Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
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Either way it's a good quote; 'When a cricketer gets hit in the private parts, he hopes the pain will go away very soon but the swelling doesn't!'
'Those who can play ...play
'Those who can't play ...coach
'Those who can't coach ... write
'And those who can't write - become commentators!'
'Unless I am very much mistaken...I AM very much mistaken...!'
'A smile is the light in your face which tells people your heart is at home!'
'Winning isn't everything; but wanting to IS!'
'Yes, I AM drunk again, but I'm not an alcoholic; I only have a drink every time Richie McCaw is offside!'
Writing about the Government in power in Australia in 2014; "Fumble, Bumble, Tumble, Stumble and Mumble. This Abbot Government embraces all the 'Umbles - except Humble!"
"Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, often that's where the best fruit is found!"
"Welsh rugby players, if not born, are certainly conceived on a rugby field!"
"They used to say the two most important players in any rugby team were the tighthead prop and the reserve tighthead prop!"
'In New Zealand rugby comes first, rugby comes second, rugby comes third, fourth, fifth and sixth.'
'After you've seen one wall, you've seen 'em all!'
'We take life too lightly and sport too seriously.'
'I'm on a whiskey diet, I've lost three days already!'
'When you lose something the journey back is longer than the forward run.'
After a parade around the ground of old-time All Blacks, Australia loses 29-9 to New Zealand on Wellington's Athletic Park.
Swansea and Wales
26 internationals for Wales 1949–59
2 internationals for British Isles 1955
One of the finest loose forwards Wales produced in the post World War II era, who later became one of the best writers on the game. His full name was Richard Clement Charles Thomas, but from his earliest days the shortened ‘Clem’ was a welcome diminutive.
A tough flanker, he was a ‘Swansea Jack’ through and through, who first made the Welsh team for its end-of-season international against France in Paris in 1949. France won narrowly by 5–3, in what was a battle to avoid last place in the championship. Thomas paid the price for what some in Wales saw as a premature selection (he was only 20 years old) and he was not asked to play internationally again for two seasons.
He was recalled in 1952 as part of the Grand Slam-winning Welsh team and continued to represent Wales until 1959. He toured South Africa as part of the 1955 Lions team, but appendicitis restricted him to two of the four test matches.
Thomas was Welsh captain in his last two seasons, 1957–58 and 1958–59, and was tipped as a possible captain of the British Lions to New Zealand in 1959. Perhaps it was Wales’s modest record in the 1958–59 season which held him back from winning that honour.
When Thomas retired, the butcher became a successful businessman, as well as writing for the Guardian and the Observer with much distinction.
When discussions about Clem Thomas arise in Welsh rugby he is invariably remembered as the player who put in the famous cross-kick against New Zealand in Cardiff in 1953. Thomas was close to the touchline on one side of the field, and, seeing his way ahead blocked by All Blacks, he kicked the ball on an angle towards the goal posts. The two rival wings, arguably the fastest two men in world rugby at that time, Ron Jarden of New Zealand and Ken Jones of Wales, were both standing clear of any other players. When Thomas’s kick landed, it bounced perfectly into the hands of Jones and he sprinted in for a winning try. As the kicker of the ball Thomas was acclaimed as a hero for Wales, and in the years afterwards, he often reflected how his life might have changed had the ball bounced the other way into the hands of Jarden, the flying All Black!
How many players of Samoan-birth or Samoan heritage have captained the All Blacks in tests? Name them.