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Last Updated: Monday, 5 January, 2004, 11:51 GMT
Rugby star on Buddhist life
Ricky Evans
Ricky Evans says he would not push Buddhism on anyone
Former rugby star Ricky Evans has spoken about how life has been transformed by his conversion to Buddhism.

Evans, who won 19 caps for Wales, says the inner peace he has found by adopting the Eastern spiritual tradition means as much to him as representing his country.

"I cannot speak for everybody. But it has something that has worked for me and something I value as much as my Welsh caps," he said.

Now working as a firefighter at Aberporth in Ceredigion, the 43-year-old ex-Llanelli prop meditates at 5am every day and admits it is very different to the hard man image he needed on the field.

"It's a complete contrast to the life I used to lead," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"But I don't believe I have changed that much myself - it's just I have taken on these values."

Buddha statues
The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland was formed in 1907

His interest in the ethics and concepts of Buddhism - founded in Nepal 2,500 years ago with around 152,000 converts in the UK - began eight or nine years ago

"When I finished with the rugby in Llanelli and Cardigan I started to look for something else for myself and that was when I found Buddhism," he said.

Now he manages to combine it with his life as a firefighter, often finding a quiet room in the Aberporth station for his early hour of meditation.

"I could not push it on anybody, but if anybody wants to speak about it I can point them in the right direction."

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