Monday, 3 December 2007

Strictly X-Factor for Wales

So a scratch Barbarians team won comfortably against the World Champions Springboks at the weekend, which suggests a couple of things to me:

  1. Just how much did this game matter to South Africa? I don't want to bang on about it too much (I know, I already have), but the decision to schedule these games so soon after the World Cup is looking more and more ludicrous. Only five of the World Cup Final starting XV played at the weekend and it was clearly at least one game too far.
  2. Given the nature of the South African performance, how must Wales feel? That they were uncompetitive a week ago against a team who were clearly there for the taking must be of some concern to incoming head coach Warren Gatland.

All is not lost for Mr. Gatland, however, as a root and branch review of Welsh rugby talent will reveal that there are two hugely talented individuals who have, to date, been lost to the Welsh game but who are currently pulling in telephone votes from UK television audiences.

I'm talking, of course, about the X-Factor's Rhyddian Roberts and Strictly Come Dancing's Gethin Jones.

Roberts, looking like a cross between Liberace and a peroxide poodle, is down to the final four contestants in the X-Factor but was, once upon a time, in the "elite rugby squad” at that fine Welsh rugby nursery Llandovery College, where, despite the fact that he now looks as as camp as a row of tents, he was described as a “big powerful centre” and a "tough cookie at rugby, huge and physical." According to his father he once had ambitions to play for Wales and, despite the fact that his aim is now merely to sing the National Anthem at the Millennium Stadium, Gatland could conceivably pair him in the centres with Gavin Henson to form a partnership as comfortable on the red carpet as they would be on the field.

Meanwhile, Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones, through to the Strictly Come Dancing semi-finals, was part of a talented generation of schoolboy players at Cardiff’s Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf where Welsh centre Jamie Robinson was among his contemporaries. As a scrum-half, he not only captained Manchester Metropolitan University to the semi-finals of the British University Sport Association Championships, he also represented Lancashire at Under 21 level and had trials with Sale. Gatland need only watch the tapes of the snake-hipped Jones' Samba performance on Saturday to convince himself that Gethin will be the man to dance rings around the English at Twickenham in February.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rhyddian was the x factor and should have won hands down. That boy can not only sing but has the fully enthralling factor, and he can play rugby. What more do you want.