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From Qatar to South Africa - double pride for Cabango family

First Team News | 18th November 2022

The next few weeks is set to be exciting for the Cabango family, as brothers Theo and Ben jet off to compete at the highest level in two different sport, two different countries and two different hemispheres.

Cardiff Rugby wing Theo will be a part of the Blue and Blacks squad who travel to South Africa next week, with back-to-back BKT United Rugby Championship encounters with Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls on the horizon.

Meanwhile, brother Ben has been included in the Wales football squad, who have arrived in Qatar ahead of their first FIFA World Cup campaign since 1958.

Despite not being able to travel to Doha due to his club responsibilities, Theo will keeping an eagle eye on proceedings from South Africa but admits it will be a strange yet exciting experience for the family.

“I’ll definitely be watching the games. It’s always a proud moment to see your brother in the World Cup squad,” said the academy product, who enjoyed a breakthrough campaign for the club in 2021/22.

“Hopefully he can get on and get a few games as well. It would be amazing to watch him.

“Unfortunately I can’t be there, but I will definitely be cheering him on from South Africa.

“I’m sure a few of the boys will be really excited to watch it too at the hotel of wherever we are, so I’m looking forward to it.

“We’re obviously two brothers in two different sports. So yeah, my parents will go to the World Cup because it’s been so long since Wales have been there. Then I’ll be out in South Africa to play in two games.

“You couldn’t really make it up. It’s going to be a weird time but also an amazing experience.

“I’ll be face timing my parents to speak to Ben too, but it will be weird.

“I’ll have my own games to focus on trying to play well as well, so I’m looking forward to it.

“When his name came up, Mum was screaming at the telly as usual, and both Dad and me are proud as well.

“It’s an amazing achievement to get into the squad. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity just to get in the World Cup for Wales

“They’ve come a long way and hopefully they can get out of the group stages, crack on forward and see how far they can get. So all the best to him.

“It’s quite emotional for us. You’ve got him going to the World Cup after going from Newport to Swansea and into the Wales squad, playing against Lewandowski and Poland. I remember watching that and it was a good game as well.

“I’m really proud of what he’s achieved already at such a young age, so he’s definitely an easy role model to look up to, especially as one of your own family.

“I’m really proud but we always try to make time for each other and it’s always nice to see him.

“Sometimes it’s hard when you both play on Saturdays, but whenever we get a chance we’ll always try and watch each other play.

“I went to the derby for the first time at Swansea this season, and he came down for the Edinburgh game. It’s always nice as he’s obviously moved out at a young age, so is not always around but when we do it’s a special moment.”

For Theo, it is a return to South Africa, where he made his league debut for his hometown club last season. 

The diminutive wing has gone from strength-to-strength since, and is excited for a return to the Rainbow Nation, as Cardiff travel to Durban in a positive place following an encouraging first block of fixtures.

Cabango added: “It’s nice to have a weekend off now, to relax a bit see the family before we go away. But everyone is looking forward to it, it’s going to be a good little tour.

“We’re sixth in the league now, and we’re in the right place where we want to be. We were unfortunate in the Edinburgh game, but stuff like that happens and they’re a good side.

“We’re still a good position in the table after a good first block and there’s lots of positives to take out of it. We just want to keep going forward into the next block.

“It’s always a big challenge against any South African teams but we’ve had really good games against them here. We set out what we wanted to do, had a good game-plan going in, we stuck to it and it paid off.

“But it’s different when you go out to South Africa. They’re used to the weather and the conditions, and it’s always a challenge going there.

“They’re probably one of the hardest games you’ll get in the league but we are definitely looking forward to it and to getting ready for the physical demand they’re going to bring, and also mentally as well.

“It will be nice to go back, just to look back at how it started for me and where I am now. It’s completely different but I’m still progressing.

“It’s always nice to go out there to see different cultures and stuff and it’s an amazing place to go.

“I’m always buzzing to go and I can’t wait to get out there. When we go out there, we always have some fun games on the bus.

“We’re given different jobs and stuff, and you really come together and bond as a squad.

“You get some time to play some cards with the boys, stop by the pool and walk around to see the area. It’s always nice because you get close to boys and it’s a nice time to get close as a team.”