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Coffee Date: Mason Grady

Coffee Date: Mason Grady

Coffee Date: Mason Grady

Strapping Cardiff Rugby centre Mason Grady made his international debut against England in the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.

We sat down for a coffee with the 21-year-old ahead of Wales’ Summer Nations Series match against the same opponents…

What’s your drink of choice? Definitely a flat white. Everyone seems to drink flat whites in rugby, and I’ll often get through a few of them in a day. At Cardiff Rugby, whenever we’ve finished training at the Arms Park, we’ll go over the road to Barker’s in Castle Arcade. We can spend hours in there drinking coffee and playing cards.

How have preparations for France 2023 been going? We’ve just come back from Turkey, which was the second part of our World Cup training block, after our altitude camp in Switzerland. It’s fair to say it’s the hardest thing I’ve done. It’s nice to be back.

Who’s smashing it in training? All the scrum-halves! They’re just way ahead. They make it look easy, especially in the long running sessions.

Who’s the most skilful player in the squad? Scrum-half Tomos Williams. He used to play basketball to a good standard, so he pulls out all those skills, one-handed passes and stuff. He’s fun to watch.

What TV series have you been enjoying lately? Love Island, which has just finished. I was a big fan of Tyrique. I wasn’t that happy with the final outcome, but I can’t say I was too bothered though!

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Where do you call home? I was born and bred in Barry. It’s about nine miles outside of Cardiff. People often assume the town is part of the city, when in fact there’s a bit of a rivalry there. That said, I grew up watching and supporting the Cardiff region so I’m a proud Cardiff boy too.

Your ideal holiday destination? Riviera Maya, near Cancún, Mexico. I’ve been there once with the family but would love to get the time to go back.

What are the abiding memories of your first cap earlier this year? Going down Westgate St on the team bus and seeing the fans waiting outside hit me the most; the fact that this was really happening. Once I was inside Principality Stadium I was able to get into the zone, but travelling down Westgate Street was my biggest ‘Oh my God!’ moment. The fact that it was against England, who we play again this weekend in Cardiff, was a dream come true.

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a professional athlete? I’d say the toughest part would be when you’re coming to the end of a hard season and it’s a case of digging in, physically and psychologically, in order to finish strong.

And the best part? Being with your mates all the time, enjoying each other’s company playing the game you grew up playing. It doesn’t get better than that.

Does having a brother [Cory Allen] who’s played top-level rugby help you? Cory always motivated me to be better than him. We were competitive with each other, and I always wanted to be better than him. With him being the big brother, he was always putting me in my place. But since he’s retired he’s become a lot better at helping me, telling me things I can work on, which has been good.

Tickets for Wales’ home games against England and South Africa in this month’s Summer Nations Series can be purchased here https://www.eticketing.co.uk/principalitystadium/

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