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This Ten Questions idea is to ask a leading rugby personality; either a player, from the the media or an administrator some questions which may prompt a response from them which we have not heard of before;
For a start let's get the pronunciation correct of Wyn's name. His glorious Welsh surname of Gruffydd is pronouced as 'Griffith.' The, shall we say, curious look of the surname has had many of his travelling colleagues simply ask for 'Mr Gruff-idd' to hotel desk staff etc. It is easier perhaps.
Wyn has been a great travelling buddy for several decades now. His genial nature makes him a pleasure to work alongside. He and I have mostly worked together on the World Sevens rugby series where, quite simply we have had a lot of fun.
Of Wyn's particular talents none is great than his ability to commentate fluently in two languages; English and Welsh. To a Welshman that might seem no problem - but we outsiders can only marvel that all of the jargon of sport and the coloquialisms of different sporting expressions tumble off the lips of Wyn with nary a hesitation. Well not that I can see anyway! [See Wyn's beautiful answer to Question 7 below]
My thanks to Wyn for his willingness to open up to 'Ten Questions' on keithquinnrugby.com
From soccer it was Leeds and Juventus' 'Il Gigante Buono', Swansea born John Charles. From rugby, it was former Swansea, Wales and British Lion wing threequarter Dewi Bebb. By chance, we became work colleagues at HTV Wales in years to come. When I commentated on the final of the Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 1995, Dewi was directing back in Cardiff. At the end of transmission, he opened all the microphones and declared that was his finest hour in broadcasting. Thousands of miles away in Jo'burg I shed a tear. Nine months later he passed away. I cried.
I have been very fortunate to visit wonderful places through my work, but would not exchange any of them for where I now live. To take your question literally, I would move next door. Otherwise it would be Patagonia in wild and woolly southern Argentina. They speak Welsh there you know!
That is for others to say, but I find it hard to say "No".
Arrogance and ignorance; they usually come together. My late mother would always ask me after a broadcasting assignment - "Did anyone thank you?" The answer was inevitably a "No" but then I don't expect it in the business I am in. I never really gave it a second thought until now, but she was right - a "thank you" costs nothing.
Superstition? No? Fear? Heights and the prospect of losing my 'marbles' in old age, but then I shall be past caring anyway!
Apart from our two sons, surviving in a cut-throat business and seeking out other broadcasting opportunities, because when one door closes in 'TV land', invariably another gets slammed in your face!
The Welsh language.
I may be selfish, but it is the singular satisfaction of reflecting on a job well done. It's that "Yes" moment!
The places I've been to, the people that I have met, the friends that I have made, I am in a good place.
There are two: 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail', and 'Don't let the 'buggers' get you down'. I learnt during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand that the use of the word 'bugger' is completely acceptable. Memo to self: New Zealand might be an alternative to South America!
NZ tumbled out of the 4th Rugby World Cup at the semi-final stage; ahead 24-10 at one stage,
the AB's then leaked 33 unanswered points to lose 43-31.
Hawke’s Bay, East Coast and New Zealand
9 internationals for New Zealand 1924–30
A legendary figure in a legendary team, the 1924 ‘Invincible’ All Blacks. Only 19 at the time, George Nepia played all 38 matches during that gruelling tour of Australia, Britain, Ireland, France and Canada.
British sides were unstinting in their praise of Nepia, the rock on whom so many of their attacks foundered. His courage under the high ball and in repelling foot rushes, the crunching certainty of his tackling and the strength of his spiraled line kicking – all of these combined to restrict opposition teams to no more than 180 points against the All Blacks in the 38 games.
Nepia could also run with the ball. He had started his first-class career as a wing, then a five-eighth, before outstanding fullback displays in 1924 resulted in his being chosen as the only last line of defence. Early in the tour of Britain he made a sizzling run, but the dictatorial Mark Nicholls told him to leave the running to his five-eighths and three-quarters: his job was to defend. It was not until the 37th match of the tour, in Canada, that Nepia scored his first try!
A bogus telegram which advised the selectors of Nepia’s ‘unavailability’ cost him a place with the New Zealand Maoris’ trend-setting tour to Britain in 1927, and his All Black career finished after the 1930 home series against the British Isles. After a temporary retirement, Nepia returned to bid for a place with the 1935–36 All Blacks to tour Britain but was surprisingly not selected, though then playing as well as at any time of his career.
With his financial security in tatters at the end of the Depression, Nepia readily accepted the lure of rugby league money and played two seasons in England, and then for New Zealand. Reinstated to rugby in what was then called the ‘war-time amnesty’ which allowed rugby league professionals to return without recrimination to the amateur rugby union, Nepia played for East Coast in 1947, and in 1950 captained the Olympians club in a first-class fixture against Poverty Bay. George Nepia, father and son, were the fullbacks and captains on this historic day, George senior being 45 years old at the time.
He became an active referee and many spectators went to games just to watch Nepia referee, rather than see the two teams doing battle.
Which international rugby player who went to two Rugby World Cups also won two Olympic Games Gold Medals and 2 World Championship bronze medals in a chosen 'other' sport?