The first day of the month of February in the year 2014, and mark my words it is very a special day indeed. Not because it marks a complete month without the Black Dog dragging my tortured mind back to the abyss, not because yesterday I survived falling asleep at the wheel of flat cap man's car....
after yet another gruelling night at the fun factory... ouch! Fortunately the only damage was to the tyre, nor is because tis the first day of the weekend ( not that weekends mean bugger all to me). Oh no my uneducated readers this day marks the first round of matches of the 2014 rugby union six nations where my beloved Wales take on five worthy opponents in defence of the title we have held for the last 2 years.
Oh gather around people and wait with baited breath for that moment when the ball is hoisted high into the air at the cathedral of sport, the Millennium stadium, marking the start of the men in red's epic attempt to win the title for a third consecutive year, a feat that no other team has achieved for none have been good enough.....till now?
Oh rejoice in the game where real men play with odd shaped balls. There is no place for the weak in body or in mind on this glorious battlefield. You can forget football where it's fine to roll around in imagined agony as your over paid and pathetic excuses for men try to dupe the referee. No for here any sign of weakness in a man is to pounced upon and woe betide you if you dare complain as your spleen is ripped asunder or tears appear unbidden just because your testicular equipment has been ground into the hallowed turf by a twenty stone prop forward.
First up for my beloved dragons is that team of pasta scoffing Italians. They have come along way since joining this competition yet like most johnny bloody foreigner they don't travel to well, a stern test for our first match but one that will cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth if the outcome is anything other than a fine blood soaked victory. To come are sterner tests, two fellow celtic teams. Scottish skirt wearing haggis eaters....a team certainly on the up with a back row, if given possession and time to use it, can rip the heart from a team. Yet they lack a spark, that little something that it takes to scare the fire breathing dragons. Then the Guinness swilling, potato munching Irish navies.... the nearly men till three years ago they stormed to their first, and only, six nations title in the grandest of styles beating all comers to claim a grand slam. But they've been around to long and are predicable in their play, with no plan b if things go awry.
Then we have the galic connection, Le frogs. Ah truly unfathomable team of two minds. Who knows which team of French aristocracy will take to the field? Will it be the unbelievably joyful to watch team that play with such natural grace, skill and gay abandon, the team that can make the legendary All Blacks (those other fine men with a taste for shagging wooly fluffy types....baa) appear to be a team of thespian knitting types. Or will it be the team of clueless dithering snail sucking imbeciles who turned up last year hoping they were playing the local W. I.?
Have I forgotten anyone of significance? Oh yes England. The team all others love to hate. Tis not truly they're fault, indeed no, they are victims of a British press that believes no other sporting nations should have the audacious belief that they can even compete upon the same field as any mighty English sporting team and then when their house of cards come crumbling down the press act mercilessly damning coaches, players and that biased referee to provide the goat for sacrifice. I've yet to see a member of the press lead a team to victory. But also blame for their dislike does belong to themselves as well, in the past they've flounced around with a certain arrogance yet behaviour off the field has been disgracefully unsavoury at times. These men shouldn't let their country down, as rugby players they are expected to be more. But I digress, tis rugby I'm talking about not things gone by. Ah England, stick the ball up your shirt and everyone run down the middle of the park...well that's how it use to be but Mr. Lancaster is changing things and England are once again a force to be reckoned with. Tis a shame they still won't be liked, but poor losers never are.
So there we are, the next few weekends will be hell and heaven for me and many other Welsh men...to the victor the spoils.