Barry Jon Welsh

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There are some wonderful nicknames handed out by our rugby playing brethren across training paddocks week in, week out. You will have your personal favourite. But if ‘Barry Jon Welsh’ wasn’t uttered by someone in the Newcastle squad on Monday morning, I’ll fondle Hagrid’s gonads. The unbridled glory that will have created such a moniker took place on Friday night, as Newcastle took on Bath at Kingston Park in the opening fixture of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership. And not since Sharon Stone found herself being questioned by police have I found such an exploited gap so alluring.

Jon Welsh, the Falcons’ tight head, discovered himself with the ball, at speed, and in the sort of space normally reserved for international centres. Standing between him and an unbelievable try line was Anthony Watson, the Bath fullback: a man only recently back from a layoff with a broken jaw, and no doubt wondering just how the hell it would hold up in the face of such a galloping prospect. Having reached a world record tilt of 34.27mph, Welsh rocketed towards the opposition’s 22. With each passing stride, those of us gathered around our screens were falling a little more in love with his roguish scampering. And yet, ‘what next?’ was the inexorable question building on our unanimous lips. Our hero had little time to weigh up his options; at that sort of velocity, front row forwards seldom think clearly. Three choices ran through his brain…

    1. Run through the twat. Everyone is expecting me to; it’s from page one of the prop forward’s manual. I have nothing but ballast on my side. I’ve spent years fantasising about getting my body weight up to this sort of pace; stay on target, stay on target…
    2. I could look for someone to pass to. Look? I can’t fucking see! This air speed has made my eyes all bleary and I haven’t taken a breath since I was inside my own half. Shit… I’m starting to see the ghostly faces of my wife and children, I love you darling, I’m so sorry about this…
    3. I could chip the fullba…

He had barely finished his sentence, than the ball was on his foot. Sporting genius of this sort of magnitude is seldom given moments to think. Welsh knew this. If he was to score THE try of the last six centuries, he couldn’t spend any more time planning it. He’d have to trust his god given footballing instincts and let fate do the rest…

Dink.

Mark.

Whistle.

Bollocks.

So, like appointing a man with Tourette’s to say grace, everyone wished he hadn’t, but was secretly amused that he had. Barry Jon Welsh: making 2017 so much better than last year.

Watch Barry Jon Welsh here

Sam Roberts © 2017. (Text only). All Rights Reserved

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