The woman who now plays for Wales eight years after rugby killed her father


Teleri Wyn Davies’ relationship with rugby is an advanced one, to say the least.

The Wales worldwide grew up watching her father Bryan – affectionately often known as ‘Yogi’ – stay and breathe the game, and it was a giant a part of the household’s life collectively.

However a scrum gone improper left her father with a life-changing harm.

In his final recreation for Bala in 2007, in opposition to Nant Conwy, a scrum collapsed and hooker Bryan heard his neck “crack”.

Three of his vertebrae had damaged, and he was left paralysed from the neck down.

In a merciless accident, he had introduced within the altering room previous to the sport that it was to be his final one, wishing to retire aged 49. The daddy-of-two had been given the honour of being captain for the fixture.

His story touched the hearts of Welsh rugby followers, with locals and rugby followers from the world over elevating £200,000 to adapt his dwelling for disabled use.

He spent years in hospital, and died six years after the accident in 2013 at his dwelling in Bala, forsaking spouse Susan, Teleri and son Ilan. An inquest into his dying in 2014, which recorded a conclusion of unintended dying, was instructed by a GP that pneumonia because of tetraplegia, due to spinal wire harm, was the reason for dying.

“I did have just a few years the place I hated rugby,” the Wales lock instructed Scrum V.

“I had this large grudge the place that sport ruined our household life.

“It was a tough factor to see my dad leaving the home that day such a match and powerful man… coming again dwelling two years later in a wheelchair.”

The Sale Sharks second-row, 24, had stopped enjoying rugby after the accident, but it surely was a heart-to-heart chat together with her dad when she was a teen that proved pivotal in altering her mindset across the sport that had robbed her household of a lot.

“I keep in mind asking him if he might spend sooner or later as a ‘regular’ particular person once more, what would he do? And the reply was, he would spend the day enjoying rugby.

“From then on, I realised I wanted to start out enjoying rugby once more – for him greater than something.”

Bryan ‘Yogi’ Davies pictured along with his spouse Susan, son Ilan, and daughter Teleri – then aged 15

She performed and captained Caernarfon and likewise began a ladies’ staff at Bala.

After Bryan’s dying, she accomplished the work he had began to construct an extension to the Bala clubhouse in order that youngsters might share a meal collectively after video games as an alternative of consuming within the altering rooms.

“When he did cross away, I felt prefer it was my accountability to hold on his legacy.”

She made her Wales worldwide debut in opposition to Scotland again in 2018 – considered one of her proudest moments so far – however needed to wait three years to earn her second in opposition to France within the revamped 2021 Six Nations. It marked her first begin, and she or he adopted it up with a begin and an look off the bench within the closing two video games.

Lockdown has allowed the trainee solicitor, who gained a firstclass honours diploma from Bangor College, to reassess her rugby ambitions.

What began out as her father’s dream is now her dream, too.

“I realised I wished to take rugby additional. It was my father’s dream initially and I wish to keep it up his legacy, his identify if you happen to like.

“That’s what pushes me after I really feel low or if instances are powerful. That’s my ‘why’. I really feel closest to my dad after I’m enjoying rugby.

“Nonetheless, at this stage I wouldn’t be right here if it wasn’t my dream too. I realised that throughout the first lockdown. I realised I wished to take rugby additional.”

Teleri Wyn Davies of Wales is tackled by Beibhinn Parsons of Eire within the 2021 Girls’s Six Nations

A name from Sale Sharks head of girls’s rugby Darren Lamon proved to be the motivation she wanted to take the subsequent step, becoming a member of England’s high ladies’s league: the Allianz Premier 15s.

“It meant I needed to step down as Caernarfon captain but it surely’s one thing I wanted to do and I’m loving it.

“I’ve had unbelievable help from my household and mates.

“I don’t understand how my mom watches me play having misplaced her husband in the way in which she did. However she is aware of how a lot it means to me and that I’m doing it for dad so she’s given me her full help. The identical with my brother and my grandparents.”

A recall to the Wales squad quickly adopted her transfer to Sale, as Davies was introduced again into the fold by new head coach Warren Abrahams.

“It is such an honour to be again within the combine within the place I like to play, and the place I really feel comfy enjoying,” she added.

“I simply wish to preserve difficult myself and having fun with my rugby. We’ve all been enjoying with and in opposition to a few of the finest feminine gamers within the nation within the Allanz Premier 15s and my recreation has come on a lot because the begin of the season. It’s thrilling to see the place we are able to go from right here.”


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