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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.
Swansea and Wales
26 internationals for Wales 1949–59
2 internationals for British Isles 1955
One of the finest loose forwards Wales produced in the post World War II era, who later became one of the best writers on the game. His full name was Richard Clement Charles Thomas, but from his earliest days the shortened ‘Clem’ was a welcome diminutive.
A tough flanker, he was a ‘Swansea Jack’ through and through, who first made the Welsh team for its end-of-season international against France in Paris in 1949. France won narrowly by 5–3, in what was a battle to avoid last place in the championship. Thomas paid the price for what some in Wales saw as a premature selection (he was only 20 years old) and he was not asked to play internationally again for two seasons.
He was recalled in 1952 as part of the Grand Slam-winning Welsh team and continued to represent Wales until 1959. He toured South Africa as part of the 1955 Lions team, but appendicitis restricted him to two of the four test matches.
Thomas was Welsh captain in his last two seasons, 1957–58 and 1958–59, and was tipped as a possible captain of the British Lions to New Zealand in 1959. Perhaps it was Wales’s modest record in the 1958–59 season which held him back from winning that honour.
When Thomas retired, the butcher became a successful businessman, as well as writing for the Guardian and the Observer with much distinction.
When discussions about Clem Thomas arise in Welsh rugby he is invariably remembered as the player who put in the famous cross-kick against New Zealand in Cardiff in 1953. Thomas was close to the touchline on one side of the field, and, seeing his way ahead blocked by All Blacks, he kicked the ball on an angle towards the goal posts. The two rival wings, arguably the fastest two men in world rugby at that time, Ron Jarden of New Zealand and Ken Jones of Wales, were both standing clear of any other players. When Thomas’s kick landed, it bounced perfectly into the hands of Jones and he sprinted in for a winning try. As the kicker of the ball Thomas was acclaimed as a hero for Wales, and in the years afterwards, he often reflected how his life might have changed had the ball bounced the other way into the hands of Jarden, the flying All Black!
Why did the Wallaby rugby team only practice in the afternoons at the 1987 Rugby World Cup?