Gwyn’s glad to be back home for a while!

Gwyn’s glad to be back home for a while!Making a welcome return to these shores over the past two months from his home in Australia has been Gwynant Watson, who has been delighted to return to his cricketing roots at Llandigige Fawr and play a few games in the first division of Pembrokeshire Cricket for Llanrhian.
Gwynant, or Gwyn as he is better known, is the younger brother of Fraser Watson, the well-known rugby player and sports journalist with the Western Telegraph, and like his brother enjoys taking part in a range of sporting activities.

Wide range of sporting interests

He lives in the Melbourne suburb of Albert Park and plays cricket for the local club, where Shane Warne set out and still returns to the club whenever he has the chance.
During the winter months he plays outside centre for Powerhouse RFC, which has five senior teams, enjoys a round of golf whenever he can (off a handicap of 12) and regularly attends the Formula One races in Australia and Singapore as he helps out his aunt Lynden, who runs the successful LSA Travel Formula One.
She organises the travel arrangements for a number of the racing teams' retinues, plus Grand Prix supporters eager to get the best out of their motor sport all over the world – and he’s even been in the pit area with Aunt Lynden.

Back at Llandigige Fawr

Since his return to the family home in Croesgoch, Gwyn has enjoyed his cricket with Llanrhian, and told us:
"When I left Llanrhian they were playing in the third division but have done really well to get promoted twice.
"I recently played in a match on The Racecourse where we were slammed by Haverfordwest, who had in Ben Field and Simon Holliday as two of the best batsman I have bowled to for a long time.
"Most of the current Llanrhian team were members of the side which was coached by the late Eric Flynn and then by Rob Morris, and won the Ormond Youth Cup in 2003 by beating Whitland, including Luke and Ben Jones, Geraint Morris, Matthew Bennett, Gareth Davies and Adam Raymond, who has since switched to Haverfordwest.
"I also enjoyed our win over Llangwm at Pill Parks and I'm really looking forward to a few more games before I go back to our form of cricket in Australia, which is very different from over here.

Different cricketing format in Oz

"We play T20 in the 'Last Man Standing' format that has become so popular in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Caribbean.
"We play 20 overs per team but with only eight men - and we bowl ten overs straight through at one end and then another ten overs at the other end, with five balls per over (and no more than six if wides or no balls are included). The first wide or no ball of an innings is punished by one run and subsequent indiscretions are penalised by three runs!
"The boundaries are pulled in so scores of about 180 runs are par - and although the emphasis is on fun it is highly competitive and loved by youngsters who want to play a game but still have time for other things. They can also view their stats on a national web site - in fact I finished fifth in the bowling chart for our region in the previous campaign!
Matches are played on Sunday or midweek and can be rearranged if the weather is bad - and successful teams cam move on to inter-regional  matches, national finals and, eventually, a special celebration in the West Indies. It isn't cheap but what a chance to play at that level!
Gwyn's team is called White River XI (a loose translation of his name in Welsh) and Geraint Morris has previously played there - and Matthew Bennett is due to start in September because he'll be out on Oz at that time!

Family matters

Gwyn's parents, Pat and Ian, are clearly delighted to have him home, as is Fraser - and the three male members went together to watch England take on Australia in Cardiff (and we are reliably assured that he cheered on Alistair Cook and Co).
He's also taken on dad in golf at St Davids Golf Club and although he prefers the open parkland courses in Australia to a links course like St Davids, he says that he can still come away with a win on most occasions.
The Albert Park Golf Course in Australia amazingly shuts down for a month before the Grand Prix so the track can be laid and everything made to look ship-shape - and Gwyn can walk from his house to see it!

Gwyn loves his rugby

Rugby is Gwyn's other main sporting love from the time he was a pupil at St Davids School and he always looked up to Fraser, who was two years older and already playing games at a higher level for teams like Llanelli. Gwyn also did well, however, as he played scrum half in a county team coached by Jonathan Dodd and Matthew Davies that including Welsh squad member and Bath regular Dominic Day.
Then he left for Cardiff University, where he took his Zoology degree, but played football for a team he set up called Zoology FC in the college's Inter Mural games League. Llanrhian cricket mates Chris Cousins and Ben Jones also played and Fraser helped out if the college didn't have rugby matches - and they actually won the league!

Going strong at Powerhouse

Originally Gwyn was going to just travel for a while in the Southern Hemisphere but settled in Melbourne and joined a team called Powerhouse RFC, again based at Albert Park, and a club with a deserved reputation for welcoming overseas' players.
"Surprisingly, rugby isn't as huge in the area as Australian Rules Football, and there are loads of ex-pats, Polynesian players and New Zealanders.
"There are five senior sides there and first team players are closely linked to the Melbourne Rebels’ franchise - I play regularly for the third XV and in one match last season we played against Trevor Leota, who had over 200 appearances as a prop with London Wasps and Samoa.
"The club has 12 coaches and the emphasis is on high skill levels to get the ball out wide, plus good fitness levels, and we reached the semi-finals before missing out to the eventual winners.
"There are only eight rugby clubs in Melbourne and when the Australian Rules Football is played on the oval pitch at Melbourne Cricket Ground it is a real family sport, with upwards of 80,000 spectators at some Friday evening matches.

And finally . . .

Ask Gwyn about his return to Australia and he would say that he is looking forward to playing some rugby before the season there winds up and cricket restarts about October.
In the meanwhile he still has a couple of matches to go at Llandigige Fawr and spending more time with the family.
It was really nice to meet up with Gwyn for a coffee (and Fraser came along too!) and we wish this pleasant and modest sportsman a safe journey home when the time comes!