Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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'My God, look at the size of this man! Quick! Tell the other villagers we're going back to the boats!'
'The worst thing you can say about any bloke is that he doesn't drink, smoke or go to the races.'
...well it could apply to sport!;
'Lives of great men all remind us,
we can make our lives sublime,
and departing leave behind us
footprints in the sands of time.'
'Rugby has opened many doors for me and it widened my horizons. I am heavily indebted to the game. I repay that debt in 80 minute installments by playing with all my heart; hoping that I will never betray the game's true spirit.'
When asked to define the physical differences between those who play rugby, simply said; 'In rugby there are those who play the piano - and those who shift them'
In 1934 when the Welsh fullback Vivian Jenkins became the first fullback to score a try in a test match the 'Western Mail' newspaper in Cardiff headlined the next day; 'Is this good for rugby?'
'In sport don't ever look back - someone might be gaining on you!'
'Age is mind over matter; if you don't mind, it don't matter.'
When talking about a big hit, (and it could apply to a big kick); 'When it's in the slot, give it the lot!'
'Without spontaneity in any sport, you cannot succeed.'
'Before every game he played Willie Ofahengaue would pray. But it to us it was never clear whether he prayed for himself or for the safety of the opposition!'
'Ideas are easy to conceive, less easy to execute.'
'Live like you'll die tomorrow; farm like you'll live forever!'
'There are only two excuses you can use for missing rugby training - death and docking!'
'If you take big paces, you leave big spaces.'
The light was so dense and dark the fans couldn't see v Scotland. Through the murk NZ won 18-9, finishing a run of 4 wins over UK unions on the same tour.
Newport and Wales
1 international for Wales 1967
A player who is an example from rugby that because of one mistake made in one game a stigma can be attached to a name throughout a playing career.
John Jeffrey was a 22-year-old student who, in 1967, was selected for the first time to play for Wales in an important game against New Zealand.Sadly for Jeffrey he made a mistake. Early in the second half of a tension-filled game the All Blacks took a shot at goal into a howling Cardiff wind. As the kick came down short of the posts, young Jeffrey kept his appointment with destiny. He caught the ball then flung an erratic pass over his head as the All Black tacklers stormed down on him. The ball flew to open ground and a New Zealander, Bill Davis, following up quickly, dived on it to score.
Wales lost the game 6–13 and the Welsh selectors knew who to make their scapegoat. They dropped Jeffrey from their team and he was never asked to play for Wales in an international again.
Years later there were claims that Jeffrey’s play as a No. 8 was never realistically assessed; many lesser players were given better chances to prove themselves in the international arena. But it is not widely remembered that Jeffrey toured Argentina with the Welsh team in 1968. He also played for the Barbarians on tour in South Africa in 1969 and for them against South Africa at Cardiff in January 1970.
Jeffrey’s inclusion here in this listing is, perhaps, a reminder that the vagaries of selectorial whim and hasty judgments both on and off the field can make or break a rugby player, no matter how good he might be.
After the finish of the 2011 Rugby World Cup who were the youngest and oldest players from all countries to win a World Cup medal 1987-2011?