Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
10 May 2017
One of the first things people say to any rugby commentator is - 'Just how DO you pronounce all those names from all the different countries?'
The answer of course is to research local trends in pronunciation and then simply, 'practice, practice and do yet more practice!' You must say each player's name in any team equally and fairly.
Take the 2017 Fiji test squad for instance - you MUST remember at all times to instantly pronounce the 'c's' in a player's name as a 'th' sound, the 'd's' as an 'In-dee' sound, the 'b's' as an 'Im-bee' sound and the 'g's' as an 'ing' sound.
Well, it's something like that - it's hard to write down on paper. I have only given you the simplest of versions of what I believe is the correct way.
There are other pitfalls and disciplines too.... But hey! Try yourself out with what has been released in recent days. It's fun to try and the Fijian populace will like you more for trying!
So, here you go - Just take a deep breath and swallow through! Pretend you're at a live radio or TV telecast at Suva's National Stadium (remembering at all times that when its 'live on the air' you can't get any of your words back for a second chance) and read these names as quickly and fluently as you can - as if the Fiji team's big squad was on one of their glorious team runs to score! Get it right with no stumbles - and you could be on the way to a new career.
"Campese Ma’afu, Peni Ravai, Joeli Veitayaki, Manasa Saulo, Leeroy Atalifo, Kalivati Tawake, Sunia Koto, Jale Sassen, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Leone Nakarawa, Tevita Cavubati, Api Ratuniyarawa, Sikeli Nabou, Naulia Dawai, Viliame Mata, Nemani Nagusa, Akapusi Qera, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato, Nikola Matawalu, Serupepeli Vularika, Henry Seniloli, Ben Volavola, Levani Botia, Jale Vatubua, Eroni Vasiteri, Albert Vulivuli, Vereniki Goneva, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Josua Tuisova, Nemani Nadolo, Patrick Osborne, Timoci Nagusa, Metuisela Talebula, and the try is scored by Kini Murimurivalu!"
So bravo for trying so hard - and doing so well!
[Mind you, if you are of European stock (or of a Celtic background), and you think they'd be an easier commentary problem try 'identifying and broadcasting' at your highest speed the 2017 Welsh team as they rush to score on their upcoming Pacific tour. The Welsh, as you'll see, offer a completely different set of problems;
"It's Aled Davies to Gareth Davies to Sam Davies and Seb Davies; then to Rob Evans and Steff Evans! And finally it's Owen Williams who gives it to Rhun Williams then Scott Williams and Tomos Williams touches down!"
See! No problems at all!' (Perhaps because there's only one Morgan and one Jones also in the touring squad of 32!)]
20 year old Richie McCaw was the new kid in the team as NZ beat Ireland in Dublin by 40-29
Mont-de-Marsan and France
63 internationals for France 1964–72
Benoit Dauga was a highly versatile forward who played for his country in three positions – lock, No. 8 and flanker. A lineout specialist, he was an expert leaper and dispatcher of the ball to his halfback. Some of the media called him the ‘control tower’ of French 1ineout play, and others the ‘Eiffel Tower’. He was also a strong runner and a highly competitive forward.
Dauga’s debut in international rugby was not auspicious. He had to wait until his fifth test before he was in a winning team (v Italy 1964). He maintained his place in French test teams until he reached 63 caps, which equalled the record set by Michel Crauste in 1966.
A big man, Dauga stood 1.94 metres tall (6 feet 41/2in) and weighed 110 kilograms (17 stone). His frame was such that he stretched rugby shirts to their limit and socks could not pass over his calf muscles! He also had what some might describe as a prominent nose. Colin Meads, his New Zaaland lineout rival, once light-heartedly said of Dauga, 'He's the only man I know who could smoke a cigarette while taking a shower!'
Dauga was highly regarded and played in most countries in the rugby world, including New Zealand and Australia in 1968, and South Africa in 1971. He was a French captain as well.
His rugby playing days ended in 1975 when he was injured in a club match for his beloved Mont-de-Marsan, suffering temporary paralysis of the arms and legs, and requiring a long spell in hospital before recovering his fitness and resuming his interest in the game.
What did the famous Welsh and British Lions hooker Bobby Windsor achieve on his 42nd birthday?