If 2022 is to be the last time Leah Wilkinson and Sarah Jones play hockey together for Wales, then the dynamic duo plan to go out with a bang.
Not only do one of Welsh sport’s most recognisable couples have a wedding to look forward to, but there is also the prospect of more glorious moments together in a red vest at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Wilkinson and Jones have been together for nine years, during which they have become reliable pillars of the Wales team and gone to an Olympic Games together for Team GB.
They returned from Tokyo last summer with a pair of bronze medals around their necks, but at 35 years of age, Wilkinson knows that international hockey will not be the hub around which the pair revolve for too much longer.
The most capped international in the history of Welsh sport – she reached the figure of 169 appearances for her country before Tokyo and GB duty – will not be around forever.
“I am 35 now and so I know I haven’t got that long left in my sporting career,” says Wilkinson, who returned to her day job as Head of year 10 and a history teacher at Ewell Castle School in Epsom following an 18-month sabbatical ahead of the Olympics.
“There are others focuses in my life that will probably start to come in now and overtake hockey.
“So, for me, it’s important that I finish my career playing for Wales because that is how it all started. The focus this year has been on the Commonwealth Games.