23/11/2012 Sport Wales


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Hello, and welcome to the programme on the eve of Wales's autumn


international against the World Cup holders, New Zealand. Will it be a


6th consecutive defeat, or can Warren Gatland fire them up for an


historic win over the mighty All Blacks? That and plenty more


besides so stay with us. After losing to Argentina in at --


Argentina and Samoa, Sam Warburton understand the frustrations of the


supporters. If I was a fan, and would be upset with the last two


performances as well. An away win at Newcastle, next at Swansea hope


-- host Liverpool and their former boss.


And we speak to Roger speed, a year after the passing of his son,


former Wales boss, Gary Speed. know, you don't believe it. We


still don't believe it, we are still wondering why a. He had the


world at his feet. First, it is rugby. And after a


disappointing start to their autumn series with defeats against


Argentina and then Samoa, Wales now get ready for their toughest test


yet as they face world champions New Zealand here tomorrow. We have


been assessing their preparations. This was not the plan. Having


dominated Europe in the spring, and got within a whisker to Australia


in the summer, autumn was meant to be the season when Wales meant the


leap to their top table of London - - rugby by beating the big guns.


They were not supposed to stumble at the first two hurdles. It is all


going horribly wrong for Wales. I was a fan, I would be upset with


the performances as well. I can understand why people are upset.


The players want to make sure we can put it right. There most of his


place to point the finger is the top, but with Wales, things are


complicated. A sabbatical for rhyme Gatland gave Rob Howley the chance


to be the boss but for Warren Gatland is back. I came in and I


put my arms up and I said, the Messiah is back! A couple of tater


it -- caterers turned around and said, go away! It is exactly the


result I wanted. I do not know how many differences I would have made


over the last few weeks, we just have to laugh. I hope it shows that


we are a close group. So was Rob Howley in total control before the


Argentina and Samoa games? And how involved was Warren Gatland? I saw


a couple and afternoon sessions for the Argentina, I was not involved


with Samoa. I have spoken to rob and we have spoken and I have seen


what his thoughts are, it was important that had an input. I was


able to support them as much as I could. Now that Warren is back, it


is a massive influence on a lot of the players and the management team.


It seems like everything is back in place for the next two games.


Winning his 10% physical and 90% mental, according to the old adage.


The current squad are as physically fit as any who have pulled on a red


shirt, so is it a case of complacency? I do not think it has


been a physical or game thing, it is mentally, we are not quite as


sharp as we were. Baby that is a little bit, sometimes the players


are thinking they have achieved something in the last 12 months,


the pressure is off, they are not on edge as much as they should have


been for those first couple of games. I do not think there has


been lapses in mental states of the players or anything like that. But


I know coming into the camp this Monday, everyone was really excited.


We had to figure out the game recently and find out what went


wrong, but we are looking forward to the game on Saturday, we are


full of confidence. The effective game-plan that has served Wales so


well in the past seems to be faltering. Have they become too


one-dimensional? In terms of being one-dimensional, I think that


criticism could have been posed at me when I first arrived. We were


quite structured in the way that we played, but we have differed in the


last year or so, we have tried to give players more responsibility to


play what is in front of them, move the ball if they have felt that


moving the ball in our twenties he was on, to have the confidence to


do that and changed the attacking structures. We have tried to


implement that. Next it is the world champions and Wales will be


without winner George North. Form and history suggests another all-


black victory. One of the things that surprise me against the All


Blacks is that they are a fantastic group of players, great athletes


but they are not the biggest players in the world. We saw the


periods when Scotland had them under pressure, they were able to


keep the ball and retain possession. That is what we have to get to do


in the weekend, get a big ball carriers, our second rows, wingers


and midfield running and indirect. Looking to retain as much position


as we can. You do not become a good team overnight, but to do not


become a bad team either. I am hoping we have got a good


performance and we can do that on Saturday.


Less than 24 hours to go, until the big game. The New Zealanders are in


town and among them, a shy and retiring soul that Welsh fans have


taken to heart. Very pleased to welcome former All Blacks captain


Justin Marshall. Welcome to Wales again. It is good to be back, thank


you for that kind welcome! What could be made of the autumn so far,


a dramatic fall from grace. It has not been great. To be honest, New


Zealand have paid them a huge compliment. They targeted this game


as being the most difficult -- difficult. They have based their


tour around it, hit their stride for the Wales game. Since then,


Wales suffered some losses but in saying that, they are getting some


players back which helps them. Confidence is massive in sport. You


would have to say that that confidence is going to be lacking


given the recent results. Warren Gatland just said in that piece,


perhaps some of the youngsters have experienced the highs of the Grand


Slam, perhaps there was a bit of complacency. Do you agree with


that? It is difficult when you're playing teams that you are expected


to win. As players you have got to adjust to being the favourite and


performing like favourites, and they have not performed. They are


not playing a kite -- kind of rugby they are capable of. Everyone who


supports Wales can see that. Expectation has Whiddon Down, but I


don't agree with the fact that it is youngsters. Youngsters are


involved in any match. It is just the effect that favouritism and


expectation has stopped them playing the top rugby they know how


to play. Can Warren Gatland coming backing for this match instil


confidence into the Wales players? Do you expect things to improve?


do think they will improve. A capability in this team has not


been shown in the last few weeks in particular. I think they can get


the performance, yes, but the problem for them is the results. In


the last couple of weeks, that is not going to get them to the level


the All Blacks are at at the moment, they are playing grade rugby.


will take a look at your boys very shortly. Now, it is almost exactly


a year since the world of football was left stunned by the death of


Gary Speed at the age of just 42. So what have the last 12 months


been like for Gary's family? We have been speaking to Gary's dad


Roger, while friends and colleagues reflect on an awful day they will


never forget. We interrupt this programme here on


BBC Radio Wales with the news that the football world is stunned


because the Wales manager at Gary Speed has died at the age of 42.


think it was that much of a shock, you do things and you don't realise


what you doing. Until you sit down for five minutes, then you think,


oh, God. I don't believe it. You don't believe it. We still don't


believe it. We are still wondering why a, he had the world at his feet.


So... It has been a struggle. It has been a howler that 12 months. -


- it has been a hell of a 12 months. They still wonder why, football


still wonders why. Still pays its respects, mourns the loss of a


great football man. It is overwhelming, the tributes we have


had. All corners of the globe, Australia, Africa, New Zealand,


America. Canada. People we don't know. They even sent a slappers.


They addressed the letter Mr and Mrs Speed, Gary's parents, no


address, they posted it like that and we got it through the post. I


have got a couple of bin bags for, I have kept all of the letters. It


is tough. Even in morning, the game of football goes on, and it went on,


at the very day that Gary Speed passed away. The game barely


mattered. This was the football world united in grief and disbelief.


How hard was it to actually play a game of football after you have


just heard that a few hours ago? was really hard, I don't remember


anything about the game. If you asked me a highlight, I could not


have the one thing. I think the game was so secondary that day. No


one really wanted to play, and yet the fans, the atmosphere, they felt


the same way. It was one of the toughest games I have ever played.


Three months later, and the team Speed had led had to begin life


against him -- without him. A tribute game against Costa Rica,


and a night of unbearable emotion for his family. Again the game


itself seemed irrelevant, on the night when the players and all


those former team-mate and colleagues off Gary's had Tivoli


listened to his teenage son give a speech. When Ed got up and spoke in


front of all those people, that made my day. Fantastic. Can you


remember what he said? Me and granddad Roger. We will carry on.


We will do it for that, he said. That gets me, it really gets me.


was not about the game of football. It was not about, this is the make


-- next stage and so on. It was about people getting together and a


drawing strength from each other, to help each other through this


difficult time. And the players, despite all the well in the world,


could not perform on the night physically, they were drained


because of the emotional state they were in. So it became a non-


football event as far as I'm concerned. Things were starting to


happen for Speed, he had won four of his nice -- last five games in


charge. There was will promise of what might lie ahead for Wales,


what he might achieve as a coach. The great thing about Gary was, he


knows he was not the end product. He was certainly going that way,


but he was always saying, remember, tell me if I am doing something


wrong or you think it should be done differently. He was always


seeking advice, that is one of the things he wanted me therefore,


probably. So he was always aiming for perfection. Something like this


will always be a void, it will be a major piece in our history,


unfortunately. But that is the reality and we need to insure that


we pay it then it appropriate respects that it has -- deserves,


that Gary and his family deserve. At some point we also have to pick


up the pieces, we did have to think after the event, where do we go now,


what do we do? Of course I was delighted when Gary's friend,


former colleague Andrew made was prepared to tread Pickup the pieces.


-- and room-mate. Some said it was an impossible job for Chris Coleman


and preserving speed's legacy has proved tough. Claims that the


momentum of 12 months ago have gone. We took England to the wire at


Wembley when Robert Earnshaw missed that chance, we were playing great


stuff, moving up the world rankings. The future was so great for him and


the waste that Wales were playing such attractive football, I thought


that with Gary, we would have a great chance of qualifying. I don't


think Walsh report has recovered. Everyone has their opinions, we are


still doing a lot of the backroom staff, our philosophy is still the


same. I suggest they have been changes but not fundamental changes.


Ultimately, yes, people have only got so much patience. Of course,


winning ways must return. We must play more competitively and win


more, that is the game wherein. While the game goes on, memories of


Gary Speed, frozen in time, cherish always. I have got my computer, a


picture of him there on my computer, the screen saver. On my phone, on


Carol's phone, pictures. So we see him and talk to him every day, I


think it is good. And things like this, this is helping me through.


Talking about it. You have got to Sad news this week, with the


passing of former Manchester United player Kenny Morgans. One of the


Busby Babes, that survived the Munich air disaster. Kenny Morgans


was just 16 when he left Swansea to play for Manchester United. He made


his first-team debut aged 18, going on to establish himself in the side


that was to become known as the Busby Babes. He survived the Munich


air disaster in 1958. His unconscious body was pulled out of


the plane five hours after the official search was called off.


After making 23 appearances for United, he returned home to Wales


to play for both Swansea City and There will be tributes to Kenny


Morgans at all the Liberty Stadium and Old Trafford this weekend.


After the disappointment of Helen Jenkins battling through injury to


finish death at this year's Olympics, the latest Welsh


triathlete to make a stamp on the world stage. We went to speak to


her about her rise to the under 23 world title. Born and raised in


Swansea, she has been winning medals from a tender age. Whether


in the pool or dry land, she excelled through her school days.


The four time winner of the London Mini Marathon is note under 23


world triathlon champion. My first sporting memory is when I was


really young, gymnastics. I asked my mum if I would ever go to the


Olympics for gymnastics and she said no. It is pretty harsh but it


save time. When I was 12 or 13 I started running. It was not until


my second year of university I tried to give Praf won a gold. I


had been injured and I wanted a different focus to keep me fit. --


I decided to try ape the triathlon. That was my first training and it


has gone from there. Kelly Holmes spotted her talent and to Kirk to


South Africa to develop her skills as a middle-distance runner.


supported my transition from athletics, and still to this day is


there and if I need to speak to her, I would add credit much of what I


learned to her. You train with the Brownlee brothers. What is that


like? Fantastic. The support staff and coaching staff are brilliant,


and I have the best training partners in the world in the


Brownlee brothers. They always offer guidance and advice. That is


why I made a leap forward. You were down at the Olympics watching Helen


Jenkins. Has she been something to aim for? She is one of the nicest


people I've ever met, she's been a good friend and helped me all the


way. She always gives me good advice and is a fantastic role


model for all of us. In August, she was in the team that won the world


relay gold, and last month in Auckland she added the under 23


individual title. If 12 months ago you said I would get to stand on a


world podium twice, I would not have believed you. It was fantastic,


before the race, I knew I had a decent chance of getting a medal if


it went to plan, as the race unfolded and I was looking about, I


realise we were pulling away. I could not believe it. We gained


confidence, when we went out onto the run there was two of us left.


With one K to go live broke her and realised. It still hasn't hit home


that I am world champion. It does not feel any different. Before that


he had the relay Championship. was amazing, I was in a team with


the Olympians, to stand at the start with them felt really


honoured. It spurred me on to be allowed my best performance because


I didn't want to let those guys down. Next year, we will be doing


the world triathlon series, concentrating on doing well at that.


The Grand Final is in London, so that would be fantastic. We also


need to think about the Commonwealth selection which starts


next year, if I can qualify next year, know that I have that in the


back, that would be really good. I Back to football, and to a man who


is still a hero to thousands of Swansea fans for getting the club


into the Premier League. To others he is a villain for walking out in


the summer to join Liverpool. This weekend, he's back at the Liberty


Stadium for the first time, and we've been speaking to Brendan


Rodgers. Never mind that he was only there for two years, getting


Swansea to the Premier League made Brendan Rodgers one of the best


managers to some. He left to go and match one of the biggest clubs in


the world. It was a great experience and I was very honoured


to be in Wales at that time because it was not just the Swansea


experience, I loved the Welsh people, and they gave me everything.


Whatever reception I get is irrelevant. The important thing is


I know they're good people there. I'm sure time will heal any at


thought they might have. Few would have spotted, but he makes his


first return to Swansea with his old club above his new club in the


table. I think the play slightly different. Each manager that has


gone in there for the last six years, they created foundations,


put different slants on it, there is a bit more counter-attack this


year. They are still doing stuff on the ball. Along comes the launch of


a book from Ashley Williams that includes an attack on Luis Suarez,


who he calls a diver. Speaking to us, he is more complimentary.


have two stand-out players, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. I think


Luis Suarez is the best striker in the Premier League this season. I


stand by that. Steven Gerrard is a legend, Joe Allen, I know him well.


There are lots of internationals and it will be a difficult test.


When I was manager at Swansea City and we were analysing him, he is


one of those players that robs people up the wrong way. But when


you get to know him, you know he's a good guy. Wonderful player, and


if you work with him you see why managers love him, coaches love him,


supporters idolise him. He gives his all. The question is whether


Brendan Rodgers will rubs once fans up the wrong way on Sunday, --


rubber Swansea stands up the wrong way. What reception will he get?


think it will be a good one but it's important to remember what he


did with the club, we got promoted together and he was a massive part


of that. We are looking to win the game, they are a top team but I


think we are really confident at the moment, enjoying our football.


We will be looking to win the game. Elsewhere in the Premier League,


Mark Hughes was sacked as manager of QPR after just 10 months in


charge, with QPR bottom-of-the- table and looking for their first


victory of the season. Back to rugby now, and tomorrow, Wales face


the New Zealand side that some were saying are possibly the greatest


team ever. They are full world- class players. At team led by --


this team are led by a familiar face to Welsh rugby fans. He was


criticised during a whitewash in the Six Nations and a record number


of defeats ahead of the World Cup in 2003. I keep telling you, we


cannot win if we don't perform, so why do we need to keep bringing it


up? The mantra did not so easy with the media, but the core group of


players won the Grand Slam idea later. He returned to Cardiff with


the national team but once again was vilified. It is disappointing,


this team deserves more than that. Three Grand Slams in the last eight


years, this is a good team. Injuries are not helping at the


moment, I don't know what else is happening, but sometimes little


things make a difference, and possibly they've been looking


forward to this game for a long time and this is one they've been


looking at and maybe the taken their eye off the ball. There is


enough history with this group. career back in New Zealand saw him


reunited with Henry, before taking the top job after the World Cup.


He's in charge of the most talented rugby side in the world. Taking


over world championship-winning side, is that easiest job in the


world or the hardest? It is what it is. You have to get excited about


that. I certainly was. It is humbling to coach any national team,


and I was very grateful for this opportunity. It's my own country,


it is even more humbling. That is sad legacy that the All Blacks have,


you've got a duty to make sure you do things right and make it better,


that's what pushes you along. People are saying it is the best


I'd ever. Is that a difficult thing to deal with? Other people are


saying that. It is just about us being as good as we can and


striving to be better. That is one of the things we set out to do at


the beginning of the year, respect our opponents at all times and get


better as an individual and as a group. Going horribly wrong for


Wales in the opening series. They know they need to go to the dark


places to get right. When this Welsh team does that there are good


side. History tells us that. Three Grand Slams and a semi-final in the


World Cup. There is enough history there to suggest we need to go to


the dark place ourselves and prepare completely, otherwise we


will the second. We have just seen them. Is this the greatest All


Blacks team ever? Difficult question. They are not bad. It is


difficult to answer that considering I was involved in the


team for a wild, so I was thinking we were not bad. These guys are


pretty good, they have a winning streak, culminating in a dry in


Brisbane. You try not to be too arrogant, because when you say they


are the greatest team you get beaten. Steve Hanson said, maybe


Wales took their eye off the ball. They have been looking at this


match and they took the last two for granted. Can you see his point?


Yes. Possibly they took their eye off the ball and targeted the All


Blacks game. That is not sensible, but who knows? They could be


building for a performance against the All Blacks. Let's hope so.


have a soft spot against Wales. What do they need to do to beat


them all Blacks? The need to uncomplicated themselves. The


biggest issue I have seen is the are looking to do too much. I


watched the game against Argentina, they were throwing short balls,


outside drifting, it looked like it was too messy. The directness from


Phillips on No. 9, those things were working really well. They need


to not think too much. Are they too predictable? It doesn't matter if


you're too predictable as long as you do it well. When the play and


complicated rugby they are lethal. Score prediction? The All Blacks


are a better team by 20 points. The pace and confidence they are


playing with, Wales cannot get up to speed with which New Zealand are.


It is New Zealand's second last game of the season, Wales are


trying to find answers. We have already got the answers. Justin


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