The speedster is part of a sporting family

Cardiff wing Theo Cabango

Date of birth 29 November 2001 Born Cardiff Position Wing Region Cardiff Country Wales

How old were you when you first played? 

I was in Year Six, so ten or 11. It was at my local club, CRICC, and I played through all the years until youth. Then I went into academy stuff with Cardiff at U16s and U18s. I’ve always been wing, although in sixth form at Glantaf I played full-back.

Did you play any other sports? 

Football, swimming, gymnastics, athletics… Gymnastics helped me develop muscles quite young, so even though I was quite small I was quite strong and powerful. Athletics is good for technique and sprinting.

Athletics is quite a lonely sport and in football I wasn’t nervous, whereas with rugby I had butterflies and excitement. I wanted to play well and do everyone proud.

Who were your childhood heroes? 

Mainly Shane Williams. When I was younger I didn’t watch lots of sport. I’ve just preferred playing it to watching it.

What are your strengths? 

My agility and speed, and being able to make something happen. I’m a youngster, so I’m working on everything – my defence, high balls, kicking.

How have you found this season and getting first-team game time? 

It’s just weird. This time last year I was camping with my mates and they were joking, ‘Maybe you’ll be playing next year’. It came so quick, it’s been surreal.

It’s a big step up and you need to be switched on all the time, but I think I’ve grown as a player and a person being around this team. Josh Adams has lots of experience. Rey Lee-Lo and Uilisi Halaholo are good characters. Everyone is great, on and off the field, really open.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career? 

Player-wise, maybe Cheslin Kolbe or Teddy Thomas. Outside that, my family. It’s good to have my brother (Wales footballer Ben) doing great things, my mum and dad are supportive, my grandparents come to watch matches.

Is your ultimate goal to follow your brother in playing for Wales? 

Definitely. I want to put my mark down.

Are you studying? 

I was in uni studying for an artist maker degree – it’s product design. I like drawing and did graphics at A level. I stopped because I started progressing into the first team and it was quite hard (to do both). I’m now planning to do a plumbing course.

RW Verdict: Thrust into European Cup action last year when Cardiff had players in quarantine, he stood out with a try against Quins. He crossed for a double against Glasgow in March as well, and should get more game time going forward.

This article originally appeared in the June 2022 edition of Rugby World.

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