Bruce Pope

Was that the end for Alfie? (43)

Cardiff - When Gareth Thomas, dazed and damaged, was helped off the Millennium Stadium pitch on Saturday it may have been the last time we will see him on the international stage.

'Alfie' as he is more often known (after a puppet character from a children's television series) announced at the beginning of this year that he would "probably" retire from Test rugby after the World Cup.

Although the 33-year-old has avoided any lasting injury to his shoulder, he has damaged rib cartilage and will undergo a scan on Tuesday to see if he will be able to play any further part in the tournament, whenever that may come for a Wales side outclassed by Australia in their Pool B crunch in Cardiff.

If Thomas does decide to call time, it would be an unsatisfactory ending for Wales' record try scorer - who has 39 for his country and one for the British and Irish Lions.

His finale, if that's what it turns out to be, was less than memorable: the full-back wayward with his kicking before earning the ire of Wallaby fans for a late tackle on rookie fly-half Berrick Barnes - an offence that Thomas could yet be cited for.

Gareth Thomas felt the effects of a collision with Stirling Mortlock

A challenge from Stirling Mortlock ended Thomas' match on 22 minutes as the Cardiff Blue was helped on his way to the treatment room.

Thomas earned his 99th Wales cap on Saturday, although he also has three for the Lions, and it may be that the lure of reaching that magical ton for his country could persuade him to play on at Test level for one more season.

Whether it would be wise, or satisfactory, to play on with the prime aim of reaching that landmark is debatable.

If Thomas already had it in his mind to concentrate on domestic rugby with his new region, then it would be a hard decision to reverse that mindset.

But on the physical side there has been little evidence this season that Thomas' playing powers are on the wane, although obviously he no longer possesses the pace of his prime.

His ability to play anywhere along the three-quarter line or at full-back is invaluable to a coaching staff trying to find the right combination or juggling with injuries during a match.

The inspiration he brings to the Wales squad will also be hard to replace because Alfie, as the saying goes, 'is a character' who has stamped his mark on the game.

Sometimes that has been for the good, while sometimes the maverick side of the big man from Ogwr has taken over.

But Thomas, despite the ups and downs, should be counted among the Welsh rugby greats once he finally hangs up his boots.

Share your thoughts on Thomas and let us know if he should continue in Test rugby, or how much of a loss - if any - you think he will be to the Wales team.

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Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 04:47 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Cora Jones wrote:

I hope we have not seen the last of Gareth Thomas in the current World Cup. He plays with flair, passion, skill and a physicality that we desperately need. Moreover, he is always so proud to pull on the Welsh jersey. Gareth, your country needs you! Please be back soon, fighting fit and ready to lead Wales onwards and upwards. You are a class act, a first class bloke, a leader and one hell of a rugby player.

All the very best,

Cora Jones.

Well, Although he made that shockingly late tackle.. and in my eyes should get citied for that on a later date, i feel that he should definetly not hang up his boots. as far as the international stage goes he is still and always has being one of the most exciting talents in world rugby.

  • 3.
  • At 04:51 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Wes Los wrote:

Deserved everything he got for that tackle on Barnes which was pure bully boy tactics, glad to see him get what he deserved from Mortlock.

  • 4.
  • At 05:07 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

My one abiding memory of Alfie is of a boorish oaf who appeared to play a leading role in the downfall of the nearest Wales have had in the last 10 years to a saviour, namely coach Mike Ruddock.
So, of course, as an England fan I will be very sorry to see him go ;-)

  • 5.
  • At 05:34 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • emyr wyn jones wrote:

i think if it is true, wales would have lost a saint shall we say. his on field antics have always been an advantage for the national side. and for this bafoon who says that he got wat he deserved, lets just say the ref was blatantly ushering the aussies throughout the game and never put anything against them, even when they were bullying our old dynamo Shaney!!!

  • 6.
  • At 05:59 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Quentin Stollery wrote:

And of course lets not forget the late tackles Austalia got away with Latham was lucky to still be on the pitch after his challenge on Morgan. I would be a sad Bridgend fan if all I had to look forward to from Thomas was him playing for the Blues.

  • 7.
  • At 06:28 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • STEVEN HUNT wrote:

i find it unbelievable how Thomas has got to 99 caps having never really been picked at his no.1 position centre.Does this show the depth of Welsh rugby?How can any player [as good as Thomas is]get to this amount, 99 caps how many at centre 2,3 maybe?

  • 8.
  • At 06:45 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Sean Davies wrote:

You clearly can't fault Thomas' commitment, but when you see the state he's been in after a few of the recent games you have to worry for his well-being. He was in a right state at the end of last month's warm-up game France.

  • 9.
  • At 06:52 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Gareth Rees wrote:

Nobody can doubt the quality of Gareth Thomas but Gareth Jenkins is in a very different position. If Thomas is out how can Jenkins again ignore Gavin Henson. What is the record of the Welsh team under this coach?

  • 10.
  • At 07:11 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Dan Williams wrote:

Alfie has been a great servant to Welsh rugby but the point has come when the negative features of his character are outshining the positives. The power, bulk, commitment, passion and leadership he brings to this welsh team are not in doubt but must also be weighed against his role in Ruddockgate, his bullyboy tactics, his refusal to accept criticism and his rather embarrassing post match interviews. Alfie divides as much as he unites tis squad- just ask Gavin Henson!

Shame to end on 99 caps but his days are over now. So long Alfie and thanks for the good times.

  • 11.
  • At 07:11 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Red Zone wrote:

As a Welshman, I am astonished by the kind of plaudits handed out by some. A class act? A saint? So many tries against Italy and Japan, who are at the very top of the international ladder. Trying to get into the crowd to have a fight with spectators. So good that Lions selection in 1997 and 2001 eluded him somehow. It looks like Mother Teresa finally has some competition! Are you idiots are real?

  • 12.
  • At 07:13 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

I would be sad to see him exit this tournament early.

There are things about the man that I don't agree with, but his commitment to Welsh rugby cannot be questioned.

He has been a solid performer and valuable asset when we've been in need, particularly so these past few months.

I would like to see him get his 100+ caps, and continue his international career - if not in the big competitions, then his presence would still be appreciated alongside the newer players in the 'friendly' tests. A player of his stature and influence has a lot to offer the rookie performers we blood.

  • 13.
  • At 07:45 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Hannah T wrote:

Gareth Thomas made a mistake with the late tackle against Burnes, and should have been sent off there and then, similarly with the French player later on in the match. If the ref had done his job properly then Gareth wouldn't have got that injury.

What excellent sportsmanship for the french rugby player to seek revenge, and now Gareth might not play for the rest of the tournament. God help Wales with out one of thier top players.

In his absence, what does Jenkins think he's doing not calling on Henson?

Wales needs these men.

  • 14.
  • At 08:20 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Jimmy Bob wrote:

Alfie was a good not a great player, prior to his injury saturday he alongside S jones was our worst player but a lot of that was down to jenkins and his bizarre gameplan of kicking ball away rather than counter attacking and using our strengths

He seems to be as poor tactically as alex evans was in 1995 , after the world cup it is time for alfie and jenkins to step down

  • 15.
  • At 08:44 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Shibs wrote:

Alfie might have many bad points but he has always played for wales with pride and given his all. It is unfortunate that he's gotten injured, but in a sense it is justified. No one likes to see such cynical behaviour like he showed on the rugby pitch.
I really hope he doesn't retire just yet, he hadn't had a chance to really get into the game on Saturday and time and again for Wales he always proves his worth.

I'm glad Gareth Jenkins hasn't called up Henson. He hasn't had enough game time and even in the matches he has played he hasn't proven that he deserves a place. Did you see the Osperey's v Scarlets? He looked ordinary and not up to World Cup standard.
And for the previous comment, S Jones was definitely not one of our worst players. He made a few errors yes, but so did others, but overall he controlled the ball well and helped direct the backs. Definitely better at no 10 then Hook, although perhaps Hook should be given kicking duties.

  • 16.
  • At 08:49 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Nick Harvey wrote:

Am English and at test time I can bring myself up to a good level of hatred. But Thomas is an honest, hardnosed player and a respected opponent (never of mine, thank God!). He's getting stick for a late tackle on an Ozzie...Jesus! And for embarressing after match interviews. What degree holder wrote that? Oh, and there never has been 'a' saviour of Welsh rugby so he didn't remove him either. Good luck to you Alfie. Is it the rugby you are tired of, or the armchair experts who remain forever clueless, but able to use a computer?

  • 17.
  • At 08:50 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Evan wrote:

Like the majority of Welsh fans I've met over the years, I'd be sad to see Alfie withdrawn from the World Cup. Granted, he wasn't the greatest player in the world and he made mistakes throughout his time with Wales (the Scrum V interview, the Ruddock situation) but the contribution he has made to Welsh Rugby can't be ignored. During the Grand Slam year especially he brought a sense of team spirit and leadership that few players have. Thanks for the good times Alfie, you'll be missed!

  • 18.
  • At 10:08 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • rugbylegend wrote:

He hasnt gone yet! He is a great player, and one who Wales relied upon when things got bad. People who are critizing him over the Ruddock thing..... do any of you know what actually happened. I doubt very much it was Thomas, but the WRU board of directors deciding things were going a bit too well for their liking. Good luck Alfie, get better soon!

  • 19.
  • At 11:07 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • englandthruandthru wrote:

He got what he deserved, live by the sword etc's justice live with it!!

  • 20.
  • At 01:39 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Will Norton wrote:

No one gives more for Wales when he pulls on a red shirt than Alfie. He is an inspiration for the rest of the team that severely needs a leader to rally around. Even though Wales were better in the second half against Oz without him, if he can't play against South Africa then we're really in trouble.

  • 21.
  • At 03:46 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • welshrugbyaddict wrote:

As a welshman living in Oz at the moment, I can safely say that although Alfie may not have been the best player (especially since he rarely played in his specialist position). But he has been the best skipper we've had in long time. And although S. Jones marshelled the backs well he didn't have the diversity, team spirit and ability to lift the team that Alfie brings.
Alright he shouldn't have followed through on his late hit- but if he hadn't have been prep for another dummy and they had scored from there- well. He's always back for the last line of defence. And if he had have been sent off then he wouldn't be injuried now... Get well Alfie.. Would love to see the ton, but don't do too much too soon!
As for moving forward, we have two matches now to work on alternative game plays and combinations... Would like to see Phillips and Hook given a chance. As for a centre, if Henson is fit, then what's to loose!

  • 22.
  • At 05:19 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • michael brimacombe wrote:

Red Zone ( 11 ) shows there is at least one letter writer with some sense. I agree with you 100%.

  • 23.
  • At 06:40 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

Its about time the real reason for Ruddocks sudden departure, and Alfies response is known. If people new the truth, they would be outraged, as I was and many people in the know were. Alfie was a good servant to Welsh rugby, god knows we have suffered in the last decade, and he should be remembered for a person who the players have always looked to for guidance(right or wrong).

  • 24.
  • At 07:33 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • HJB wrote:

Perhaps the problem with English Rugby is simply one of transition. I am of the 'amateur' game generation that remembers the passion and spirit of players and teams who seemed to play essentially for the love of the game and pride at playing for their country.

Today we are watching highly paid professionals simply going to work. I take the same pleasure at watching someone good at the job of rugby as I might someone doing the job of bricklaying or carpentry. What I miss in English Rugby is the sheer joy of playing.

Having said this I feel that we are now in a new era and the RFU is full of people who share at some level this romantic nostalgia that I feel. All of these must make way for new unromantic realists.

To be good at the new game, and professional rugby is a new game, we need managers who can motivate their players and staff by using all of the tools of modern management and making sure that the people doing the jop are fit for it and earning their money.

Stop appealing to a non-existant passion, pride in selection for the country and other outdated concepts and start treating them like any other highly paid worker and demand results.

So come on RFU start by selecting the required level of cynical, results-driven, incentive-payment management to run the game and forget any thoughts about pride, passion and love of the game. You have created this passionless money machine the least you can do is make sure the management get value for money from its workers.

Posted with regret.

  • 25.
  • At 07:58 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Anthony wrote:

I'm not sure whether the public would actually be outraged re the truth about Ruddock - they wouldn't be in France.

  • 26.
  • At 08:59 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Gareth Thomas (No relation) wrote:

I can't believe the amount of stick he getting.

What happened during Ruddockgate is pure speculation yet some people are hell bent on blaming someone who had been an excellent servent to Welsh rugby.

He's not a goody goody robot like the Sir Jonny Wikinsons of this world but he more caps and scored more tries than anyone else in Welsh rugby.

I think it would be a shame if he no longer plays for Wales. At least it would mean he takes less of a bashing though.

All the best to him I say.

  • 27.
  • At 10:02 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Swiss Scarlet wrote:

I cease to be amazed by the many calls for Henson to be called for. He has talent, that is for sure, but evidently there seems to be something missing in applying it on the pitch. If he was a world cup reserve waiting in the wings to be called up, why is he warming the subs bench at the Ospreys and not ripping through world-cup-weakened teams and proving the selectors wrong?

  • 28.
  • At 11:03 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Rich Pierce wrote:

A few minor things about that Thomas incident.

1. It was not a late tackle, Thomas didn't wrap his arms therefore it is not a tackle.

2. He didn't move into the way of Barnes, simply dropped his shoulder and let Barnes run into him.

3. Would you not drop your shoulder and let someone run into you possibly injuring you? - get real!!

4. Great tackle by Mortlock, that is what rugby is about, unfortunately it injured Alfie.

5. The Aussies started the bullying tactics within minutes with the hooker coming in on Shane Williams.

6. How many times were Welsh chasers impeded by Aussies (namely Latham and Gregan) moving INTO the way of chasing players. Alfies challenge on Barnes looked worse but he didn't move OUT of the way, Latham twice moved INTO the way.

7. Latham should have been off the pitch when he scored that try.

8. How can Wales ignore Henson - we need a 12 to fire a creative backline, he is the man to do it, he is fit, he is powerful, he is creative, he can match the Southern Hemisphere's massive kicking game, he can kick pens from more than 40m, for God's sake give the man a chance!!

Wales really need to shake things up, Alfie and Shanklin are too similar, Sonny Parker is the same old story, comes on, 1 big hit, few months out. We need a real 12 at 12 and not Hook, Jones, Thomas or Parker!!

Why was Popham left out? In a physical game with physical back row, why do we leave the abrasive Popham out?

  • 29.
  • At 11:15 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Turbinator wrote:

It would be a sad end if Alfie had to finish his career after this match.

I will probably provoke a reaction when I say that I do not think his challenge on Barnes was actually that bad - he was already committed to the tackle and Barnes was just too quick for him. Sure it looked terrible but I think it was more clumsy than anything. A lot has been made of it but Mortlock and Latham's late hits was just as bad and Stephen Moore's cheap shot on Shane Williams in the opening minutes was a disgrace - that was the incident most worthy of a citing.

On the subject of his playing abilities - I agree that Alfie was probably not the most talented player in recent years but he was strong, physical and always gave 100%. And there is no doubting his inspirational leadership qualities - the kind of player that makes others play at the top of their game, like Martin Johnson and David Sole.

If Saturday was to be your swansong Alfie, thanks for the memories bud!!

  • 30.
  • At 11:33 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • leginio wrote:

The skill that made the difference between Wales and Australia on saturday, was the kicking game. Most of the Aussie backs can manage to kick the ball at least 50 yards. Whereas for Wales you had Shanklin, Thomas kicking the ball 20 yards. Thus, giving Australia the ball halfway inside Wales' half. Putting Wales under more and more pressure (under which eventually you're gonna crack). Why aren't Wales' big 15 stone centre's able to kick the ball 50 yards ? (What do they do in training all day ?). If they could've put some distance on their kicks, Australia would've been getting the ball back in their half (or even their 22). I accept that Australia are physically bigger and stronger than Wales, but there can be NO excuse for not being able to match their kicking ability.

  • 31.
  • At 11:41 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • robert Lawrence wrote:

Oh my, can't believe the hype this boy is getting.
The man is behind Ruddock having to leave.
His attitude, selfishness and arrogance have ruined everything Welsh Rugby achieved under Ruddock, this man became bigger than the team and we suffered for it.
So thank you 'Alfie', good riddance, enjoy the Blues.

  • 32.
  • At 11:42 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Charles wrote:

Good riddance. This guy's been out of order for a while now and he just leads Wales to one embarrassment after another. This is no longer about country, pride and passion - it's all about money and I am amazed that so many burnt out has beens have managed to work their way into national squads - Wales and England in particular. We all know why - and then we shake our heads and wonder in disbelief why the N. Hemisphere sides are being blasted out of the tournament. Georgia, Namibia, Tonga, etc are the real stars of this tournament - they are doing it for country pride and passion - and how well they have done! They shame the rest of the money grabbing professional rabble.

  • 33.
  • At 11:55 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

bring back gavin henson. What other options have we got?! he's a proven quality player at centre...yeah he might look bored at the moment but wouldn't you judging by lyn jones tactics of playing connor, kicking the ball away and not spreading it wide whilst using the forwards for most of the game! why bring in gavin evans at such a late stage?! he wasnt even involved in the tour to australia? it just seems mad?. Henson must be called up. I beleive he exclusion is the reason why this team cannot reproduce the ability, grand slam era, through his ability to spread the ball so well and his natural ability to put time ont he ball, pick out the men outside as well as his huge boot.
Also why arn't the backs doing many set moves from set-peice anymore? this was key in us scoring tries. Watch the grand slam dvd and you'll see what i mean. SCOTT JOHNSON TO REPLACE JENKINS AND HIS CRONIES - WHAT OTHER WELSH COACHES ARE THERE?

  • 34.
  • At 12:13 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Trevor Davies wrote:

Can't help but agree with comment #10. Alfie has been a great servant to welsh rugby, but now the negatives far outweigh the positives.I am not convinced the truth came out over the Ruddock affair & his part in that, and since then the seige mentality seems to be at the forefront again instead of the Joir de vire experienced during the Grand Slam.
His press conferences/soundbites are nothing short of embarassing and I feel the newer players have to step up to the mark and move things forward without his influence.
Sorry Alfie thanks for the good times, but I think it's now time to move the welsh team on.
Now then, there's just that issue about GJ.....

  • 35.
  • At 01:03 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Robin wrote:

#5 did you watch the game? i believe wales played against 13 players for part of game!
Thomas took a cheap shot at Barnes. It wasn't even a tackle it was foul play.
Anyway, Thomas was a player to be admired. Great enthusiasm, endevour and quite a bit of skill too. But now I think it's time to say good bye - his antics with the Ulster crowd and his involvement with Ruddock's downfall is unfortunately how I'll remember him.

  • 36.
  • At 01:14 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • roddy wrote:

Would be sad to see him not play a further part in the tournament, as I'm sure that he would like to go out on a high. Hopefully he can make it back for a crack at SA.

As for the late hits etc, surely only Mitchell's spear tackle deserves further punishment. Moore had a cheap shot on Williams, Thomas shouldered Barnes well after ball had left. If he had put his arms out, it would have been a marginally late tackle rather than a cynical body check. Both may have deserved yellow cards, but no harm done, and neither Barnes nor Williams has complained. Latham should have got a yellow, but hardly a dangerous tackle warranting citing. Gregan did nothing illegal as he made no attempt to block runners, just chose a line that would force them to check (something England could have done against SA). Sharp killed the ball and got yellow, but hardly warrants citing. Mortlock's hit wasn't late as Thomas was in the act of passing when hit.

  • 37.
  • At 01:27 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Terry wrote:

I used to wonder why he was sometimes not picked during the graham henry days along with daffyd james as I felt they were two of the better players in wales. They should have been at centre together at the time. Looking at his attitude on and off the pitch I can see why he was not always in favour and the part he played in the Ruddock affair was contemptible to say the least. It is coming out that the same player power is gonna get Jenkings whom I dont rate as a welsh coach so you have to question 'Alfies' committment to the Welsh cause to be honest.
He is a great player on his day but I think Wales must leave him behind after the world cup if they are to improve on the international scene.
Let him remember his time with a less than average Wales side where he often stood out. As far as being a great I question if he should be remembered in quite the same way as Gareth Edwards, Steve Fenwick, Graham Price,JPR Williams and even Neil Jenkins to name but a few.
I will leave the so called journalists to decide that one.

  • 38.
  • At 01:33 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Nikki Evans wrote:

I hope he does manage to get his 100th Cap. My son was lucky enough to go to a summer training camp with "Alfie", he was absolutely fantastic with the kids and a true role model Wales should be proud to call Captain.

  • 39.
  • At 01:47 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Chris Hollett wrote:

Putting aside the snipes and digs of posters with a grudge about things now far in the past:-

1. Alfie IS / WAS a great player for Wales. No matter what your opinion of him, he holds the try scoring record. Higher than Gareth Edwards, higher than Barry John, Higher than Mervyn Davies.

2. He probably should have been carded for bracing for impact against Barnes. That's all. He made a bad decision, badly executed. No more.

3. I sincerely hope that the Aussies who deliberately set out to gain revenge by injuring a player, implicitly against the rules, but sadly expected from that team, feels bad about potentially ending a fellow professional's career feels bad about his cynical behaviour.

4. I also hope the citing commissioner looks closely at that game.

5. Those mean spirited, biased vengeful little posters who are glad a man's career may have been ended by a spiteful tackle really should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

  • 40.
  • At 05:06 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Rick wrote:

39. At 01:47 PM on 17 Sep 2007, Chris Hollett wrote:

3. I sincerely hope that the Aussies who deliberately set out to gain revenge by injuring a player, implicitly against the rules, but sadly expected from that team, feels bad about potentially ending a fellow professional's career feels bad about his cynical behaviour.

Where was there any rule breaking? The tackle was legal and not late - all tackles in rugby are aimed at the ribs to try to injure, and anyone who says otherwise lies.

Also calling it career ending is pushing the limit - a rib cartlidge normally only means being out for a few months, it just happens to be that those few months are towards the end of his career

  • 41.
  • At 05:37 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

I think Gareth’s Injury will be a blessing in disguise.

Gareth Thomas has been poor for the last two seasons, he was hardly a regular starter with Toulouse.

Yes he brings a physicality to the game but his decision making, distribution skills and kicking are all poor. Particularly the latter, indeed it was his awful, "hacked" clearance that ultimately gifted Australia their 1st try.

The only place I would play Thomas at a push would be on the wing or at 13 and I no longer feel he has the pace to play either.

I am also fed up people thanking him for his contribution to the grand slam. It wasn’t until his injury against France that we came in to that game and he paved the way for Morgan to come in. It was Morgan’s angles and off the shoulder running that allowed us to counter from deep (Shame that Morgan is not playing like that right now)

I feel Gareth Thomas has been a wonderful servant to Welsh rugby, all ways gave 100% and wore the shirt with tremendous pride. However it is these very attributes have caused the public to become blinkered in their appraisal and not properly access his overall performance and his execution of the fundamentals necessary at the top level.

  • 42.
  • At 01:17 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Chris Hollett wrote:


All tackles may well be aimed at the ribs, but this is NOT in order to injure. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar, a cheat or an Australian.

It is career ending because the RWC was to be Gareth Thomas' last tournament and he will not be recovered in time to rejoin it. By his own admission it would be unwise for a coach to pick him after this because his age will preclude him from being around for another RWC.

I'll tell you something though. The amount of illegal tackles / punches etc that Australia were allowed to get away with shows only one thing to me. They are not that far ahead of the NH as they would like to believe. They are merely permitted to antagonise opposition into playing badly. When we came back into it, they did not look so superior.

We have the ability to beat anyone. We just do not have the tactics right now.

  • 43.
  • At 11:13 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • lyndon wrote:

33, Scott Johnson is an aussie, but I agree Wales do need him.

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