UPDATE: Wonderful piece in the Guardian by Paul Rees, to be found here.
My father preferred Gareth: that had to do
with pluck and mud and moral fibre.
Not that he dismissed the king - the Methodist
in him simply warmed to a humbler talent.
But I was entranced. Barry John was beauty
triumphant, the world as it ought to be
and, I was young enough to think, as it was.
I suppose this could be regarded as a kind of lament both for my happy childhood and the Golden Era of Welsh rugby, but of course it is actually inspired by the New Hope. It may be that England scratch a win on Saturday, as they have against Scotland and Italy, but the joy that Welsh rugby has brought recently cannot be gainsaid, and although there will never be another Barry John, there are Lydiates and Halfpennys and Priestlands, for which many thanks to whomsoever orders these things.