“Yes sir….”

Imagine if we had a talking to from Nigel Owens ahead of the big match this Saturday…
I did.


“Right then, I don’t know who you’ve been listening to, but I’m in charge ok? You listen to me. I’ll tell you about England Wales.

This is massive. I mean big. You know Carwyn James’ reputation after he took the Lions to New Zealand do you? Well, it’s almost as big as that. England versus Wales in the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham is huge. I would tell you I want you on your feet, but I have feeling that will take care of itself.

Now then, I’ve heard a lot of sniping about England’s back line. And I’m not happy. You let things be. Your coach has chosen the team, and it’ll do a job. Stop panicking and whatever happens you let him do the talking, ok? It’s best you shut your mouths otherwise I’ll be marching you back ten.

As for the information my assistant referee has given me of Wales bringing in extra players to practise with, I’m going to let that go; not because I’m Welsh or anything like that, it’s because they didn’t know. I’ve given them a talking to and I want that to be an end on the matter.

Yes, thank you, I’m fully aware of how combustible things might get come kick off this Saturday, but I want you to focus on the game. I’ve spoken with both captains and they’ve given me assurances that there will be no offside at the bar, no in at the side of the settee and certainly no hands in the peanut bowl if you haven’t washed them first.

Front rows, listen, I don’t want you standing up so that people can’t see. The room is likely to be packed and if you are going up and down like a one armed window cleaner, everyone will get annoyed.

Right, I’m aware that there are interesting contests all over the park. I know both your twelves and quite frankly I’m looking forward to it. I think red five and white five will try and knock lumps out of each other and I’m pretty sure the breakdown is going to be like when Aberavon Vets had a free bar but that’s the World Cup see? You can jump and shout all you like, I won’t be listening.

And whoever ends up winning, I don’t want any of that lording it over each other. This isn’t football, we play like men and we win like men. Shake each other’s hand, and whether you win or lose, realise there’s always going to be a next time. Anyone found being unnecessarily unkind will have me to answer to.

So let’s listen to me, play hard, and understand that this is just a game of rugby.

Right, penalty here, time back on.”

Sam Roberts © 2015. (Text only). All Rights Reserved.

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