The reason why Welsh interest - and Irish - ended when it did is explained by Welsh international lock Ian Evans who lays the blame at the door of the Magners League. â00We need consistent high performance games. It is no use us going back to the Celtic League and playing against mediocre sides,â0 he said, obviously not aware that when his Club won it last season it was in fact the Magners League trophy they so joyously accepted.
Evans is not all impressed with the opposition provided citing the southern hemisphere template to validate his point, â00If you look at the southern hemisphere countries, the way they structure their game means they are playing big and tough matches week in and week out.â0
OK so why then are New Zealand and Australia out of the RWC or could it be that news of their demise hasn't drifted into his particular valley ?
And itâ00s the Irish really who are preventing the Welsh â00getting better as a nationâ00 according to Evans. â00If people donâ00t put their best sides out every week we are not going to get better as a nation. The Irish often field weakened teams particularly if national coach Eddie Oâ00Sullivan requests specific players to attend.â0
And how unfair is that â00 to Wales.
Bad â00n all as that is, then there is an apparent conspiracy against the Ospreys and not just by the Irish it seems. â00It has been evident in our early games (they lost to Cardiff Blues and Llanelli Scarlets in their opening two games) that teams are trying to strangle our ambition to play positive rugby.â0 So says Lyn Jones â00 Evansâ00 boss at Ospreys â00 a man who chooses his words with great care!
A coach who was captured on television last season parading up and down the touchline carrying a yellow tackle bag above his head in an apparent effort to get a player yellow carded.
However, short of Evans and Ospreys being invited to bring their positive rugby to the English Premiership or French championship or an expanded EDF Energy Cup, theyâ00re just going to have soldier on playing against mediocre sides.
Now how sad is that.