Wales On Sunday
Meg pumps iron in her training for the Six Nations
WITH one cousin having played for Wales in the men’s Six Nations, and another having been captain of Wales’ men’s Under-18s and Under-20s teams, it’s no surprise that Meg Webb is following in their footsteps.
But the 20-year-old University of South Wales (USW) student is stepping out of their shadows as part of the Wales Women’s Six Nations squad.
For Meg, it will be another step towards sporting success for the Bridgend-born player, a former pupil of Bryntirion Comprehensive who is now a second-year Adult Nursing student at USW.
“I first started playing rugby when I was eight,” said Meg, who plays at centre.
“My cousin Tommy Reffell, who now plays for Leicester Tigers, was in a team in Bridgend and they were looking for more players as they didn’t have enough in the squad.
“Because I was always into sport and quite an adventurous child, my dad got me in to make up the numbers for the mixed team. After that I joined an under-nines team in Bridgend Athletic, and it’s just gone from there.”
Working her way up through the ranks, Meg has gone on to play regional rugby with Cardiff Blues, then a Wales “emerging” squad, a Wales sevens team, and was ultimately picked to join the Wales team, who she has represented in the autumn internationals – her first cap came against Spain in 2019 – and the Women’s Six Nations Squad.
And it may just have been Meg’s destiny to turn out for her country.
“We’re a very sporty family really, so I didn’t have any other option to play,” she said. “With one cousin playing for Leicester, and my other cousin – Rhys Webb – having played at the top level for Wales, there’s been a lot to live up to.”
Although rugby is a massive part of her life, Meg also focuses on her nursing degree, which, over the past year has seen her join the frontline in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
But it’s something she’s taken in her stride, joining the team at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend during the placements which form part of her course.
“For a few months last autumn I was on a Covid ward at the hospital, so that obviously gave me an understanding of what challenges nurses can face,” she said.
“But the nursing training is going really well. It’s quite a challenging degree, and there’s not much down time when you are balancing a 12-hour shift and rugby training, but it works out OK.”
Looking to the future, Meg may take some time off after completing her degree to travel before going into nursing full time.
She is, however, keen to continue her rugby career and enjoy the benefits it brings.
“Being part of the Six Nations team will mean I can travel more if I’m picked, especially around Europe, and I still get a real buzz from playing,” she said.
“I love the feeling of pride and honour I get from playing for my country. From when I was young I enjoyed playing rugby, and to play for your country is just the cherry on the cake.”