Sport Wales: The TV Programme

Nathan Cleverly
Watch light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly on Sport Wales, BBC Two Wales, Friday, 20:00 BST

With ruthless efficiency, Nathan Cleverly has beaten away every single challenger placed in front of him in a boxing ring.

Last weekend another opponent tried to dethrone Cleverly as WBO light-heavyweight king. And failed.

Kosovan fighter Robin Krasniqi became the 26th victim of Cleverly's professional career, even if this time the Welshman had to go the full 12 rounds to preserve his unbeaten record.

So does he finally feel ready for the challenge of his life? Finally ready for a much-anticipated unification fight against American IBF champion Bernard Hopkins? Sport Wales didn't waste any time asking him these questions. Our cameras again had exclusive behind-the-scenes access as Cleverly conquered Krasniqi without quite hitting the heights he's capable of.

As well as following him in the hours and minutes leading up to the bout, we caught up with Cleverly immediately after the fight to gauge whether he genuinely feels strong enough to test his credentials against the very best. Whether he's ready to become, in his own words, "an elite-level boxer or just a world champion".

Testing yourself against some of the world's best is an opportunity dozens of British and Irish rugby players are currently hanging out for. With coach Warren Gatland still considering who to send invites to for a party Down Under, we thought it was time for a microscopic consideration of who should be selected for this summer's Lions tour.

Jeremy Guscott and Scott Quinnell, former Lions tourists themselves, are among those telling us who in their view ought to be picked for the three-Test series against the Wallabies.

Two sets of non-League footballers in Wales, meanwhile, are aspiring to test themselves against the best in League Two.

There can be only one Welsh winner, though, so it's either Wrexham or Newport County who'll earn promotion to the Football League if they can successfully navigate the Conference play-off games culminating in a May 5 final.

With Wrexham facing Kidderminster and Newport County taking on Grimsby, Sport Wales has all the drama from the first leg of the semi-finals and previews Sunday's decisive second matches. Will the two clubs meet each other at Wembley in a winner-takes-all final?

Chris Coleman
Wales manager Chris Coleman

One other football question posed on this week's show: Will manager Chris Coleman commit his long-term future to Wales? Or will the decision be taken out of his hands?

After last month's World Cup qualifier against Croatia, Coleman cast doubt on his future by revealing his frustrations with international football, as well as his ambition to manage abroad again.

So we ask the man himself whether he's likely to ask for a contract extension beyond its summer 2014 expiry date.

And we put chief executive Jonathan Ford on the spot to ask whether the Football Association of Wales plan to offer the former Fulham boss a new deal.

We also have world football legend Michel Platini on the show as he opens the FAW's new football development centre in Newport, a facility aimed at improving and assisting the development of future Welsh football stars as well as providing Coleman's team with a permanent training base.

Debate rumbles on, meanwhile, around the future of regional rugby in Wales.

Financial problems, the drain of leading Welsh talent to French and English clubs, failure in European competition, a tempestuous relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union…these are not exactly happy days at the top of the domestic game here.

In the context of these existing headaches, then, what impact is Cardiff City's promotion to the Premier League likely to have on the Blues? This season the capital city region have played in front of an average of less than 8,000 while the Bluebirds attract almost 23,000 fans.

Former Wales captain Mike Hall believes Welsh regional rugby is "dying on its feet" and that Blues supporters could decide to spend their money going to see the likes of Robin van Persie, Sergio Aguero and Luiz Suarez playing against Cardiff City instead of watching Pro12 RaboDirect matches "in empty stadiums".

The Blues tell us what they're doing to try to ensure they don't lose the battle for hearts and minds as Cardiff prepares to host top-flight football for the first time in 51 years.

And we'll hear from the Ospreys on how they've dealt with the competing attraction of Premier League football since Swansea City won promotion to the top flight in 2011.

Watch Sport Wales, Friday 26 April at 20:00 BST on BBC Two Wales

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