Now, look, imagine this. You\’re turning out for some village third rugby team. You\’re crap, you know it, you\’re there for a wander around in the mud and a few pints afterwards. I have been known to play this sort of rugby myself it being the level and standard to which I am suited.

You turn up at the arse end of Bridgend for a game and a few pints of Brains.

Williams, a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, was one of the key players in Wales’s greatest era alongside Gareth Edwards and Barry John.

After he retired from international rugby in 1981 he continued playing for his local club, Bridgend, and finally with village club ­Tondu’s third team until he was 53.

Yes, that\’s JPR Williams as the opposing full back. Bit of a thrill perhaps but….well….somehow that grubber kick you\’ve been working on for years as your only attacking option just ain\’t gonna work, is it?

I used to play for an American team against college and club sides. As usual over there, high levels of fitness and low in skill (or at least, as usual then, decades ago). We always used to surprise people with our front row who had all been in the Eagles (the national team) and who were on their descent through the skills levels as age caught up with them. Props in their late 40s appear to young rejects from the College American football system to be a push over.

It ain\’t necessarily so…..

3 thoughts on “JPR”

  1. I have fond memories of the local ex-pat team in Bahrain with beer bellies mismatched socks and playing a fit, well-turned-out bunch of sailors who were in port for a week. I was expecting a bloodbath, but not the one I saw!

    I can’t remember what the score was, but I can remember at least three of the fit, well-turned-out sailors being stretchered off…

  2. That’s the difference between league and union.

    In union, you can make up for certain deficiencies by playing a smart tactical game, eg. if you’re playing a fitter, younger team keep the ball in the pack and rough ’em up with lots of rucking, mauling, and punching.

    In league, there are no tactics. The stronger, fitter, and faster team will thrash you hands down. It’s also why league is a rubbish social game, whereas union is excellent.

  3. He ended his career playing flanker, a great use of the tackling power that he possessed in his heyday.
    He had slowed down too much to make a go of full-back, though don’t forget he was capped by Wales as a flanker too.
    In my day, the toughest second row pairing I ever when up against had a combined age of 110!

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