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Sport Talented Wales winger back in rugby after becoming a builder during pandemic

19:05  22 october  2021
19:05  22 october  2021 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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After working on a building site and being out of rugby for some 18 months, former Wales U20s star George Gasson is back in the game.

The 24-year-old winger was one of the casualties of the axing of the Wales Sevens team due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Having represented his country in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, he suddenly found himself out of a job when his Welsh Rugby Union contract was not extended.

Unable to find alternative employment in rugby, he took up a post as an electrical labourer on a building side, while continuing his sports rehabilitation and massage studies at Cardiff Met University.

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The former Dragons speedster played in around nine World Series events for Wales, taking in locations as far flung as Dubai, Cape Town, Hamilton, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, London, Las Vegas and Vancouver.

"In the last year of my contract with the Dragons, they chucked me in the Sevens programme and I grew to love it," he said.

"I was getting loads of game time and playing against some of the best athletes in the world in front of massive crowds.

"I just gained loads of confidence and started to love my rugby again.

"I really enjoyed my time with Wales. I learnt so much on the Sevens circuit and my experience with the team was brilliant."

But that all came to an end with the axing of the Sevens team by the WRU, with the programme having been rendered unsustainable by the Covid disruption to the World Series.

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So the Caerphilly-based ex-Bedwas winger, who played Celtic Cup rugby for the Ospreys in 2019, headed for the building site for employment, an opportunity he considered himself fortunate to have secured.

Yet, he still had a burning desire to play rugby.

He kept on training like a professional athlete, doing weights and focusing on his fitness and nutrition, alongside his work and studies.

He stayed positive and now he’s back in the sport he loves.

Gasson has signed for Cardiff RFC and will make his debut for the club in Saturday afternoon’s Indigo Premiership Cup clash with RGC in Colwyn Bay.

It has been a long road back and a pretty different one, but the fleet-footed three-quarter is ready to fly again.

On the other wing, there will also be a debut for Theo Cabango, the brother of Swansea and Wales footballer Ben Cabango.

Cardiff RFC: Jacob Beetham, Theo Cabango, Tom Hoppe, Ryan Wilkins, George Gasson; Jack Maynard, Rory Harries; Brynley Tom, Iestyn Harris, Keiron Assaratti, Ben Murphy, Sean Moore, Sam Moore, Alex Everett, Morgan Allen.

Replacements : Nathan Evans, Evan Yardley, Ollie Drake, Rhys Anstey, Alex Mann, Liam Free, Cameron Winnett, Ioan Evans.

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Springboks to end Cardiff hoodoo against Wales .
Wales will be determined to get their Autumn Nations Series campaign back on track when they take on South Africa in Cardiff on Saturday.Matches between these teams have been closely fought battles of late and although their previous encounter – at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan – saw the Springboks claiming a narrow victory, Wales will be determined to continue their winning run at the Principality Stadium.

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