PUNCTURING the gloomy silence at Allt-yr-yn tennis club following Wales’ exit from the World Cup was a cheer with a South African twang.

Throughout, Ryan Langeley had jested and joked with locals in the intimate Newport bar – overlooking the tennis courts.

As is typical, it was taken in good humour by a Welsh crowd still reeling from another exit at the hands of South Africa.

Mr Langeley, sporting a fluorescent South African Rugby top, was actually born in South Wales.

“It is kind of a long story,” he said.

“I was born in Wales but bought up in South Africa.

“I then moved back to Wales in 1999.”

Any suggestion of split loyalties would be wrong, however.

“When Wales play I will support them, but I will always support South Africa over Wales.

“No question.”


The Springboks were given a vital penalty with just minutes to play, deciding a knife-edge game.

“It was an awesome game, and we maybe had a bit more grit.”

But Mr Langeley, from Victoria, doesn’t fancy his sides chances against England – who ended New Zealand’s 12-year winning streak at World Cups.

“England have been unbelievable throughout the tournament.

“I think they have probably got the edge; they look so strong.

“You never know, South Africa might come through.”

England are favourites going into the clash, but the last time the two sides met in a World Cup Final, the Springboks emerged victorious.