Arctic dancer and sometime orange rugby player Gavin Henson has claimed that the words to the Welsh National Anthem are all wrong and that its tune isn’t as good as England’s.
“England’s anthem starts with the word God, which is a much more positive and inspirational opener than ours, which starts with Hen,” commented Henson, over high tea at the Ritz. “Starting it with Henson would be a much better option. In fact, I always sung it like that anyway.”
PR guru Clifford Max believes this latest outburst is a vain attempt to keep Henson in the spotlight, in the run up to the launch of ‘It’s a Hard Life’; Henson’s new book.
“He’ll want to get back on the telly with a quip like that, as being in the Western Mail doesn’t really count.”
Senior Welsh players held a crisis meeting at lunchtime today to discuss how to dampen immense public expectations ahead of this weekend’s game against New Zealand. The talks, held under the eves of Big D’s burger van in Talbot Green, were in response to press reports commenting upon Welsh chances and referring to the team as ‘second rate carthorses’.
“We tried to laugh off the ‘carthorses’ talk, but as a group of professionals we are finding it exceptionally difficult,” commented Stephen Jones, who wished to remain anonymous. “The pressure is immense at the best of times and it doesn’t help when you get talked up by the opposition. On the rugby development curve, we are just where we want to be; around the ‘third-rate joke’ level. Hell, we’d struggle to give Scotland a game at the moment.”
Jones is just one anonymous player who shares the same view. “Graham Henry says we’ve got an edge, which is just not fair,” claimed Tom Shanklin, whose bid to remain anonymous during much of this month’s internationals were dealt a cruel blow when he bled prodigiously in front of 3,000 stadium fans and another 1,000 watching live at home. “Like Henry’s face, we have no discernable shape whatsoever.”
Other Welsh players are bitter about news that Ladbrokes is pushing odds on Wales losing by a 30-40 points margin out from 11-3 to 4-1. “The rugby world expects Wales to really show up on Saturday,” commented a spokesman from the bookies. “And then not much after that.”
Top rugby writers at one of the nation’s top English language, trans-Wales though mainly Cardiff focussed, 6 day a week newspapers have joined the growing number of Internet users accessing the popular online search tool, Google.
“We asked ourselves – can we dub George North the Welsh Jonah Lomu?” recalls one of the Western Dandy’s spurious nonsense correspondents. “Surely not, we thought. In the 15.6m pages of rugby effluent we’ve created since Lomu’s debut in 1994, we MUST have dubbed somebody that already. 15.6m pages is a lot to sort through, so we borrowed a computer and the Internet told us to proceed.”
In other news, Jean de Villiers – the South African Scott Gibbs – is looking forward to this weekend’s clash against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, and will be making the crossing by car ferry from his holiday home in Cork. “I shill be droiving theer in moy blick Jiguar,” he commented.
Meanwhile Keven Mealamu – the New Zealand Brian Moore – sits out the rest of the Autumn internationals following his obvious head butt on Lewis Moody – the English Jean-Pierre Rives.
Inventive marketing wizards at colour-blind rugby machine (The) ‘Ospreys’ are behind a bare-faced attempt to keep Gavin Henson on Strictly Come Dancing, despite his obvious lack of prowess. “We’re rooting for Gav to make it all the way to the Christmas final, prove all his doubters wrong, and keep focussed on his dearly held ambition: being on telly,” squawked Cerys Morgan, PR bunny at Ospreys’ pint sized communications agency ’99 Tosspots’. “We are using the Internet a lot, especially all the social parts.”
Henson’s performances thus far on SCD have been characterised by his daft hairstyle, stiff backside and lots of blushing. “The judges don’t know what to do, especially Bruno” quipped Bruce Forsyth, between gasps from his oxygen mask during a recent filming intermission. “Maybe the Welsh vote is keeping him in, plus a lot of support from the UK’s small but vocal population of shiny orange, shaven people.”
Nick Clegg was unavailable for comment.
Ruff and ready rugby roadies Newport Gwent South Wales Dragons are offering their ‘underdogs’ tag for sale, in a bid to raise cash ahead of another bitingly cold winter. The wonga will go toward the upkeep of the Dragon’s most coveted tag: ‘hardworking’, and fund urgent reparis to ‘fortress’ – currently majority owned by Rodney Parade.
“We hope to raise a similar amount that Connacht did when they sold off their ‘whipping boys’ tag to Aironi,” spat dead-pan Head Coach Paul Turner. “But the tag market is pretty uncompromising, let me tell you. When we were flying high a couple of seasons ago we bid for ‘complete bastards’ from Leicester, but they turned us down – the complete bastards.”
Magners League games could become even more unbearable following news that half-time ‘mini-rugby’ players are threatening strike action over a bitter pay dispute with the Welsh regions. The players, who between themselves and their relatives are known to swell attendance numbers at some matches by up to 30%, are presently paid naff-all to represent their home-town clubs in matches, 4 minutes each way.
“I am my alcoholic mother’s registered carer, and had to buy my own rugby shirt using all the coppers what I dug up off the alloments using my only toy as a spade,” claimed Tommee Leee (sic) Pritchard, 8, a utility back with Dunvant. “A few quid is all we’re asking for, what with Gran Turismo 2012 coming out soon. And do you know how much a gram of decent smack costs nowadays?”
But the ongoing money squabble belies a deeper struggle for fair conditions and a dignified sense of recognition, according to Mini-Rugby Wales shop steward Adidas Watkins, 9, from Gilfach Goch. “Biased referees, poor pitch markings, having to dodge club mascots and blokes wandering about with garden forks – it’s like being a bloody slave, in a box, covered in smelly cow pats, with nothing but a Playstation1. That’s right, a PlayStation1,” he exclaimed, between hasty palmfuls of Turbo-Gain training supplement. “And what’s with calling it mini-rugby and tha’? I’m a professional athlete, not some big bum with a face painted on it.”