Opinion

If Wales wants to win it needs to ditch its Lions obsession

03 Feb 2018 0 minutes Read
17 Comments
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Martin Harris
Martin Harris
3 years ago

It’s just a game for heaven’s sake and not a reflection of Wales and it’s inhabitants.

Brian ap Francis
Brian ap Francis
3 years ago

Now that’s a refreshing viewpoint.

Keith Parry
Keith Parry
3 years ago

The British Lions are an imperialist relic whose time has gone. Why do they not send an All Europe Team south that would actually beat Australia and New Zealand?

Colin J Williams
Colin J Williams
3 years ago

Couldn’t agree more. What other proud country would sacrifice their head coach to help another team. When he said he wanted to coach the lions we should’ve wished him all our thanks and best wishes and let him break his contract with no penalty, but we should not have taken him back. I could go on about the contempt with which Gatland holds the Welsh game but that would be off track here. Any Welshman or woman who feels the Lions shirt is “the highest honour” is, of course, entitled to that opinion but they should not play for Wales… Read more »

Gareth Wyn Williams
3 years ago

How did the author come to the conclusion that Rugby Union is Wales’ national sport? All the statistics would suggest otherwise.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 years ago

As a Gog, I’m a recent convert to rugby, and you have summed up my feelings about the British Lions in relation to our national team. In questioning the relevance of the Lions to Welsh rugby, I thought I was making the ill-informed judgment of someone with less knowledge of the game than others have, but having read this article I feel this is a “Me too” situation.

Rugby is indeed an apt analogy of Wales’s political situation, but the difference between Gatland and Carwyn is that Gatland sometimes gets results for this country.

EU am byth
EU am byth
3 years ago

It’s not the British Lions. It’s the British and Irish Lions because it includes players from the Republic. It’s unlikely that any Italian would be good enough. So you’re basically only missing a couple of French players from your European team. Which probably wouldn’t make a lot of difference. It is an imperial hangover, but, as the article said, it’s all about the money. No first tier country needs that money more than Wales. All this waffle about it being a great honour etc etc is just part of the marketing. Players want to go because it gives them a… Read more »

Coch-y-bonddu
Coch-y-bonddu
3 years ago

That certainly needed writing. We should also ditch a couple of the autumn internationals. Too much rugby leading to too many injuries (but more profit for the WRU – very little of which goes into promoting the Welsh language by the looks of it).

I think we can win today and I hope we can do it with flare. We should have dominance up front and therefore a solid platform to provide ball for the backs to work their magic.

Our country in our hands
Our country in our hands
3 years ago

I am not a rugby fan but the article hit an important point about the psychology of the Welsh people. It’s time we started to believe in ourselves on every level no matter what the subject ! Whatever we aim we will achieve !

Gwilym ab Ioan
3 years ago

It’s the curse of the “Victor/ Vanquished” syndrome. Subjugate a nation and instil into their heads that they are second class and inferior and they begin to genuinely believe it. The feelings of inferiority permeates deep down into the nation’s psyche. It’s a difficult pit to climb out of. Lack of confidence is a debilitating disease on both a personal and collective level. I have banged on for years that the problem with us as a nation (whether on the rugby field or in our politics) lies in the top two inches of our bodies. It is a problem of… Read more »

CambroUiDunlainge
CambroUiDunlainge
3 years ago
Reply to  Gwilym ab Ioan

Also the mindset of the oppressor that any sign we’re not doing as we’re told is aggression. Makes people feel like they’re doing something wrong by embracing their culture and identity. You know… the whole concept of how anything Welsh seems to be anti-English then in branches off into us being insular or racists somehow.

Gwylon Phillips
Gwylon Phillips
3 years ago

Erthygl ardderchog. Excellent incisive article. Sums up much of Cymru both in rugby terms and generally. In both cases it’s about money, Lions and Cymru. I’ve toured with both and they are both rip-offs in favour of the privileged few. The biggest honour to any Cymro should be to represent CYMRU not the Lions.

steve Thomas???????#FBPE (@cymrbach)

Completely agree with the author. You don’t see any English/Scots/ Irish wearing imitation lions jerseys butguite a few Welsh fansAnd as for Gatland( Jones refused the lions job because he wanted to concentrate on England’s World Cup bid) he should resign A coach is employed because of the tricks and methods he has in his cupboard so if he gives those secrets away to our normal opponents(Irish/Scots/English rugby players) then he ceases to be of any use to his team. And as for the idiots at the top in the WRU,they are only after knighthoods

Jonathan Edwards Sir Benfro (+ North Carolina)
Jonathan Edwards Sir Benfro (+ North Carolina)
3 years ago

Not often you see a point so well made, diolch i Craig. And Gwilym ab Ioan is right to mention the “top 2 inches” also. And no, Martin Harris, its perfectly OK to extrapolate from ruby to the wider Welsh picture. I am most interested in the “top 2 inches” point, which matters for me. Other other rugby nations, not sure about England, but certainly Ireland, NZ and AUS, have very very sharp and clever people indeed. Reminds me of the amateur era when you usually had a couple of bright guys (a doctor or a lawyer, say) as captain… Read more »

DAIBOY
DAIBOY
3 years ago

Such a bad article. No idea who wrote it, but obviously someone who knows very little about rugby. Everytime this site goes near Sport, it’s a disaster!!

Gareth
Gareth
3 years ago
Reply to  DAIBOY

Hear hear.

Imagine if someone wrote the same piece about England for an English audience. It would get laughed out of the newsroom.

cap78red
3 years ago

I like the bit about we might lose to Scotland and the fact that we have been consistently the best side in the northern hemisphere from 2005 onwards doesn’t count for toffee in your book. Welsh rugby has an impressive reputation just because we lose to new Zealand and (just) to Australia suddenly turns us into losers does it???? Almost all countries lose consistently to new Zealand as you state yourself. Why cant the british and irish lions supplement the idea of welshness, it does in my eyes. I feel what has traditionally held us back is the ‘we must… Read more »

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