IT is the ultimate honour for any Welsh rugby player to be immortalized in clay and to have their own Grogg – but until today no female player had ever been turned into one of the famed ceramic figurines. 

However that has now been corrected with the unveiling of a Grogg of Wales speedster Jasmine ‘Jaz’ Joyce. 

The winger, from St Davids, has set social media alight with her try highlights, including while playing for the Great Britain team on the World Sevens circuit, to become one of the most recognised faces in the women’s game. 

Creator Richard Hughes, whose father John started the family business creating weird and wonderful ceramic creatures before finding its niche with caricatures of the stars of 1970s Welsh rugby, said it was about time a female player was added to its collection. 

“We’ve been asked for quite a while now to make a female rugby player but it has taken a long time to get round to it and we’re such a small enterprise and we’ve been inundated with work but it was becoming a little bit embarrassing we hadn’t done one.” 

All the figurines are hand-painted meaning creating a Grogg is a time intensive process but Richard is pleased to have added a female international to his repertoire. 

“I’m hoping there will be a continued line of female rugby players and someone like Jaz has got tremendous recognition and a high profile.” 

Richard said he is hopeful the figure also has the subject's seal of approval after he had previously tweeted out a photograph while working on the model. 

The National Wales: The finished model of Jasmine 'Jaz' Joyce the first female rugby player to have their own Grog. Picture: World of GrogsThe finished model of Jasmine 'Jaz' Joyce the first female rugby player to have their own Grog. Picture: World of Grogs

“We sent out a work in progress picture and Jaz retweeted it and said thanks, we were really pleased with that.” 

The women’s game has grown in popularity in recent years and the Welsh Rugby Union awarded its first female professional contracts this season in preparation for October’s World Cup in New Zealand. 

All of which could lead to a greater demand for female Groggs, but Richard said he has needed the time to adjust. 

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“In the past all the Groggs were pretty rough looking. We used to like the broken noses and big moustaches and we had been asked, many times, to do Shirley Bassey but I never have as that’s more difficult than a Tommy David. But I couldn’t use that excuse any more as the players have become more refined, with my technique, over 50 years.” 

The National Wales: Richard Hughes working on the model of Jasmine Joyce. Picture: World of GrogsRichard Hughes working on the model of Jasmine Joyce. Picture: World of Grogs

While Jaz Joyce, who plays her club rugby for Bristol Bears, is the first female rugby player to become a Grogg she isn’t the first female Grogg.

Richard has previously crafted a Welsh mam and baby, modelled on his wife Gail and his daughter, and even former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. 

The company has been celebrating a number of 50th anniversaries in recent years, including last year of the opening of its Grogg Shop in Pontypridd, and it was re-creating one of the most famous of all rugby figures that convinced Richard he could tackle a female player. 

“I did Barry John again and that’s what made me think I could make a female rugby player. I could never capture him, and my father couldn’t, but when I managed to, it give me the confidence to try something more tricky.” 

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