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Sports pundit tells Wales fans to support England in the rugby

17 Oct 2023 5 minute read
England’s Joe Cokanasiga is tackled by Wales’ Dafydd Jenkins and Louis Rees-Zammit. Ben Whitley/PA Wire.

David Owens

There are three things in life you can rely on – death, taxes, and the delusional belief of English sportswriters that anyone from Wales, Scotland and Ireland should support England at a World Cup.

We’ve had it in the football – at both the Euros and the World Cup – the tone-deaf appeal of those with no understanding of sporting tribalism nor the vagaries of quality banter.

Now, with England somehow the sole representative of the northern hemisphere left in the Rugby World Cup, another one of those journalists who patently loves a wind up and a waste of column inches has implored Welsh, Scottish and Irish rugby fans to throw their support behind Steve Borthwick’s team when they come up against the reigning World Champions, South Africa in this weekend’s World Cup semi-final.

The man responsible for this skew-whiff reasoning is Jim White of the Telegraph.

Writing in the newspaper, he implored those non-English supporters from the northern hemisphere to get behind England, reasoning it is not good for the state of the sport to see the southern hemisphere triumph yet again.

He wrote: “Even as I write this I can see the smirk spreading across the faces of my Welsh, Scottish and Irish friends. But hear me out. When it comes to Saturday’s World Cup semi-final, followers of the other home nations – and indeed of France, Italy and all European rugby countries – might be advised to put aside tradition, temporarily swallow their animosity and get behind England.

“Here is a suggestion for readers in Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh long schooled in the belief that they should stick up for anyone but that lot: however tempting it might be, don’t go out and buy a green shirt, change your name to De Kock and get yourself a Siya Kolisi tattoo. Instead just think, for once, it might actually be a good thing if England come out on top.

“And here’s the thing: Saturday is not a Six Nations encounter. This is the World Cup. This will be a match with a different significance to the annual local spat. This is the competition which will decide where the epicentre of world rugby is located. And as such this might just be time to put aside the old divisions.

“This is the 10th edition of the scramble for the Webb Ellis Trophy, yet across that history, one of the home nations has reached the final a mere four times, winning it just the once. The fact that on all of those occasions it was England should be a matter of some dismay for those who value the traditions of rugby in Great Britain and Ireland.

“Moreover, if, as every hint of the present and past form book suggests, New Zealand face South Africa on Saturday week in the final, it will be a further kick in the teeth for British and Irish rugby. It will deliver another bristling statement of southern hemisphere superiority.

“In truth, we all know there is little point getting too exercised about England’s chances on Saturday. The likelihood of Farrell and his colleagues doing anything other than being bulldozed by the Springboks is vanishingly small. Which, it could be argued, is another reason to get behind them. It is the British way to support the underdog, even if they are England.

“And frankly Kanye West has more chance of being invited round to dinner at Taylor Swift’s place than Steve Borthwick’s side have of bettering the world champions.

“Ultimately, though, the answerable fact is the home nations need an England victory… And take comfort, even as you put aside all convention and cheer an England victory, in the knowledge that if the boot was on the other foot and it were Wales, Scotland or Ireland facing South Africa in the semi final, everyone of an English disposition would be cheering them on. Wouldn’t they?”

It’s an engaging argument Jim, eloquently and humorously put, however we’re not falling for your thinly disguised albeit cheeky clickbait.

If it was Scotland or Ireland, we might well cheer loudly and throw our collective support behind our Celtic brethren. However, given it’s England there is more chance of hell freezing over than finding a Welshman who will support England on the weekend.

This is not us being petty. It’s just tradition. It is what it is. Or should I say, it’s everything English rugby is – elitist, arrogant, boorish, classist and riddled with establishment cronyism.

Oh yeah, and the only song you repeatedly sing is about slavery. Yikes.

No hard feelings then. Happy flight home.

Lots of love, Wales.

p.s. And if you don’t believe us look at the replies underneath your tweet about this story. You might need a hard hat and some protective goggles.


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Sarah Good
Sarah Good
6 months ago

I don’t care about sport one way or the other. But whilst I have some much loved English friends, family and colleagues, even I could not bring myself to support an English team at any sport, even just out of politeness. My ancestors would haunt me!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 months ago

Hemisphere shmemisphere. The six nations is almost upon us and a team from the northern hemisphere will win that. The last thing we need is an England Rugby team strutting into that bragging about having won a World Cup largely with points from the boot.

Riki
Riki
6 months ago

Well, I’m certainly not going to support them. I haven’t watched a single game since Wales were wrongly knocked out by an “English” referee!!!

Gary Rees
Gary Rees
6 months ago

Impossible ask they won it once we ain’t heard the last they’re getting as bad as football with all the its coming home nonsense.
It wasn’t worth buying a paper for a month after the last time be pointless for a decade if they win it again

Arthur Owen
Arthur Owen
6 months ago
Reply to  Gary Rees

I would never support them,but stop pretending its because they are boastful and we are humble.If we had ever won anything we would not stop going on about it.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
6 months ago

Errr let me think, really hard one this…..Come on the Springboks!

Richard 1
Richard 1
6 months ago

No way! In my family we all root for whoever is playing against the oppressors.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
6 months ago

“… if the boot was on the other foot and it were Wales, Scotland or Ireland facing South Africa in the semi final, everyone of an English disposition would be cheering them on. Wouldn’t they?”

___________

Evidence, please.

Otherwise, I think the answer to that is a convincing ,”No”.

Anyone recall how many Ingerlund supported Wales in the 2016 Euros semi-final after Iceland had knocked out their team?

As they say in parts of Scotland, “the square root of hee-haw”.

Last edited 6 months ago by Welsh_Siôn
Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  Welsh_Siôn

Whenever Wales get a big win in the Six Nations, you will always hear an English pundit on ITV/BBC playing it down with a remark like “I’m not taking anything away from Wales but…..”

Whenever Wales go further than England in a major tournament such as the 2011 World Cup or Euro 2016 we are branded by the media as ‘The pride of Britain’ or ‘The Best of British’ as though as if we are representing the UK and not just Wales.

As they say with Andy Murray, when he loses he’s Scottish, but when he wins he’s British.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
6 months ago

For People in Wales to support England there is to much bad history from Welsh people they way we have been treated over the last couple of hundred years and are still not treated right

mans
mans
6 months ago

Every other team I’ve supported has lost so come on England

cymrotom
cymrotom
6 months ago

He’s got to be joking. I’ll be supporting Argentina, as they are the underdog and there are at least a decent number of people there who speak Welsh. 🙂

mans
mans
6 months ago
Reply to  cymrotom

Oes rhaid i fi esbonio’r jôc?

cymrotom
cymrotom
6 months ago
Reply to  mans

Nac oes. Dw i’n dallt y joc. 😉

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

No I will not support England on Saturday. I am Welsh, and I am only obligated to support one country – Wales!! Why don’t you ask Cardiff fans if they would support Swansea, or Man Utd fans if they should support Liverpool? Quote: “Moreover, if, as every hint of the present and past form book suggests, New Zealand face South Africa on Saturday week in the final, it will be a further kick in the teeth for British and Irish rugby. It will deliver another bristling statement of southern hemisphere superiority.” Yet New Zealand or South Africa both managed to… Read more »

David Pearn
David Pearn
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

What kills the english 10 world cups,9 won by the Southern hemisphere, the entitled cannot come to terms with that, how bloody dare they keep winning 😤 😂😂🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Frank
Frank
6 months ago

“tells”!!!!!!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

Is this fool for real? I can recall no similar calls to English football & rugby fans to support Wales when we got to the European Cup Semi-final in football against Portugal or the last two Rugby World Cups. against France & South Africa.

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
6 months ago

Why not support Argentina Wales has more in common with them.

David Pearn
David Pearn
6 months ago

We will this Friday night 🇦🇷🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

David Pearn
David Pearn
6 months ago

Not happening Jim Bob I put 20 quid for england to lose by 15 points or more, that’s down the pan now but hey ho every cloud 😉

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