THE mum of a rugby union player hailing from Prestatyn has spoken of her pride in her son after he received his first call-up to the Welsh national squad’s senior side.

Sam Wainwright, 24, replaced injured Leon Brown in head coach Wayne Pivac’s 34-man squad for their three-match tour of South Africa, which gets underway on Saturday (July 2).

Sam, a prop who began his career at Rhyl Rugby Club before moving on to Rygbi Gogledd Cymru (RGC – North Wales Rugby), joined Saracens in May 2019, and represented Wales at under-20s level in their Six Nations campaign in 2018.


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His mum, Linda, will be in South Africa to cheer him on at all three matches, having “always believed in him”.

She also praised the efforts put in by Sam’s sisters, Savannah (24, his twin sister) and Roxanne, 33, in helping him fulfil his dreams.

Linda said: “I’m overwhelmed – we had the phone call from Wayne Pivac, and it brought us to tears, because it’s something you can only dream of, to have the chance to play for your country.

“His sisters have had a big impact on his career, as well. If we couldn’t take him to training, they’d always make sure (he made it). They’ve given up a lot to help him; they think the world of him.

“He’s never drank, he never goes out, he’s always given everything towards what he wants to do.

“He’s always been humble and grounded, as well; he’s never blown his own trumpet, and done anything that anyone’s ever asked him to do.

“Me and my husband are flying out (to South Africa) on Thursday for three weeks. For 15 years, if we’ve been on holiday, we’ve had to come back for training or trials, and then back on holiday again!

“His journey has been hard, but amazing. At some points, he could have easily thought about giving up, but he’s kept so focused and so mentally strong.

“We’ve always believed in him. I’m so proud.”

This is Wales' first tour since a 2-0 series victory against Argentina in 2018, and the last time they visited South Africa was in 2014.

Their fixtures are as follows (kick-off 4.05 UK time):

• South Africa vs Wales in Pretoria - Saturday, July 2.

• South Africa vs Wales in Bloemfontein - Saturday, July 9.

• South Africa vs Wales in Cape Town - Saturday, July 16.