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Friday, March 17, 2006

Come friendly bombs and fall on the WRU

With a level of vitriol not seen since Betjaman coined his famous diatribe against Slough, Wales' National Poet unleashes her pen on the Welsh Rugby Union. A year after Gwyneth Lewis celebrated the Grand Slam in rhyme, she has hit out at the game's hierarchy for losing the Welsh team both their coach Mike Ruddock and their form.

In her poem "A Wooden Spoon for the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU)", she sums up the bewilderment of many rugby fans at the decision to let Mike Ruddock go and the subsequent turmoil in the Welsh camp:

I have consulted the mistletoe,
stared at starling footprints in snow:
the time is ripe for your overthrow.

I give you a spoon I shaped of ash
because you didn't nurture the flash
of play but thought, maybe, of cash.

Here's a dip I turned from oak
but look, in your hands, it slips into smoke.
You've made our last Grand Slam a joke.

Actual rugby can never redeem

your backroom moves of dodge and scheme.
It's you who need to raise your game.

How can a committee always outlive
coaches, players? It's hard to forgive
shadowy men with hands like sieves.

Here's the last spoon, I carved it from gall:

it's you, not the team, who have dropped the ball.
Hang this up, with shame, in your hall.

It is not exactly Shakespeare but then they had not invented rugby in his day, thank goodness.
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