Cathedral of Welsh rugby witnesses a truly epic clash

February 14, 2010

There is something about the Welsh National Anthem – The Land of My Fathers – that makes the hairs of my back – and there are many of them – stand on end.
 
It always has done. Even as a sports-mad child growing up in the 1970s I eagerly anticipated settling down on the sofa to hear it before the likes of JPR Williams and Phil Bennett strutted their stuff on muddy rain-soaked pitches.
 
I’m not Welsh but to hear it bellowed out by over 70,000 passionate and emotional Welshmen, usually accompanying opera singer Katherine Jenkins, before a rugby international at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is one of the great experiences in sport.
 
Saturday was no exception. As a Reuters journalist I have been to the cathedral of Welsh rugby many times and as usual, my spine tingled as the Morriston Orpheus Choir, along with the Regimental Band of the Royal Welsh, led the singing.

UPDATE: England need solid backs not flashes of brilliance

February 5, 2010

Relief rather than elation greeted England’s decision to select Mathew Tait, Riki Flutey and Delon Armitage in the backline for Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Wales.

Italy must be wary of my old school chum McLaughlin

February 3, 2010

Italy’s marauding pack should tread carefully if they think they can pick on Ireland’s debut flanker Kevin McLaughlin in Saturday’s Six Nations opener.

What are the odds on getting the Six Nations winner right?

February 2, 2010

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Picking the winner of the Six Nations championship is always a tricky task as the vagaries of form and the fixture list ensure that no two seasons are the same.

Johnno loves England too much to see them keep losing

November 17, 2009

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Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst discovered that winning a World Cup as a player is no guarantee of success as a manager and Martin Johnson is beginning to feel the heat after a torrid first year at Twickenham.

All Blacks arrive without the aura

November 5, 2009

allblacksRoughly once a decade throughout the 20th century, a group of South Seas islanders in the guise of the New Zealand All Blacks would invade Europe to teach the old world the ways of the new.

A bunch of fives from Jonah Lomu

November 4, 2009

RUGBY-ZEALAND/LOMUI have big hands and am 6-ft 4-ins. I can palm a basketball, and dunk it — just about. It’s not often meeting athletes I feel weedy.

The one thing rugby union could copy from league – 13 players

October 27, 2009

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Rugby union seems to be eternally engaged in a forlorn struggle to make itself more entertaining without losing its soul.

Golf, rugby back in Olympics, Tiger set for Rio?

October 9, 2009

OLYMPICS/2016Get ready for a Tiger assault on Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The International Olympic Committee voted on Friday to accept golf — and rugby — back on to the Olympic programme, starting in Rio in seven years’ time.