Six Nations BBC record attempts included fastest rugby ball caught and most rugby tackles in one minute

During a cold and drizzly day in Cardiff, Wales rugby legends got together to break records for the BBC’s Six Nations Sin Bin.

Former Wales Rugby player Gareth Thomas was joined by Shane Williams, James Hook, Andy Powell, Elen Evans and Rachel Taylor (all Wales) at Cardiff Arms Park stadium for a day of record attempts as part of BBC Wales' Six Nations coverage. 

Following the unsuccessful record attempt for the highest catch of a rugby ball in 2018, Gareth and his team were hungry for success. 

The first record attempted was the most rugby tackles in one minute, and Gareth, Andy, Rachel, and Shane threw their hats into the ring. 

This attempt saw them tackling rugby tackle bags as per the rules of Rugby Union or Rugby League.

Andy was first to give it a go, but jeans didn’t prove the best gear for the attempt! Next up was Rachel and Gareth, who both also fell short of achieving the record. 

Last up was Shane, who managed to beat the existing record of 21 by two tackles. 

"With Shane Williams in your group you always know you’re going to break some world records," Gareth remarked.

Shane Williams and Gareth Thomas most rugby tackles
Shane was over the moon about his new record title – especially as he pipped Andy and Gareth to the post.

"It feels great to beat the others, but especially Gareth! But seriously, it’s great to be doing it with them."

"When I heard I could come and attempt a record for Guinness World Records, I was here with bells on, it's a great honour," Shane Williams. 

"It’s great to hold a record for something I'm not really know for, which is tackling. It's bizarre like, but a great feeling. It feels very special, I can’t stop smiling!"

Shane Williams certificate

Next to secure a record was Elen and Rachel, who managed the fastest time to swap a sports jersey – not an easy feat on a freezing cold rugby pitch! 

After a few fumbles, they managed the swap in a speedy 5.78 seconds. 

"I didn't think I'd be walking away with this when we were driving down this morning, it's just amazing," Elen said.

Ellen Evans Rachel Taylor

"We'll be training tomorrow for the next one. Shane's certificate won't be with him next year. It's only the beginning – we want more!"

It seems breaking a record together made it even more special for Rachel and Elen.

“We’ve done a lot of stuff together, we retired together, then went to barbarians together, and now we’re in the Guinness World Records together.”

The last record of the day was especially daunting for those attempting -  the fastest rugby ball caught. The minimum speed requirement for the record was 90 kph (56 mph) – and having a rugby ball fired at you at the speed can be a little scary! 

Andy, Shane, Rachel, Gareth, James put themselves forward for the attempt. 

The first three attempts from Andy, Shane and Rachel was unsuccessful, but Gareth finally broke a world record by catching a ball moving 58.5 mph.

When Gareth was left clutching the ball, he couldn’t help but beam. 

“I’m a happy boy. It was my destiny, I was always going to break one world record of some kind.”

Gareth Thomas fastest rugby ball caught

However, success was short-lived for Gareth after James, who currently plays for Ospreys, stepped up to the plate. 

With encouraging words from Gareth: "Step up butt, see if you can beat the man himself," James was ready for his attempt.

James then managed to top Gareth's record by catching a ball travelling 62.5 mph.

"It feels amazing to be a world record holder,” James Hook.

Six Nations rugby records James Hook

After a full and tiring day of record-breaking, Gareth reflected on the day's events.

"When you come to have an attempt at a wold record and fail it, it’s kind of like you had the chance of marking yourself in a bit of history there – so I'm really glad we managed to get some!

"I was a world record holder for a couple of minutes which felt good but then it felt 10 times worse after. I did have it, then I didn't have it."

Adjudicator Mark and rugby players

"But you know what, I don't mind palming a world record off to Hooky, if anyone can have it, he can – as long as it’s not Shane because he’s got enough!”

We wonder what the Sin Bin dream team are planning on breaking next? It seems their appetite for record titles keeps getting bigger.