Saturday, 16 March 2013

Hating the English when it comes to Rugby

James Corrigan writing in the Telegraph explores an obvious but uncomfortable truism, which is that when it comes to sport every Celt loves to see England lose.  As the England rugby team cross the Seven Bridge for the final showdown of the Six Nations we can be sure that every Welshman and 90% of Scots and Irish will be hoping the Welsh can inflict a drubbing on the "Red Rose".  Let's not forget the French who will also be hoping "les Rosbifs" get roasted.

Our band of brothers - beating Scotland!

Since the all conquering sides of the 1990s and the world cup winning team of 2003 its been open season on the English and how the Celts have loved it.  There have been dark days.  We English remember with acute pain the terrible failures in the final matches at Murrayfield in 1990 and 2002 against the Scots, at Wembley in 1999 against the Welsh, at Lansdowne Road in 2001 and again in 2011 against the Irish.

I know many Englishmen who are affronted by the bad manners of our Celtic cousins, where is their sense of Britishness they ask.  They find the whole thing tiresome and unfair!  However the rest of us love the hatred, history and rancour, it makes the winning so much sweeter.  And of course when it comes to armed neutrality we can mix it with the best.  Whenever Wales play and lose to Samoa I am happy to don a grass skirt and bang the drum for the Pacific Islanders, I could no more support Wales than boil my own head in a vat of tar.


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