Q: How long have you been playing rugby to start with, Rhodri?
A: Well, I started – first started playing rugby when I was about – round about eight years old. So that’s nearly eight years now.
Q: Did you take to it straight away? And can you tell me why? What is it about the game? Because it’s almost a religion in Wales at the moment, I think.
A: Well, I started playing because all my friends are playing. And, well, they asked me and I liked the thought of it. And it’s like all the – we’re together, with all boys, like all the team. And it’s just really good, all together, like.
Q: How big a part of your life is it, would you say now? How much time does it take up?
A: Oh, it’s a really big part of my life now. I’m training every day, whether it’s weight training, training for the club, county, school. It takes up quite a lot of my time now.
Q: How far along the road to being an international are you, then? Where are you now?
A: There’s a long way to go yet. But I think I’m doing alright now. I’m in the County. I’m in the Welsh Development squad at the moment. But I think there’s quite a long way to go yet before I get to the full International.
Q: What age group would that be?
A: Well, you can get your full International cap usually around about nineteen, twenty years of age.
Q: Where are you now then, what age group are you in, sorry?
A: I’m the sixteens at the moment. And I would say my – [inaudible 0:01:26] there is an International – I can get an International cap this year now, under sixteen [inaudible 0:01:29]. And [inaudible 0:01:32] youth, under twenty-ones. Then it’s on to a full International cap then for the senior team.
Q: How do you think you’ll feel if you get your first cap?
A: That’ll be brilliant. That’s the ultimate dream. Anybody who plays rugby is to play for the International team, I think, anyway. That’s the ultimate dream.
Q: What is it about rugby that grabs us so much? Because it’s all of us, really, you know, it’s women of my age, little boys, men, whatever.
A: I think it’s –
Q: Why is it so big for Welsh People?
A: I think it’s because – the mentality of the Welsh is, if the Welsh rugby team is doing well, then the whole country feels good about it. It’s all down to the Welsh rugby team. Doing well at the moment, it gives the nation a self-confidence throughout the whole of the country. And it’s all down to the Welsh rugby team.
Q: Can you imagine standing on the turf of the Millennium Stadium in a row and singing the Welsh national anthem?
A: Yeah, it’s brilliant. Even when I go to watch games now, it sends a – a tingle goes up my spine just standing there singing the national anthem. It’s a brilliant feeling. And I couldn’t imagine what it must feel like for the players standing there singing it. Brilliant.
Q: What is the greatest ambition of your life for the future? If I say what’s next for you, Rhodri, what would you say, no hesitation?
A: That’s to play for Wales. But first of all it’s become a professional player, rugby player, and then hopefully go on to play for Wales.
Q: Would you like that to be your life, your paid job?
A: Yeah, I think because I’m doing something that I enjoy doing and I’m getting paid for something I enjoy doing.
Q: Do you think that will come, that we will have like the soccer scene, that we would have league cup clubs big enough to be able to support people, to pay them like the soccer players, a fantastic wage, isn’t it?
A: Yeah, I think so. If you look at Jonah Lomu now, he’s just gone to Bristol and he’s been paid something like £500,000 a year just to play rugby now. And I think it will follow the way of football, being paid £10-20-30,000 a week, I think so.
Q: What is your blueprint, then? What are you looking for? What are you going to do immediately, then, when you leave school?
A: Well, I hope to do something about – into computing. And maybe then if I get the chance, if I get offered a full-time contract with a rugby club, maybe then –
Q: That’s what you really want?
A: Yeah. Maybe then I’ll go into being a professional rugby player and being paid to do it.
Q: Are there other chaps like you, other young men who have this burning ambition? Are you the only one in the village?
A: No, I don’t think I’m the only one. I think there is quite a few people around who really do want to become rugby players, I’m not the only person.