WALES: Pro Rugby Player Comes Out

Wales has another out pro athlete.

Old Redcliffians captain Jed Hooper has become the first Combination player to publicly announce that he is gay. The 22-year-old back row forward came out to family and friends earlier this year. And Hooper has now spoken exclusively to the Evening Post in the hope that his story can help other young rugby players come to terms with their sexuality. In recent seasons, former Welsh international Gareth Thomas and top referee Nigel Owens have both broken one of the great taboos in arguably the most macho sport of all. And Hooper, a fierce competitor who speaks as directly off the pitch as he does in his pre-match team talks, has now also chosen to come out of the closet after years of anxiety connected to grappling with his true identity. The decision, he said, was still far from easy. “I met someone earlier this year who said he could not be with someone who was in the closet. That, basically, was the catalyst that I needed.”

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