Young Welsh speedster racing to catch up with Wales star brother

Theo Cabango is a young man in a hurry in more ways than one. Not only is he blessed with electrifying pace, but he’s also racing to catch up with his international footballer brother.

His elder sibling Ben is already some way down his sporting career path, having made more than 80 appearances for Swansea City, won three Welsh caps and most recently been included in the Wales squad ahead of Thursday evening’s huge World Cup play-off against Austria at Cardiff City Stadium.

But 20-year-old Theo, who is some 18 months younger, is on the rise as well. The flying winger is set to make his home league debut for Cardiff Rugby versus Glasgow on Saturday, having taken his United Rugby Championship bow in the Cape Town clash with the Stormers last Sunday. You can read more about him here.

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Reflecting on following in his sibling’s footsteps, he said: “It’s always been a dream for me to get to the same level as him and sort of have my own name as well, not just to be Ben’s little brother. I have watched him and it’s kind of given me a heads up of what’s to come and what can happen if you push hard and do well.

“He does give me a little bit of advice. He wasn’t bad at rugby to be fair to him. He was a bit of a 10 or full-back. He was that quite annoying kid who was good at everything. He was good at cricket. I think he’s alright at golf as well. But I’m quicker. I will have that, no problem!”

The boys’ father Paulo was born and raised in the south-central African Republic of Angola, where he was one of 12 children. He came to the UK in 1997, when he was in his early twenties, to live with his sister in London, before moving to Cardiff where he met his wife Alysia. “My family has always been very supportive and they have always pushed us to do good,” Theo said. “Every time Ben plays, I always have my nan telling me ‘oh you will be playing for Wales soon’.”

Theo made his senior debut for the Cardiff Blues A team against the Ospreys in November 2019 when he was only 17 and still at school, having developed his rugby talent with CRICC and at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr, ahead of moving to Ysgol Glantaf for his sixth form studies.

The Covid pandemic and fitness issues then stalled his progress, as he missed out on Wales honours at U18 and U20s level due to injury, but this season has been a breakthrough campaign for him.

Having caught the eye with his try-scoring exploits for the Cardiff club side, he was called up to start the Champions Cup clashes against Toulouse and Harlequins, amid the absence of a number of regional regulars due to the South African quarantine saga.

It was a big step up for him, but he performed really well, scoring a gem of a touchdown against the ‘Quins at The Stoop. Then, last weekend, came a league debut versus the Stormers in the heat of Cape Town and he is now set to start against Glasgow at the Arms Park on Saturday evening.

“It’s quite surreal when you look at what I’ve achieved so far this season,” he said. “It’s a bit weird to go from lockdown straight into senior training. It’s unbelievable to be playing here at the Arms Park. Having any sort of game for the seniors is huge and you just want to progress and train with them. The climate was completely different out in South Africa and to be fair to the Stormers they were unbelievable. I definitely took some lessons from that.”


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