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Surprise send off for Wales netball star Georgia Rowe as she heads to world cup in South Africa

a group of women outside a pub holding a welsh flag
Georgia Rowe with some of her players and friends at the Mount Pleasant pub in Old Cwmbran (Photo: Cwmbran Life)

Teammates of Wales netball star Georgia Rowe gave her a surprise send-off at a Cwmbran pub to wish her luck before she flew out to the netball world cup in South Africa.

The 27-year-old goal shooter has been capped 57 times for Wales. She plays for the Celtic Dragons in the Netball Super League and coaches the Exiles Netball Club, based in Cwmbran.

Welsh netball player Georgia Rowe
Welsh netball player Georgia Rowe (Photo: Cwmbran Life)

Her Exiles players arranged to meet her on Friday evening in the Mount Pleasant in Old Cwmbran, one of their club’s sponsors. An hour before she arrived the group decked out a section of the pub in Welsh flags and laid out letters of support from pupils at Padrio Pio Primary School in Pontypool.

 

 

 

a group of women outside a pub holding a welsh flag

Georgia told Cwmbran Life: “I wasn’t expecting this. I had no idea. This is what they’re like, very cool friends.”

Her career highlights include playing in the 2015 Netball World Cup in Australia, and both the 2018 (Gold Coast in Australia) and 2022 (Birmingham) Commonwealth Games.

She explained why netball is a special sport: “Netball is open to absolutely everybody. You can be tall, short, you can be bigger, you can slim. You can be anything and this sport and I think that’s really special. I don’t think all sports are as inclusive as netball is. Hopefully, it will continue growing.

“There are so many young girls now, so many clubs have got a junior section and I just think it’s going to grow and grow.”

Lara Lear, an Exiles player, said: “We just want to celebrate Georgia tonight. She’s going to South Africa which is just awesome. Netball is getting more recognised. It’s a lot more popular with non-netball players as well as starting to be on the telly.

“It’s great that we are local and able to recognise her for it as well. It’s positive, really positive. We are super proud of her.”

She said: “It’s physical, it’s hard going, it’s fast, it’s intense. You burn the calories” and then joked “so you can have a pint.”

Cwmbran Life asked Lara for a message to Georgia and was told: “We wish you all the best and as always we will be here supporting you, cheering your name and singing our songs to you. Instead of ‘Sweet Caroline’ we sing ‘Sweet Georgia Rowe’ which is a special song for all of us. I’m sure we will be crying when she’s stood there singing that anthem.”

The Exiles plan to meet in the pub on Friday 28 July to support Wales in their opening match against South Africa. Face off is 5pm. Every match is being shown on Sky Sports, with one game per day on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.

Georgia flies to Cape Town on Sunday 22 July.

Good luck letters from children

two women hold a large poster covered in good luck message
Eileen Curtis presents Georgia with good luck messages from Padre Pio primary school pupils (Photo: Cwmbran Life)

Pupils at Padri Pio primary school wrote messages of support to Georgia and the Wales netball squad.

Eileen Curtis, a teacher at the school, said: “The children are so excited. I’ve got the whole school involved with it. They’ve written lovely messages, not just to her, but the whole team. She’s a good role model.”

Read some of the good luck messages

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Surprise send off for Wales netball star Georgia Rowe as she heads to world cup in South Africa