February 9, 2015, by James

Football & Rugby: A Confession

I have a confession to make.

First, some backstory. I have followed football for all 22 years of my life, I have seen highs, lows and Euro ‘08. I have seen Beckham’s freekick against Greece, Lampard’s goal that never was and Arsene Wenger evolve from the Steve Jobs of football to the sporting equivalent of Mole from Wind and the Willows.


“I didn’t see it”

However, after all the years, after the excitement, the tension and the application of acceptable, low-level violence (my remote still hides from me) I have to say it…

Rugby is a better game.

It is, I’m sorry; it’s just more flowing, angrier, far less stop-start and less populated with the successful relatives of my pre-school bullies.



Pictured: Bruises neither from drink driving incidents nor racially-aggravated assault.


On this note, the Six Nations has come round again. It’s a great tournament: it’s short, it’s atmospheric, 4 out of the 5 matches are local rivalries, everyone has a shot at the title (well, except Italy), and most of the songs are just terrifying.

My two favourites:


(To be sung in a broad and defiant Welsh accent)

Rend the sluggish bonds asunder,
Let the war-cry’s deaf’ning thunder
Every foe appall.
Echoes loudly waking,
Hill and valley shaking;
‘Till the sound spreads wide around,
The Saxon’s courage breaking;


(To be whispered gently into your ear by the above man)

Aux armes, citoyens,                       To arms, citizens,
Formez vos bataillons,             Form your battalions,
Marchons, marchons!          Let’s march, let’s march!
Qu’un sang impur                          May impure blood
Abreuve nos sillons!                         Water our fields!


Give it a try.

The next games are:

England v Italy Saturday, 14:30
Ireland v France Saturday, 17:00
Scotland v Wales Sunday, 15:00



I’ll see you down the pub.

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