Shane Williams and Tom Shanklin’s Welsh derby tales from the pitch

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Shane Williams and Tom Shanklin played in numerous Christmas derbies in between them throughout the years and have some significant tales to inform.

They will be on task again this joyful season as pundits with Premier Sports and they are eagerly anticipating some taking in encounters.

Rugby correspondent Simon Thomas overtook the 2 Wales Grand Slam winners to talk derbies and hear some Christmas crackers.

Q: What are the Christmas derby memories that stick out from your playing days?

Shane Williams: I remember2005 was a huge derby for me personally due to the fact that we were playing Cardiff Blues in the house.

You had players like Mike Phillips, Gethin Jenkins. Shanks existed. International players who you have to perform against.

I remember taking on Mike Phillips in the first couple of minutes in the video game and he punched me straight in the eye, which doesn’t sound too unfamiliar does it, with him kicking off!

The issue was I was getting wed on the Sunday and this video game was right before it. He deliberately punched me in the eye so I had a black eye for my wedding event pictures! That sums up Mike Phillips and sums up the regional derbies. It’s all about getting one over on your opposition.

He purchased me a beer and apologised for it at my wedding, so it was all best later on!

Tom Shanklin: I remember one video game against the Dragons about 2007, we had Lee Thomas, who was a fairly young 10, and he was playing against Ceri Sweeney.

Sweeney kept striking him really late all the time off the ball. After the 3rd or 4th attempt, he hit him actually late. So I dropped on top of Sweeney and began hammering his head, in a friendly way! Nothing too aggressive because he’s a good mate of mine.

But then, after the game, I had loads of texts off the Dragons boys saying ‘Oh thanks, well done, we have been desperate to put one into Sweeney for about 5 years’.

Q: Which group did you enjoy betting many throughout the festive derbies?

SW: The hardest place to discuss that period was Rodney Parade. The crowd were dreadful for the Ospreys and terrific for the Dragons. Every small error you made, the whole of the ground was on its feet and yelling at you which was constantly very intimidating.

Cardiff Blues was a huge tester since there were individuals like Rhys Williams, Craig Morgan and Tom James that I had to play well versus.

However my preferred location to play was Stradey Park. Originating from the Llanelli region, in Carmarthenshire, don’t tell anyone, however I constantly wished to bet the Scarlets.

So to represent Neath and then the Ospreys down there was constantly huge. I absolutely enjoyed it. The crowd hated me, they disliked Neath and the Ospreys, so to get one over on the Scarlets was constantly a big one.

I keep in mind in 2008 when James Hook scored. I made a break down the right-hand side and good offload and hands all the method down the back-line and Hooky scored in the corner and we beat the Scarlets. That was one of my most favourite rugby minutes, not simply in regional derbies. That was a huge win for us. For as soon as, we silenced the Stradey Park crowd, just for a bit mind. That was always among my favourite games to play in.


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SW: I will begin with the Ospreys.

I really enjoy Mat Protheroe on the wing there.

Finally, with the Dragons, I am a big Rhodri Williams fan.

Steff Evans in action for the Scarlets

SW: I have actually discussed Steff’s mullet out of total respect when I have actually been commentating.

SW: It’s good to actually have hair Shanks, isn’t it, so you can do these kind of hairstyles!

It’s boasting rights and you are vying for positions.

Premier Sports’ Tom Shanklin

SW: We require a bit of positivity in our lives.

The Scarlets are 2 from two in Europe, albeit Toulon didn’t fancy the conditions or whatever it was, it does not matter.

The Blues won a tough video game up in Newcastle and, suddenly, the Ospreys seem to be doing especially well with two from two in the Challenge Cup with complete bonus points. We didn’t think we would be stating that this season.

It was a huge task for Toby Cubicle to take control of and take them out of the doldrums. I have actually watched several of the Ospreys games now and there is definitely a various attitude.

So there appears to be a little bit of a buzz in the air and we do need it at the moment since it’s doom and gloom sometimes and bad news one after the other.

We require all the positive news we can get, so we will take every victory and every great efficiency.

Join Tom Shanklin and Eddie Butler for Dragons v Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day live from Rodney Parade on Premier Sports 1 from 2.30 pm.

Shane Williams signs up with a knowledgeable Premier Sports line-up for Ospreys against Scarlets on Boxing Day reside on Premier Sports 1 from 5.05 pm with Ross Harries, Sean Holley, Wyn Gruffydd and Lauren Jenkins.

Join Tom Shanklin, Shane Williams, Ross Harries, Eddie Butler and Lauren Jenkins survive on New Year’s Day for coverage of Cardiff Blues versus Ospreys on Premier Sports 1 from 7.20 pm.

Tune-in for Scarlets v Dragons live on Premier Sports 1 from 4.45 pm on New Year’s Day.

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