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Jonny’s Welsh team are World Cup winners

Driffield has its own world champion, with Jonny Hughes being part of the Wales squad which won the deaf rugby sevens championship in Argentina.

He scored three tries during the tournament, including the last try in the final, putting the icing on the cake as his team beat Australia.

“It was amazing, an unreal feeling,” he told the Wolds Weekly. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better in terms of the experience and the results.”

The 31-year-old has played for Driffield’s second and third teams, but is originally from Anglesey and moved to East Yorkshire at the start of the first lockdown.

He has always been hard of hearing and wears two hearing aids, and has been training with the Wales deaf squad for the past year.

He said: “I didn’t start the first game against Fiji but I came on in the second half and ran half the length of the pitch to score a try with my first touch.

“I started every game after that, which brought added pressure, but it was amazing to get a starting shirt and I think I went from strength to strength.”

After the 24-5 win over Fiji, Wales beat Japan 29-0 and then racked up 43 unanswered points against a Barbarians side, with Hughes getting on the scoresheet again.

They beat the host country in the quarter-finals and then defeated old rivals England in the semis.

Wales may have been favourites to retain their world title, but Hughes said they were definitely not the crowd’s choice to win the final.

“Everybody seemed to be cheering for Australia, but it just spurred us on.

“They kept us waiting for 10 minutes before the national anthems and had a guard of honour on to the pitch.

“But the anthem was incredible. We hadn’t had the anthems before games until the final but it was well worth the wait. It got the lads all fired up and ready to go.”

Wales won the final 20-5 against Australia, with Hughes grabbing the fourth and final try in the second half. The country’s women were also crowned world champions, during a magical 12 days in Argentina.

“We hadn’t socialised as a squad before, so getting to know each other was great.

“Argentina is a nice country and Cordoba was a busy city. They were good friendly people and the children wanted autographs and photographs with the Welsh squad.

“On the pitch, everything was very professional. The backroom staff made sure we were set up properly so there were no excuses if we had not reached the final. They deserve massive credit.

“I went from that to coming back to Driffield and going to do my shopping in Lidl in the rain!”

Jonny returned to Yorkshire last week and was back at work as a physiotherapist in York a couple of days later. However, he is due to meet up with the squad in Cardiff this weekend for a celebration.

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