Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
25 November 2017
From time to time there are those rugby fans who nostalgically reflect on their time in the game; and they do it by the magic of poetry. You will find some memorable efforts on this website. This latest one comes from James Simpson of New Zealand who clearly remembers with enormous affection his days of playing in the hooking position - and his enormous respect for others who did so too.
The Ace In The Pack
He hangs between two henchmen all Cauliflower ears,
Knuckles and boots their stock-in-trade
Their most sociable act is sculling their beers
No lovers of high debate
For free thought is something found in the North
No need for it way down here
Our traditions and rituals rule the way we go forth
We act without fancy or fear
No video ref nor rulings from touch
We fix faults off our own bat
Our answer to those who doth protesteth too much
Is to 'Take that and that and that.'
Some say a fine mind marks a man out
For life as a great physician
But a fine mind will only cause doubt
When playing the hookers position
Diagnostic skills the pundits go on
Are traits more fitting a back
But those in the know in the front row club
Say such powers are much prized in the pack
Tho’ strong arms and thick skulls when put to the test
Are assets that front rowers like
And tho’ he had them as well we’ll remember him best
For the snakelike speed of his strike
And we’ll also remember in years to come
Like Anzacs from warfare and strife
The attitudes forged in the heat of the scrum
Will last you the rest of your life.
Wellington, New Zealand
Always a day of historical traditions for French people. More lustre is added with this brilliant 24-19 win over the All Blacks in Auckland.
Cardiff and Wales
21 internationals for Wales 1978–85
1 international for British Isles 1980
A stylish and efficient Welsh flyhalf and an excellent tactical kicker, Davies played his first game for his country while on tour with Wales in Australia in 1978. That game and his next two, another against Australia and one against New Zealand, were all losses.
Davies overrode those disappointments to become a vital part of Wales’s effort over the next four seasons. He formed a strong halfback combination with Terry Holmes, the two playing together in tests 17 times. He went on to captain Wales in the 1981–82 season, when it scored two wins and three losses. Davies was also a Lion in South Africa in 1980.
A graduate of Oxford University, he was manager of a building society for a while before becoming the head of sports broadcasts for the BBC in Wales. He also became a powerful figure in Cardiff and Welsh rugby administration and in university academia.
Fiji played its first test match is bare feet. Until what year?