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Rugby World Cup 2011, Sport


In less than 24 hours time, rugby clubs across Wales will be opening their doors with the smell of bacon and beer, as fans prepare to watch Warren Gatland’s men take on the mighty Springboks.

But while tomorrow’s focus will be on South Africa, this year’s Rugby World Cup tournament is, of course, being played in New Zealand.

Hannah's grandfather George Thomas, New Zealand coach Graham Henry and Hannah's uncle Fred Thomas

And I start my tour of Welsh rugby clubs in the morning at Cefn Coed near Merthyr Tydfil – a club with a few more links to New Zealand than you may think. Because it was there, that Graham Henry began his look at the grassroots of Welsh rugby football back in the 1990s. Legend has it that he’d barely stepped off the plane before he was on his way up the A470, to see how things were done in Cefn. He may be coaching his home nation now, but then he was hailed as the Prodigal Son from New Zealand, arriving to give Wales and rugby a much-needed boost.

In fact, my grandfather and uncle both have very treasured memories and photographs of that day. And they say they’ll never forget the day a Kiwi came to Cefn!

And you can see more of Hannah in Cefn Coed Rugby Club, on Sunday from 9:10am, in Live Wales Rugby World Cup 2011 – South Africa v Wales, on ITV1 Wales. Don’t miss it!



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