RUGBY star Sam Warburton is used to the pressure of playing in front of millions of people, however he did not find it a walk in the park to choose his favourite pup.

The former Wales flanker was the final judge in the NSPCC Cymru’s Virtual Dog Show to help raise funds for the charity, including the Childline centre in Prestatyn, ahead of the challenging winter period.

It saw more than a hundred submissions from loving pet owners to eight competition categories including puppies, rescue dogs and funniest dogs, as well as the overall best in show.

Mr Warburton chose French bulldog Dexter as his top canine along with Minnie the Beagle and Cabbage the Black Labrador.

“It was a first being asked to judge a virtual dog show competition but an offer I couldn’t refuse because, as well as being a fan of dogs, I’ve also seen the incredible work NSPCC Cymru workers and volunteers carry out year-round supporting children and families in Wales,” said Mr Warburton.

“Christmas can be a difficult time for children suffering abuse, neglect and poor mental health – and the impact of Coronavirus will have added additional strain on families and put more children at risk this year, which is why charities like the NSPCC need our support more than ever.

“There were some great entries across all of the categories and some that made me laugh when I was looking through them too, so I want to thank everyone who took the time to enter and congratulate my category winners.

“It was a close call, but the video entry of Dexter and his tricks made me smile and I think he’s a very deserving overall winner.”

Childline Prestatyn provides free and confidential counselling to children and young people either over the phone or in a 1-2-1 online chat, covering a wide range of issues such as abuse, mental health and bullying.

Scott Davies is pictured with Best in Show, dog Dexter

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