Sunday, March 09, 2014

Everyone knows the Welsh hate the English

At least they do according to English wing Jack Nowell, who was speaking ahead of this afternoon's game against Wales. And it's nonsense of course.

Yes, the game against England is the one we want to win more than anything else but it's nothing to do with hatred. I suggest the same is true for the other Celtic nations. It's our history, our psyche; things that happened centuries before we were born, that are barely remembered now, have somehow affected our DNA, our genetic make-up. We can't help it. It's not a particularly attractive feature wanting to beat 'the old enemy' with every fibre of your being but there it is.

But it's not hatred. It's passion and a desperate longing that culminates in 80 minutes on a rugby field once or sometimes twice in a year. And even there it's not personal as such. The banter is good-natured, the energy focused on the game.

There's a great article on the BBC website about the huge rivalry with an interview with the father of Sam Warburton, the Wales captain:
"I'm very proud of being English and have never wavered. Sam wore England shirts when he was younger, he supported England in the World Cup in 2003. But I remember the day I realised Sam and his twin brother Ben had turned over to the other side.
"We were watching England play Wales at Twickenham in 2008 and Mike Phillips went over for a try to clinch the victory. They really let rip and I felt quite disappointed inside - I had finally lost them.
"I used to think that if I had a child playing for any other country against England, I would want them to play well but for England to win. But I desperately want Wales to win on Sunday."

Which leads us to the furore over Sam Warburton's allegiance. Apparently in a press interview he told reporters that when leading the British Lions he told people his nationality was British. A Welsh MP tweeted his fury saying Sam shouldn't be leading the Welsh team if he didn't think of himself as Welsh.

There are so many idiots out there!

And now excuse me. Husband and I will be sitting, metaphorically speaking, on opposite ends of the sofa for the game that kicks off in 20 minutes. Just take a deep breath and sing.


Trubes said...

I don't form a dislike for people because of the team they support, I think the Welsh are a grand nation and I admire their patriotism, I love their singing before the match but I am English therefore support England,
It was a good game but I've seen Wales play better.
As you know Liz I always cheer for Wales if they're not playing England, so sorry Liz your team lost, I am not here to gloat but I'm happy England won,

Liz Hinds said...

Wales were pretty dreadful, Di. The best team on the day won. x