If you grew up east of the Bristol channel, you’d be forgiven for thinking an interest in rugby required a taste for drunken homoeroticism or a private education. Don’t get me wrong - it’s a sport that demands great athleticism and resilience, but that hasn’t inspired the masses to follow it at a club level or even on the national stage. Head over the Severn crossing however, and the game is altogether less niche. For whatever reason, the people of Wales - all of the people - follow it with a fervour we reserve for the lower leagues of football and darts. I don’t know what moment in history diverted the game into Welsh blood and into our public schools, but I assume it’s a huge point of pride for our brothers in Cymru.
On Friday, Wales hosted England at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff. I’ve been to watch the contest in the Welsh capital a few times before, and I’ll unashamedly admit I’ve hopped on the bandwagon. Bankers in wax jackets mingling with opposing fans at a London Irish match in Reading don’t really appeal to me, but witnessing a pub-full of tonk boyos bellow ‘stick your chariot up your arse’ during God Save The Queen is the sort of reckless, inappropriate passion I can get behind.
With a Daffodil over my heart and lots of M&S Lager in my belly, I hopped on a train to Cardiff. I was battered when I arrived so don’t expect Ansel Adams-tier shots, guys.
Oh yeah! Wales lost. Everyone was sad.
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