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2/15/09 3:56 PM
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LordSeano
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If I have to hear one more welshie banging on about the currentg wlesh side I am going to pull my hair out.

These are the facts:

Northern hemisphere intl rugby is a mess currently.

The 2 traditional powers of the northern hemisphere - England and France - are currently both shite.

Wales are a very, very solid unit (mainly down to Edwards IMO) without individual talents when compared to the southern hemisphere teams - but are not a world beating team.

Shane Williams is not the best player in the world - he is not even the best winger in the world.

Please stop getting carried away with wins over shite England and France squads.

When England were the best team in the world we were repeatedly told that we cant consider ourselves the best until we repeatedly beat the southern hemisphere teams. Then when we kept smashing them we were told, "Oh well you need to beat them in the southern hemisphere".

Then when we smashed up the tri-nations in their own back yard we were told "Oh well you need to do it when it matters in the World Cup".

We all know what happened then...........

You have 2 wins against ozzies in the last 5 years.....

So Wales, until you have matched our feats in that glorious 3 year period -

5 consecutive wins against the aussies leading up to the WC final, 5 consecutive wins against the saffers and 2 wins against the all blacks

And the world cup,

Shut u please
2/15/09 5:09 PM
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fingers 'n' teeth
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Edited: 02/15/09 5:10 PM
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Would you like some cheese with your whine?

sucks losing doesn't it.
2/23/09 1:08 PM
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BaldTony
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Must be awful for the largest Rugby nation in the World with an infinite amount of money to lose to Nation 5% of their size.
2/24/09 5:24 AM
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LordSeano
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Yes it is but lol at infinite amount of money.

Problem with rugby in england is it is still to class based.

It is essentially a toff sport. There is a reason most of the england team are still ex-public school boys. All the good northerners play league.

You hardly get any people from working class backgrounds in southern england playing rugby.

You know what it is like in countries like New Zealand and Wales - the actual rugby playing pool that the talent emerges from is of a much more comparable size than population would suggest.
2/25/09 4:58 PM
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seg
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 ^Expand please.  I'm in the States so I don't follow what you guys are talking about (other than Wales should not get too full of themselves, with which I agree).

Rugby League is played mainly in the North of England, with not much rugby union?

South of England doesn't play much rugby at all, and is mainly a soccer playing area?

Wales is mainly a rugby union playing area?

From the looks of things Scotland doesn't play much rugby at all (or at least they suck at it).

What else do kids in the UK grow up playing?  Is it pretty much soccer 12 months a year?

What do you mean by rugby is "class based"?  The wealthy play rugby and the poor play soccer?



In the U.S., boys traditionally play American football in the late summer and fall, basketball (or hockey in the northern states) in the winter into early spring, and then baseball in the late spring and summer, and then back to American football again, etc.  Social class doesn't have much to do with it, wealthy and poor kids play the same sports.
2/26/09 3:37 AM
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LordSeano
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seg -  ^Expand please.  I'm in the States so I don't follow what you guys are talking about (other than Wales should not get too full of themselves, with which I agree).

Rugby League is played mainly in the North of England, with not much rugby union?

South of England doesn't play much rugby at all, and is mainly a soccer playing area?

Wales is mainly a rugby union playing area?

From the looks of things Scotland doesn't play much rugby at all (or at least they suck at it).

What else do kids in the UK grow up playing?  Is it pretty much soccer 12 months a year?

What do you mean by rugby is "class based"?  The wealthy play rugby and the poor play soccer?



In the U.S., boys traditionally play American football in the late summer and fall, basketball (or hockey in the northern states) in the winter into early spring, and then baseball in the late spring and summer, and then back to American football again, etc.  Social class doesn't have much to do with it, wealthy and poor kids play the same sports.


Yeah - back in the day rugby was played as a unified code across the whole country and the working classes decided they wanted to get paid for playing what was effectiverly professional sport.

The middle classes wanted to retain the 'Corinthian spirit' and all that nonsense about professionalising sport ruining the purity of it - and so wanted to keep it amateur.

Effectively thought it meant keeping the dirty working class folks out fo their middle class pasttimes which they could afford to do.

So Rugby split - the league code was a professional code played mainly by working class folks who wanted to get paid (generally people from the north of england anyway) and union was a code played by the middle classes mainly down south.

Rugby union is a huge sport in private schools and not really played as much in state schools (which are football crazy).

Football is played everywhere in england though - but most of the england football team are from working class backgrounds and most of the rugby team are from middle class backgrounds and went to private school.

This is in england though (and scotland as well really).

In wales however (as in New Zealand) rugby is simply the national sport and near a religion. EVERYBODY plays rugby.

So your relative talent pools are not as different as you would expect. The demographic of rugby players is changing over time as it becomes a properly professional sport and opens up access to people that might not have played it previously.

Sport in the UK is season based as well. Everyone will play football at school in the winter and then cricket in the summer mainly - along with athletics.

I mean my school didnt even have a rugby team until I got in 6th form.

Soccer dwarfs any other sport in england for participation, money and interest. I mean top rugby players earn 300k a year. Top footballers earn that in a month.

From a class thing though - put it this way you will get very different crowds at Twickenham versus at Wembley.
2/26/09 6:40 PM
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BaldTony
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Rugby crowds are mixed, so you can get home & away supporters sat together and drinking.

Alcohol is banned at football matches, and the different supporters aren't allowed within, I believe, 1 million miles of each other. Scummery(new word!) has gotten completely out of control in football over the past 30 odd years.

As mentioned, everybody in Wales plays Rugby(I was joking in the previous post btw). We play football too, but except in certain(English import) areas, it's not taken that seriously. Noticed that a couple of weeks ago. Was watching a match at a local ground, in a village with a population of 200. The crowd was over 100. Good game too. Although amateur level goal-kicking is a bit shocking.

In Autumn/winter/spring we played Rugby in school(along with cross country running). In the summer it varied, and was never organised.
2/27/09 10:30 AM
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 This is all interesting.  Are baseball and/or American football played in the UK in any form?  I assume no.

Cricket is pretty much non-existent in the US. but rugby union is becoming much more popular at the school boy level (although still pretty rare).  The schools have done the smart thing by setting the schedule to be played in the spring (so as not to compete head to head with the autumn schedule for American football). 

A lot of universities sponsor teams, but there isn't too much fan interest yet.  For example, I live in a university town and the university American football team will routinely sell out an 80,000 seat stadium for a game.  The university rugby team might get a couple hundred people to attend its games (mostly friends and family).

20 years ago America (for the most part) didn't even know rugby existed.  Now, at least a few people know, although it is decades away from ever competing with American football.

Soccer is more popular than it was, but it still has very little interest to the average American sports fan.  But, they do televise European games now, which was unheard of 20 years ago.  I think the internet and cable tv are helping to make Americans aware of the good European soccer clubs that they could never watch before.
2/27/09 5:06 PM
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BaldTony
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American Football seems to be in a similar situation as a participation sport as Rugby is in America. Few University teams, and a national league that doesn't get any media coverage(I'm guessing that it's amateur).

We had a University team and looking back I really wish I'd signed up. Was playing Rugby at the time(right wing, crap tackling but faster than Usain Bolt in a Bugatti Veyron), but didn't enjoy the social side of the Uni club, they were all arseholes. Ended up doing traditional Karate. Oops. Who knew?

The NFL is very popular though, relatively. They sell out Wembley within an hour for the annual match(80+K fans). They've been showing it on telly since the mid 80s. Don't remember the year, but it was when the Bears splattered the Patriots. Presented by Mick Luckhurst who was the only UK born player to succeed in the NFL at the time(kicker for the Falcons, looks like the kid from Gentle Ben). It's since moved onto Sky(subscription channel) and they show 3 live games in full every Sunday. Your commentators, but with the studio stuff in the UK. It's very good.
2/27/09 5:14 PM
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BaldTony
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Never heard of a baseball team in the UK. They do show it on the telly though. Not sure of the viewing figures. Not as high as the NFL. It's not been on as long.


Also, as of now, Friday night UK time, this thread should be used to talk about Rugby in America and American Football in the UK. It should not be used to discuss any 6 Nations matches that may or may not have taken place tonight. Especially not the match that is rumored to have taken place in Paris.
3/1/09 5:56 PM
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 Very interesting.

In America (although it is slowly changing as soccer catches on to some degree) for decades most boys that played American football at the schoolboy level or higher viewed soccer as a sport for guys that enjoying sucking on other guys' dicks.  In other words, guys who played American football really looked down on guys that played soccer as being wimps, pansies, etc. (I don't know the British terms but I assume you get the idea).  You would have been more respected if you had gone to school wearing women's underwear than you would be if you played soccer.

Soccer was definitely viewed as a sport for girls and homos.  It's not as bad now, but there is still that sterotype, as you will see on OG threads from time to time.

My guess is that it is much different in the UK.  I assume pretty much all boys play soccer in the UK, and then some also play rugby.  As a result, I assume that the UK rugby players do not view the soccer players as wimps, and players in each sport respect the skills of the other sport's players. 

In other words, it's probably like Amercia views American football and basketball,  Americans view these two sports as both worthy of respect.  Michael Jordan was viewed with just as much respect as Brett Favre.  American fans didn't think less of Jordan because he played a non-contact sport.

Is that accurate?
3/2/09 3:25 AM
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LordSeano
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"As a result, I assume that the UK rugby players do not view the soccer players as wimps, and players in each sport respect the skills of the other sport's players. "

Most of them do for sure. They certainly respect the skill but definitely think they are a bunch of fannies (not the US meaning)
3/5/09 3:01 AM
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Squatdog
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Edited: 03/05/09 3:01 AM
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It's always interesting how the sporting culture varies from country to country.

Here in NZ, Rugby is generally regarded as a universal sport, although it's roots have tradtionally been in middle-class and (to a lesser extent) rural communities. Rugby is very strong at school level, with the First XV being a major part of the social circle.

Rugby League has always been the true working man's sport in NZ, but will never approach the popularity of Rugby becuase it's powerbase consists of the absolute shittiest suburbs and worst schools in the country. The NRL is fairly popular (far more popular than the domestic Rugby competition in the early 90s), but the same people who pay for tickets to the Auckland Warriors wouldn't be caught dead watching fucking Otara play Mangere in the local competition.

Soccer is a fun sport for schoolkids to stay active. The First XI enjoys some social standing among the females, but are generally regarded as prettyboys at best and limp-wristed homos at worst. More than a few soccer players switch to Rugby to mix with a better group of people and recieve more respect from their peers.

Outside of secondary school, soccer players can be broadly into three catagories: Ex-Pats, Dorks and Wankers.
3/27/09 8:01 AM
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The MIGHTY Bishop
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Football is the main sport in Wales - Rugby is only played in South Wales - Have a look on a map where the 4 pro teams are based - Even with a tiny player pool Wales have won 2 Grand Slams in the last couple of years.

And the greatest player of all time is Welsh!
3/27/09 4:48 PM
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Squatdog
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South Wales is where the vast majority of the population is located.
5/16/09 8:31 PM
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BaldTony
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We now have team in the North. Gogledd Cymru.

They are being developed by the WRU to eventually be a professional side.

At the moment we are shocking though.

Most people here grow up playing football. There are a shit load of virtual Scousers on the coast. Going in a few miles to the Welsh speaking villages, Rugby is very popular. Some places get crowds that are more than half of the entire population of the village, which is amazing. Used to love playing at places like that
6/8/09 9:14 PM
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Squatdog
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Played for my school's First XV and trialled for Auckland U-19s twice.
6/8/09 10:20 PM
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Squatdog
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I played the curtain-raiser for the 1994 All Blacks vs. France game in Eden Park.

How about you?
6/8/09 10:38 PM
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Squatdog
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No, were you?
6/8/09 11:06 PM
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Squatdog
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No, just pointing out the way things are.

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