Sunday 4 October 2015

Missing The Kicks

Well, I am very glad I did not have a ticket for Twickenham.  An 8 pm kick off may be good for TV audiences but traipsing round the M25 at midnight is not my idea of a good evening out, especially when England both lost to Australia and go out of the World Cup having lost to Wales already.

First rule of Rugby, do not give away kickable penalties if the other side have a reliable kicker.  Second, to score tries you have to attack effectively.  Routine bump and grind is not enough and the more so if your players lack basic discipline.

But I am one of those long lost souls still sorry that Rugby Union went professional at the top.  Sometimes I put up on Youtube an international from the past to see the game as it once was.  It has changed and so have I, but I still think a lot was lost.

One intriguing question, however, is whether David Attenborough might have made it into the top levels of Rugby Union as it then was back in the 40's and early 50's. He certainly played for his school, and Wyggeston then had a strong fixture list.

He might actually have played at Rugby School.  Despite the war years and the restrictions on road transport, there were then two services between Leicester and Rugby, the LMS and LNER which entailed less than an hour's travel each way.

It may be like many useful players that when it came to National Service or being at College there were other things to do and Rugby could take up a lot of time with a couple of fixtures a week and training and the rest.

When he joined the BBC by then he was certainly already with interests in nature and science that marked his career and output. But chances of life and all that. If the BBC had been scratching around as large organisations do, he might have been packed off to Twickenham to commentate on matches.

So we might never have had David the naturalist nor Bill McClaren who became the voice of Rugby. The idea of David Attenborough the national treasure Rugby man is a strange one but it might have been.

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