New world darts champion Gerwyn Price played pro rugby for Glasgow Warriors

New world darts champion Gerwyn Price’s first love was rugby and the Welshman played two games for Glasgow Warriors during his career in the oval ball game.

Gerwyn Price kisses the trophy after winning the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London.
Gerwyn Price kisses the trophy after winning the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London.

The Scotstoun club were among those to congratulate Price on his victory over Scotland’s Gary Anderson at Alexandra Palace on Sunday night.

They tweeted: “Congratulations to Warrior #217 @Gezzyprice - the new PDC Darts World Champion!”

According to the sports statisticians Opta, the former hooker landed eight out of ten lineout throws and made nine out of nine tackles in his two Warriors games, both of which were won.

He joined Glasgow on loan from Cross Keys in February 2013 as injury cover and left the following month.

He went on to have trial spells with Dragons and the Blues and was highly regarded, with Welsh legend Mark Ring saying he was good enough to play for Wales and even the Lions.

Ring, who was Price’s coach at Cross Keys, told Wales Online: “He had international class stamped over him as a rugby player, could definitely have gone on to play for Wales and the Lions if he'd perhaps applied himself a little sooner.

“In my view he could have been right up there with Ken Owens - and that's saying something because I really rate Ken, probably as the best hooker in the northern hemisphere.

Gary Anderson with his runners up trophy after losing the final against Gerwyn Price at the World Darts Championship.

“Technically, Gezzy was brilliant. He threw the ball into a lineout on a sixpence, he was a really good scrummager and his work in the loose was outstanding. He had pace to burn.”

Price was part of the Cross Keys side which sprang a surprise by reaching the British and Irish Cup final in 2012 where they lost to Munster A. Later than season, he scored a try in the final as Cross Keys won the Swalec Cup at the Millennium Stadium.

He made the transition to darts with stunning effect and on Sunday became the first Welshman to win the sport’s richest prize, with the 7-3 win over Anderson banking him £500,000.

Price spent the bulk of his rugby career with Neath RFC and his former club marked his achievement by saying that he had gone “from Neath No 2 to World No 1”.

Price reminded Neath that he has yet to receive his cap for playing 100 games for the ‘Welsh All Blacks’, saying he would take the PDC world trophy to their Gnoll home to do so.

“Gerwyn qualified for a club cap but missed the presentation at the end of the season,” Neath rugby secretary Mike Price explained.

“He then went to Cross Keys and disappeared into the world of darts. We were going to organise something for him last season before Covid intervened.

“But we hope something can be arranged when the restrictions are lifted.

“He was an exceptionally skilled hooker, but he could have played in the back row or even behind the scrum.

“His ball skills were top class, he could time a pass and he had a good sidestep.

“He was even a good kicker, he could do anything really, and I was surprised that one of the regions did not take him on. But rugby’s loss was definitely darts’ gain. And Gerwyn definitely wouldn’t be picking up half a million quid in Welsh rugby!”

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