Time Is Ticking For Wales Old Guard

Time catches up with us all. I have now reached the age where every bending motion is a challenge and even rising from a seat cannot be achieved without an accompanying groan.

When at your peak it is difficult to imagine life in any other way, but time passes all too quickly and some of Wales wonderful players are now reaching the bending and groaning stage in rugby terms.

Bodies battered by years of brutal attrition are beginning to weaken even minor niggles now take longer to shake off, timing is out by a hundredth of a second, and at the elite international level that split second really matters.

Warren Gatland says Wales are in a hole, well it feels more like the Grand Canyon after the opening two weeks of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.

Ideally rebuilding a team is a gradual process blending the old and the new in the hope of a seamless transition, but somehow Wales have left it far too late and found themselves caught between two very small stools, and in a Rugby World Cup year.

In Wales the problem goes far deeper, the whole structure and organisation of the game and it’s values have been deeply eroded, and we have finally got to the stage where there is nowhere to hide both on and off the field.

France found themselves in the same situation five years ago and look at them now.

As Welsh Rugby hopefully sorts itself out off the field, Warren Gatland’s unenviable task is to make Wales competitive whilst undertaking a massive changing of the guard.

I fear there will be a lot of bending and groaning over the next few years, but there is some serious young talent in Wales on the field and in the boardroom, who in time can take us out of the current darkness and into rugby daylight.

As Bob Dylan said

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
And you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Wales are currently in the shallow end of the rugby pool shivering and wearing armbands, in less than two weeks time they face England in Cardiff, barring strike action from the players, it’s time to sink or swim.


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