RUTHIN actor Rhys Ifans delivered a rousing rallying cry to Wales players ahead of their game against Finland.

The House of the Dragon star, who made his name in movies such as Twin Town, Notting Hill, and The Amazing Spider-Man, delivered the motivational speech to the Wales squad ahead of their home play-off semi-final on Thursday (March 21).

Joining the players on Monday night at their Vale of Glamorgan base, Ifans stood before the assembled squad and left them in awe with an impassioned cry that took in Welsh history, culture and the Welsh players’ place in the pantheon of Cymru greats.

His voice trembling with emotion he said: “No one and nothing has done it to the extent that you have done it and are doing it before. Nothing. There have been poets and actors and politicians and rock n' rollers but no one and nothing unifies us in the way that you do. 

"And make us feel safe. To show our pride and our sorrow. And our grief and our hopes and dreams. They live in you. And when you play, you're not just playing for the living, you're playing for hundreds and thousands of men before me and you. 

"There's two million people in Wales. You're playing for 20, 30 million ghosts. 400 years ago. You might have been young men. This is the line. Waiting in misty ledges on the banks of a valley somewhere, ready to defend, protect your family, your lovers, your brothers, your sisters, your mothers, your aunts, your livestock, your dwellings ready to pounce. 

"200 years after that, you might have been young men crying for their mothers, sharing a cigarette, before climbing out of the trench into the cataclysm for killing machine of two world wars. 

"Years later, you'd have been standing at a pit head quarry mouth ready to retrieve the dead and the injured. Devastated in an industrial accident brought upon us by decades of neglect of people putting money before community."

Ifans ends his four-minutes speech by powerfully stating to the players: "You represent oceans of time. 


The Football Association of Wales had previously invited Michael Sheen into the camp in September 2022 ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, where he gave an extended version of his monumental ‘Sons of Speed’ speech from TV show ‘A League of Their Own’, which went viral with millions of views.


As his final heartfelt words faded, there was a huge round of applause from the Welsh squad and backroom staff who seemed taken aback and genuinely moved by the speech.

Ifans, who grew up in Ruthin and received his primary education at Ysgol Pentrecelyn before attending Ysgol Maes Garmon, a Welsh language secondary school in Mold, spent time sitting and talking, laughing and joking with the squad. He also sat down for a meal with the players before posing for pictures with players.

He was "overjoyed" when presented with his own shirt with his name on the back signed by the players.

Wales will be one win away from Euro 2024 if they beat Finland in their home play-off semi-final tonight.