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As a back row forward, he made a name for himself as a hard, prolific tackler and support player. However a serious shoulder injury cut his professional rugby career short after 13 years. Richard was an integral part of both the Principality Cup winning Pontypridd side and the Powergen Cup winning Leeds Tykes. After a spell playing for the French club USA Perpignan, he returned to Wales with the Gwent Dragons, passionate to represent his country again.

Lying in a hospital bed after a second operation to repair his shoulder Richard decided to take a new direction and started pursuing expeditions and endurance challenges. He undertook an intensive 12 month ‘baptism of fire’ learning the skills and honing his fitness, climbing steep ice, running and cycling. This included ascents of Denali, Cho Oyu, ice climbing in Italy, mixed routes in Scotland and altitude training at the University of South Wales.

After much preparation this culminated in the 737 Challenge, a successful attempt to climb the 7 summits and poles in 7 months. Since Rich has looked to push boundaries in speed polar journeys and other endurance challenges. Most recently Richard became the fastest Briton (and second fastest ever) to ski solo, unassisted and unsupported from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. Richard’s build up to this challenge became the subject of a UK TV series, in which he competed in some of the most demanding endurance events in the world to prepare his body and mind for Antarctica.

Notable Ascents:

  • The 737 challenge - First to complete unique challenge of completing the 7 summits and 3 poles in 7 months
  • The fastest Briton (and second fastest person ever) to ski solo, unassisted and unsupported from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole 
  • Ambassador of Adventure to the Welsh Government
  • Sport Wales - Board Member