If you’re not an avid rugby fan, this world of predominantly stocky men with thighs made of concrete might conjure up images of Gavin Henson, famed for his overly orange tan and a penchant for sculpted eyebrows. Or perhaps Gareth Thomas who was the first rugby player to reveal that he was gay in a primarily straight industry? And not forgetting those rugby songs that you may have been privy to down your local pub.
Back To The Boys
Both Gavin Henson and Gareth Thomas are credible players who both happen to be Welsh. They have also both made the headlines over the years for different reasons. Sometimes referencing their sporting achievements and at other times, for Gavin Henson, highlighting his high-profile relationship with Charlotte Church. Both have participated in TV reality shows, Henson made uncomfortable viewing in The Bachelor and an unlikely candidate in Strictly Come Dancing. Thomas offered a subdued but likeable presence in the Big Brother house.
Gareth Thomas aka ‘Alfie’ retired from the game in 2011. During his career he accrued many accolades which include being ranked the 12th highest international try scorer and the second highest try scorer for Wales. He is also the third most capped Welsh rugby union player and won four rugby league caps for Wales. He has made 100 test match appearances for Wales and a further three for the British and Irish Lions.
In 2010, following the reveal of his sexuality in 2009, he was awarded Stonewall’s Hero of the Year and topped the Pink List, which recognises the 101 most influential gay people in the UK.
Gavin Henson is still very much a part of the game and currently plays for London Welsh. During his career he has also played for the British and Irish Lions, but really came into the spotlight as part of the Wales national team. The team achieved grand slams during the Six Nation Championship in 2005 and 2008.
Sing It Loud and Proud
Rugby songs go hand in hand with the game. Fans belt out their favourite songs in support of their team or country. Unfortunately their content is a little too blue to grace these pages.
This annual international rugby union competition consists of six teams representing England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy compete against one another for the coveted trophy. Formerly the Five Nations Championships until 1999, the Six Nations Championships attracts fans predominantly from Europe keen to support their rugby heroes.
And The Winner Is…
This year Wales won the Six Nations Championship title. Scotland and Italy are the only teams not to have been awarded it since its name change in 2000. Perhaps they will have better luck in 2014? Fans can take advantage of Six Nation Tours to ensure they don’t miss any of the action next year either. Have a look online for the best deals and book your tickets early.
Rob Rudd enjoys writing for several sporting websites. When he is not writing he enjoys researching, reading other people’s opinions and generally keeping up to date with all the industry news.
Photo Credits: Wikipedia