries and I have been fortunate to score

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tries for Wales and it is something hopefully I will never get up also

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scored a special try against Scotland. I was on the end of a good

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attack in Wales, it has Williams was up it would not be as good as Gareth

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Edwards. The tri- scores for Wales, always a special moment remember the

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Scotland, I remember they would be restricted after that defeat

:25:16.:25:21.

England? Yes, very disappointed. They were favourites. They did

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create a lot of chances but did not know which side England would go

:25:26.:25:31.

out. They will be hurting. They will be geared up this weekend I'm

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looking forward to Wales. A lot of the play revolves around the

:25:36.:25:39.

skipper, number nine, Greig Laidlaw four is not what influence will he

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have the threat Wales? Is a threat. The try was a soft try for Wales,,

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of concentration. They need to sharpen things in defence on the

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fringes. I am sure they will look forward to coming down here for the

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after losing to England, they will want to get a win on the board. In

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terms of that squad are so well and the fact that Warren Gatland has

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never lost against Scotland, how will Wales be feeling? They will be

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disappointed at this. But they were very unlucky

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not to get a win. They will be hurting but excited now. They just

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need to play smart and sharpen up. I am sure they will have no problem

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getting a win this weekend. I did not expect you to say anything else!

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I have the back of the boys, they have done so well. Nobody should

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write them off. Good to see you back and fit, thank you for joining us

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here. Thank you. 48 hours until the Six Nations show

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rolls into Cardiff? Excited? Excited, the championship is on and

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Warren Gatland has never lost against Scotland. Do not jinx it.

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That is it but these are some of the great moments between Wales and

:27:13.:27:23.

Scotland over the years,, Wales! Davies, from Browne. Beautifully

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laid the Arab Edwards. Can Edwards score? -- Gareth Edwards. He may

:27:28.:27:34.

well get to it, and he has. Jonathan Davies. There is a chance here.

:27:35.:27:44.

Evans all the way! What a blistering run by Evans. That is a magnificent

:27:45.:27:50.

try! Mervyn the magician could not have done it any better.

:27:51.:27:59.

Bradley Davies. They are all there for Wales. Shane Williams has won

:28:00.:28:07.

the most dramatic game! Jonathan Davies with the tackle. Is

:28:08.:28:14.

that the try? Yes, it is. Under the post, he goes!

:28:15.:28:19.

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