There was a sign by the lake at the Hurlingham club in London yesterday, the venue for the 2017 RBS Six nations launch.
Profetic words perhaps, as come the middle of March one or two international coaches could well be “skating” on such a substance.
As I headed across the spacious grounds, the frozen icy mist swirled, and out of the gloom rose a giant figure in red, no supernatural entity this,but rather Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones emerging from the ethereal darkness with accompanying film crew.
The players and coaches undertook the annual event with incredible good grace at at a time when their final preparations for the tournament are in full swing.
Eddie Jones arrived sporting a black eye to which he gave several explanations as to the cause, in the end we were all none the wiser.
This years captains photo call feature the men and women together, a welcome sign of the times and of the development of the women’s game, the fact that it took place in a bike shed is something we will gloss over.
The dry witted and mild mannered Andrew Cotter compared the launch in his customary fashion and once again the hypersensitive Dylan Hartley took exception to a benign and inoffensive question.
The consummate Mr Cotter took it in his stride, as he did last year.
All the other captains , both men and women espoused the usual virtues of taking one game at a time, but there was no doubting their enthusiasm and excitement at being part of the greatest rugby tournament in the world.
The women’s tournament is breaking new ground, with all matches being broadcast this year.
With the Women’s rugby World Cup being held in Ireland, in August, these matches will take on an even greater significance.
There is no doubt that the women’s international game is on the verge of something big.
A poignant step that went almost unnoticed at the launch, was the captains photo call which this year featured the men and women captains together.
As the frost and ice slowly melted in the week morning sunshine the tournament that guides us from the depths of winter to the warmth and colour of Spring was well and truly launched.
Monday’s roar features Rob Howley’s thoughts on Wales and the six Nations
Don’t miss it