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Series victory keeps Wales at the forefront of world deaf rugby
The triumphant Wales Deaf Rugby team returned home to a heroes’ welcome today, following their 2 – 0 test series win against South Africa Deaf Rugby.
Played in Pretoria, the current world deaf champions secured victories against the ‘Deaf Boks’ by 48 points to 3 in the first test; and by 65 points to 8 in the second test to claim the inaugural ‘Africa Deaf Rugby Cup’.
The players were greeted on arrival at the Sport Wales National Centre by Welsh Rugby Union President Dennis Gethin, Martin Davies (National Representative with Special Responsibility for Financial Affairs) and Jon Morgan (Executive Director for Disability Sport Wales).
Elated Wales team captain Adam Brake, said; “Both tests were a big challenge in terms playing at an altitude of more than 4,000 feet above sea level and against a team we had not played before. I’m delighted with the players’ performance as we were playing a team and the tour has been another important step, not only for deaf rugby in Wales, but for the development of deaf rugby worldwide.”
He continued; “The whole squad wanted to make Wales proud and it has been a fantastic experience for everyone both on and off the pitch in a country renowned for its passion for rugby. We are very grateful to everyone who supported the tour and especially our hosts in South Africa.”
The President of the Welsh Rugby Union, Dennis Gethin, said: “I want to congratulate the Wales Deaf Rugby team on two excellent victories against the South African Deaf on their recent tour.
“Yet again our Deaf Team has proved to be great ambassadors for Wales both on and off the field and the whole of Welsh rugby is proud of their achievements. We look forward to their continued success as they are truly a credit to Wales.”
The First Minister, Carwyn Jones said: “I’d like to congratulate the Wales Deaf Rugby team on their fantastic achievement in South Africa. The team should be proud of their success and their important role in raising awareness of deaf rugby. We want to see more people taking part in physical activity and I hope that the team’s success will inspire others to take up sport.”
During the tour, the Wales squad also participated in rugby skills coaching with young people who have a hearing impairment. This reflects similar activity undertaken in Wales as the Union strives to give young people the opportunity to give rugby a try and identify players for the future.
Please visit our Facebook page for more photos of the team's arrival home