Bruce Pope (archive)

Bruce Pope

Citing spoiling the exciting? (53)

Cardiff - Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way endorsing bad tackles or foul play - I wince and utter the occasional expletive along with the rest of the watching world when something nasty happens during a rugby match.

But I'm thinking that the citing commissioners and disciplinary panels at this Rugby World Cup are coming down too harshly on players.

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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.

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Bruce Pope

Wales ratings v Australia (121)

Cardiff - I was at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday as Wales lost 32-20 to Australia in a match that leaves the Wallabies in control of Pool B.

Here's how I rated the individual Wales players' performances. See whether you agree and let us know what you thought of the match.

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Bruce Pope

Wales the Lionhearts (20)

Seen posted on the door of the Wales dressing room in the bowels of the Millennium Stadium are words of inspiration attributed to the King of England.

I know what you're thinking: "Has Lizzie finally stepped down and let number one son have a go at last, but he's still made the time to big-up Gareth Jenkins' boys due to his previous role as Prince of Wales?"

No, the words helping to get the hwyl flowing for Saturday's Pool B clash with Australia have come echoing down the ages, uttered towards the end of the 12th century.

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Bruce Pope

About Bruce Pope (0)

There are few better places than Wales to live and work if you love your sport - even if you happen to be an Englishman - so it's been a happy six years since they let me in the front door here in Cardiff.

I'm Devon-born and Dorset-raised but it wasn't till I ended up in Swansea at the end of my studies that I had a top-flight rugby team to support, just as the All Whites were hitting their stride in the 90s.

Regional rugby and the amalgamation with Neath means the Ospreys have inherited my loyalty.

I got my first taste of journalism during an exchange year in the USA, as a tennis reporter for the University of New Mexico's student paper. After graduating and a year back-packing in Africa I started freelancing in London, working as a sports sub-editor for the likes of the Independent and the Telegraph online.

It's always a hard task to put aside being an over-excited fan (and put down the beer glass) during big tournaments and take on the role of impartial BBC journalist, plus a Welsh girlfriend and an Irish mother mean I've got my feet in a few camps.

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