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Natalia John

Natalia John in action against the Barbarians

Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps

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Wales Women lock Natalia John made history last weekend. Not only was she part of the first Welsh side to face the Barbarians at a Principality Stadium double-header but she became the second in her family to face the Barbarians in a No 4 shirt!

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Natalia’s dad Gareth John played for Penarth in the final Good Friday fixture against the invitational side in March, 1986. The Baa-Baas signed off in style, winning 39-14.

“It was a really special occasion for me because we have history in my family. My dad played for Penarth against the Baa-Baas back in 86, so to get the opportunity to run out in the same number jersey that he did way back then was a real honour for me,” said the trainee science teacher.

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“The whole family came to watch me at Principality Stadium and I think my dad shed a tear because rugby’s been such a big thing in my family and for him to see it come full circle was really special.”

Wales Women finished 29-15 down in their match but three unanswered tries in the second-half from Lisa Neumann, Keira Bevan and Alex Callender showed the progress that’s been made during the November series which has included wins over Ireland, Scotland and the Crawshay’s.

“It was a tough game, the Barbarians are a very experienced side and in the first half we let that get to us a bit but as soon as we came out in the second half we started playing as a team and we started to really show what we’re capable of so hopefully we can do more of that in the future.

“It was so important for us at half time that we came out all guns blazing and showed the fire we have in our bellies to play well.

“We’ve developed so much this autumn, we’ve become so strong as a collective, it bodes well for the Six Nations.”

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Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
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Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
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Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
Natalia proud to follow in father’s footsteps
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