Wales is for life

IT was a fantastic performance by Wales in Brisbane, and good to be annoyed that we lost rather than pleased we weren't humiliatingly thrashed.

As a boy I used to stand on the terraces at the Arms Park, and no matter what the score with ten minutes to go we knew all would be well.

There would be a scrum near the opposition's line, and Gareth Edwards would force his way over. If we were just ahead Dr. JPR Williams would create future orthopaedic work for himself with a bone-shattering try-saving tackle.

In those days only an illegal dive out of the line-out could save New Zealand from defeat, and England were annually thrashed.

So stylish defeat is not enough. We have to learn to be winners again.

In the old days royal princes were sent to Aberystwyth to learn the language.
So should we worry that Harry Wales, as the young prince likes to be called, wore his England shirt to the match.

Of course he should support his own team, but he should drop the name.
Wales is a country not a surname of convenience.

It happens in politics too.
The new Conservative leader Michael Howard has dropped Swansea-born spokesman Nigel Evans for a self-confessed English toff, Bill Wiggins.

Old Etonian Bill is a nice chap, but Michael Howard is repeating errors of the past.

When John Redwood became Welsh Secretary he only ever spent one night in Wales.
As with Harry's adopted surname, Wales is a country not a one-night stand.

So Saturday when our football team takes on the might of Russia I doubt if the Prince Harry or Bill Wiggin will be watching.
But who will care about that if Sparky's boys avoid stylish defeat and scramble a scruffy but glorious victory.