By Non Evans
I am currently spending a week in the South of France, enjoying the sun and trying to come to terms with retirement from International sport.
This time last year I was in London playing for Wales at the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, closely followed by the Commonwealth Games inDelhi, where I was competing at Olympic Freestyle Wrestling.
But this summer I am ‘relaxing’ not worrying about ‘pre-season training’ for the first time in 16 years…Despite this I am still training two-three times a day. An addiction to exercise is difficult to get out of the system…!
But at least I have the men’s Rugby World Cup to look forward to next month, with the warm up matches keeping me occupied, along with the Tri-Nations Rugby Championships and the World Athletics Championships which start in South Koreaon the 27th August.
Last Friday I was in Wrexham at the National Eisteddfod being honoured into the Gorsedd of the Bards, alongside a number of Welsh greats including International Rugby referee Nigel Owens. I rushed home on Saturday in order to get back in time to watch Wales play England at Twickenham in the first of their World Cup warm up games.
It wasn’t a bad encounter, but didn’t stop me unpacking, doing my washing, ironing and packing again for my trip toFrance…! In contrast when I watched the New Zealand versus Australia game later on that evening (which I had recorded) I was glued to the television.
The match kept me fixated for 80 minutes, unable to complete any further chores due to the pace, excitement and quality of the match. Every try scored was of high quality, and both sides were happy to run the ball on every occasion.
In saying that, neither team committed players to the ruck, and if England or Wales had played a pick and drive power game, against either side, they probably would have made good inroads.
I am looking forward to watching Wales take on the old enemy at the Millennium stadium again on Saturday to see if they can overturn them and build some much needed confidence and momentum ahead of the World Cup.
A good friend of mine, Newport’s Christian Malcolm, will have the honour of captaining the Great Britainteam at the World Athletics Championships later this month. Malcolm won a 4thUK 200m title this year and is likely to retire from athletics after the 2012 Olympics. Jessica Ennis, Philips Idowu and Mo Farah are gold medal hopes alongside our very own Dai Greene.
So plenty to look forward to in the sporting world over the next two months, and hopefully plenty to cheer me up as I deal with life without competitive sport…!
- Non is one of Wales’ most successful sports personalities, having achieved international honours in four sports. She’s been capped 87 times for Wales women’s squad and has represented Wales at the Commonwealth games in judo, weightlifting and wrestling. Non was recently admitted to the Goresedd. You can follow her on twitter @NonEvans