I’ve seen quite a few England v Wales games, in my time, in fact there aren’t many matches that haven’t been memorable for one reason or another.
As a child growing up in Wales in the early 1960s this match was the be all and end all , and the nations mood for each following year was determined by the result of this one game.
In our fantasies we all won our first cap against England, when we played in the park it was always against England and the commentator was Bill McLaren, we all perfected wonderful Scottish brogues through the years of commentating on our own little games.
England were special they looked good, their backs were handsome young men with brylcreem in their hair, and they could play eighty minutes in mud, and still emerge with pristine white kit, amazing.
I find it difficult to comprehend that I have watched England play Wales at the least once a year for forty eight years
From black and white Keith Jarrett in 1967, to glorious technicolor George North, via JPR and his two tries ,and even more stitches in 1976, Ieuan Evans kick and chase in 1993, Scott Gibbs, Max Boyce and Tom Jones at Wembley in 1999, not to mention Grand Slam Gav in 2005
But tommorow in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham we have probably the greatest encounter of all time.
My days of park rugby are over and sadly the voice of rugby is no longer here with us but that anticipation and excitement for an England v Wales encounter is not diminished by the years that pass
I shall have a fitful sleep tonight, watching those tries and tackles and giving thanks to the man upstairs for giving us this wonderful passion for the great game that we cherish, and whose values we protect at all cost
May the game be won by a touch of brilliance from either side , and keep the magic of this great rivalry going for the next generation to savour.