BOXING coach Simon Weaver has described being chosen to go to Australia for next year’s Commonwealth Games as the “biggest honour” he has ever had, writes Ben Black.

Torfaen Warriors ABC stalwart Weaver will be part of the Guernsey team helping welterweight Billy Le Poullain, the island’s sole fighter on the Gold Coast, in his bid for a medal.

Weaver, whose gym has produced more than 60 Welsh champions since 1993, admits he is still in shock at the news – but the 54-year-old intends taking the opportunity with both hands.

“I have been taking teams of boxers from clubs in Wales to Guernsey for the last five years and got to know the boxers really well.

“One of their boxers, Billy Le Poullain, then qualified for Gold Coast 2018 but unfortunately they didn’t have any coaches qualified to go to the Games.

“I’ve got an AIBA 1-star coaching badge from the International Boxing Association so they asked if I would have time to go Australia for four weeks.

“Another coach from Guernsey, Ben Duff, is flying to Sweden next month to take the qualification so we will be going together, but they needed to have a coach in place now.

“I get on really well with the boxers out there so my name was put forward to the island’s committee who then voted for me.

“It was exciting as I knew but I couldn’t tell anyone until it was officially announced.”

But it wasn’t just that AIBA qualification that secured Weaver the chance of a lifetime.

As well as those Welsh winners, five British champions and 20 gold medallists in tournaments all over the world have come out of the Warriors during Weaver’s time there.

He added: “It hasn’t sunk in yet, I don’t think it will until I get there.

“I’m going up the night before to Gatwick and meeting the whole of the island’s Commonwealth Games team and then we fly out together the next day.

“It’s the biggest honour I’ve ever had.

“I started boxing when I was 13 so that’s 41 years in the sport.

“I’ll give 110 per cent to make sure we try and get Billy a medal.

“He’s boxed against some top Welsh boys and beaten them.

“As part of the preparations, I’ll see him this month when I take a Welsh team over to box and then in December we are going to Dublin for sparring.”

As for what going to Australia might do for him further down the line, he continued: “It could open doors for me in the future.

“I also joked that if we get a medal I could get residency as it’s so hard to move to Guernsey.”

Guernsey first took part in the Commonwealth Games in 1970, winning six medals since then, although none have been in boxing.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games take place from April 4-15.