France lost to Ireland yesterday. A great game: the world number 1 & 2 teams if you believe the rankings (I don’t). Some of us have always admired French rugby from afar.

Fabien Galthié on the defeat:

He was characteristically philosophical about it all. “We came here to win. It’s a defeat. It’s true that it’s been two years since we lost a game, we were on a series of 14 victories, and the series is over,” he said. “So we must also learn to live with defeat. We don’t like her in this team, she is not a friend, but we will have to spend the evening with her.”

Ireland are formidable, too.

I was there

by reestheskin on 23/04/2020

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Fifty years ago, Cardiff Arms Park.

The Breakdown | Protests, politics and a bus hijack: the rugby tour that gave Mandela hope | Sport | The Guardian

Personal memories of the tour are disappointment that Cardiff were overwhelmed by players who were far bigger than the usual opponents at the Arms Park. The politics went over the head of [this] /a young boy whose questions were to find answers later….[emphasis added].


Those protesting in 1969-70 – the Stop the Seventy Tour was chaired by Peter Hain and one of the organisers in Scotland was Gordon Brown – were written off by the rugby media here as idealists and do-gooders, irritants who did not understand rugby union’s fraternity.

Words for a New Year

by reestheskin on 01/01/2019

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The likes of Barry John, Phil Bennett and Tony Ward, impish 10s dowsed in devilry, were considered obsolete as Jonny Wilkinson, all structure and sinew, pocketed the keys to No10. The romantic age was over, faded into black and white. There was no space to drift into and fly-halves became the executors of someone else’s will.

Barrett and George Ford are hardly throwbacks to John and Bennett, but neither are they Jonny-come-latelys. They are, in the grand traditions of fly-halves, the masters of opportunity.

Paul Rees