The World XV that Argentina would love to tuck into

Famous for their fondness for beef at every meal, Argentina are a collection of big lads who stink of mince at the best of times.  Wales insist on closing the roof against them if rain is forecast, to prevent the honk of beaten leather becoming too much of a distraction.

In honour of their passion for meat-related foodstuffs, has carefully researched an all time World XV for them to stick their teeth into.  Buen apetito!

Coach: Declan Kidney

1. Gethin Jenkins (aka Melon)
A traditional starter to a big feast
2. Gordon Bulloch
But you couldn’t eat a whole one, surely?
3. Dave Hilton (aka McChop)
Questionable whether this Bristolian butcher is in fact from a Scottish source
4. John Eels
This misspelt slippery Aussie packs a punch
5. Hoani McDonald
Not the best quality, but that’s McDonald’s for you
6. Schalk Burger
Need we say more?
7. Martyn Williams (aka Nugget)
This bite sized morsel is not ‘chicken’
8. Sebastian Cheval (oh alright… Chabal)
Thoroughbredly good eating though
9. Gavin Cattle
Mooooooving the pack all over the pitch
10. Ryan Lamb
This diminutive playmaker has purportedly tender joints.  Shame he’s only from an English farm.
11. Clyde Rathbone
Something to nibble on, in a hurry
12. Mike Catt
Had a fantastic Korea
13. Jannie de Beer
The perfect accompaniment
14. Tom Shanklin (aka Shanks)
Best if slow-cooked, which is just as well as he gets slower every season
15. Dusty Hare
A bit old but still a delicacy

Have we missed anyone out, or worse still over-cooked it?

Calling all rugby fans

BBC Radio Wales has a special “morning of the match” programme on the day of the big game, where we broadcast the breakfast programme from The Angel Hotel, which is one of the hotels near the Millennium Stadium, opposite Cardiff Castle.

We’re looking for Welsh rugby fans, and also any Argentinians who live in or near Cardiff, or who are coming especially for the game and are staying here on Friday night, and would like to come along to our Outside Broadcast.

The programme is on air between 7am-9am.

The aim is to kick start the day with lots of atmosphere and build up the excitement to the game. Naturally at 7am we have to do our best to create a bit of atmosphere – which is where the fans come in.

We’d like to group together different people at The Angel on Saturday November 21 for the Wales v Argentina game, so that the presenter (Gareth Lewis) can have plenty of people to chat to over the course of the programme. It’s a relaxed format, with lots of talk about the fans’ expectations, their critique of the team’s performance so far, strengths, weaknesses etc, but also a bit of banter about their own background – where they’ve come from, who they’re there with, plans for the day, and so on.

As you can guess, it would involve an early start, and we’d be looking to get fans to the hotel just before 7am and ideally stay until 9am, but if they need to come and go that shouldn’t be a problem.

Please call India @ BBC Radio Wales on 029 2032 2141 or 029 2032 2142 if you can help.

Edwards Claims Biggar is Better

Human cue-ball Shaun Edwards is rubbing his hands at the prospect of Dan Biggar taking the field against Samoa this Friday, claiming the rookie Ospreys fly-half has a bite that’s as big as his bark.

“He can tackle; there’s no doubt about it.  And he can shout.  By heck, have you heard him shouting?  Never stops shouting that lad.  Or tackling.  And he does his fair share of running as well.  Kicking?  Lots of that as well…when he isn’t passing of course…”

According to Edwards, Biggar is also still growing, and will reach his full rugby maturity in time for the 2011 World Cup, when he finally turns 16.

“By the time this kid gets through puberty, I reckon he’ll be about 7 feet tall and weigh 20 stone,” frothed Edwards.  “And he’ll be able to tackle and pass at the same time, or shout and run, or kick and pass.  He’s right good at multi-tasking.  You know… like a woman.  Wilkinson can’t fookin manage that.  And it pains me to say it – neither can Cipriani.”

Edwards has also been busy prepping giant lock Luke Charteris for the upcoming encounter against the South-Sea Islanders, with a high-impact regime of stomach muscle bulking.  “A normal tackle on Luke will hit him somewhere around the knee; possibly even on the thigh.  But the Samoans are famous for their high-shots so we’ve been having to firm him up around the navel area.”

Huw Bennett meanwhile, is an altogether different coaching challenge:  “People ask me, what is Huw Bennett for?  I think that’s disrespectful and I don’t like disrespectivenessability.  Against the Samoans, we don’t need control at the scrummage, or a decent throw at the line-out.  In the 25th minute, we really need someone dedicated enough to start a mass brawl and then go and hide behind Ryan Jones.  But don’t print that last bit.”

Coaches Conjure Red Rag to All Blacks

This just in…



From: Graham Henry (
To: Steve Hansen (
Subject:  Pre match motivation – Wales
Date: 01 November 2009 (19:50 NZST)

As per our discussion on the 23rd, we really have to try and come up with an original way of stoking up the guys for the Wales game.  We need fire in their bellies or we could lose for the first time in absolutely bloody ages.

So I’ve looked into the last half dozen away internationals against Wales before we first got hired at NZRU.  Here is what former All-Blacks coaches used in order to get the players really narked before kick-off.

- Made the players repeatedly watch the Max Boyce Live skit about ‘Humpty Dumpty’

- Paid the travel company to ‘accidentally’ get confused about signage arrangements and stick a bloody great “C’mon Australia” banner down the side of the team bus.

- Handed out fake translations of the Welsh national anthem insinuating the colour black is bad, only ponces like silver ferns, and that NZ sheep are inferior to Welsh ones.  

- Convinced them that playing a home Wales international at Wembley Stadium is a practical joke designed to confuse “those stupid Kiwis”. 

- Got the stadium announcer to say “Number Sucks (that’s sucks by the way, not six) – Jerry Collins” when reading out the team sheet.  

- Told the players that ‘Seland Newydd’ means ‘The Wankers Team’

- Booked the team to stay in the Angel Hotel the night before. 

Shitting hell Steveo, that last one was a total masterstroke!!
I keep coming back to how well the whole haka thing played out last time though.  We’re struggling for inspiration here, so maybe we should just spin that again?




From: Steve Hansen (
To: Graham Henry (
Subject:  Re: Pre-match motivation – Wales
Date: 03 November 2009 (11:33 NZST)

The thing is Grayo; we both already agreed it can’t be the haka again.  First it was pretending we weren’t allowed to do the haka on the pitch and getting the guys to do it in Westgate Street car park instead.  Then last time – and we shouldn’t have done two haka related ones in a row, it’s looked too obvious IMHO – warning the boys that the Welsh lads would probably just gaze up at the big-screen looking for Charlotte Church’s baps rather than watch us strutting our ancient ceremonial whatnot.
How about telling the fellas that Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is being held hostage?  In Neath? 


Calling all Welsh learners!

Are you moving to Wales in the near future or have you just moved to Wales? Do you speak Welsh or are you learning Welsh?

I am working on a programme idea for S4C. It is a series of half hour entertaining programmes that look at engaging personalities’ journey of settling into life in Wales. Each programme will explore four families/individuals going through different stages of culture shock and finally ending to love life in Wales (or not!). It observes the Welsh quirkiness from an outsider’s point of view.

This is an inspiring series, with a hint of humour, where the events in each programme leave you with a smile on your face.

Please email me at if you or anyone you know could be suitable to appear on the programme!


Wales to beat New Zealand – Believe

Right, it’s like this.

The All Blacks are coming and we’ve got a chance of beating them, same as all the other times we’ve had a chance and then blown it. Some of you may be old enough to remember the golden age of Welsh rugby, some of you won’t. Most of you will remember the age of crap from the 70’s onwards where we lost to not only New Zealand but also everyone else, including Western Samoa, Italy, Canada and Romania. Even the most optimistic amongst will, at some stage, have thought to yourself that Wales were a load of crap and written off their chances ahead of another big game. The players looked like they’d done the same.

Back when I played rugby we always spoke about believing we were going to win. Looking round the dressing room you could always tell who really believed it and who thought we were going to lose. When there were more of the latter we generally lost. All the great teams (New Zealand, South Africa, the Kuwait Nomads) they all believe that they’re going to win. Always. They have an unwavering belief in themselves. Even if they’re down by a few points they never lose that confidence and generally it works out for them. So for Wales to win on Saturday they need to believe. Every player on the pitch needs to know, without doubt, that he’s better than his opposite number and that Wales are going to win. And the players can’t do that if we, the supporters, don’t believe.

So here’s the thing. For this week BELIEVE that Wales are going to win. Live it, breathe it, know that they are going to do it. Remember the glory of 2005 and 2008, remember how good it felt when the boys done good. We’ve got the talent, we’ve got the size and we can beat anyone. Tell your mates, spread the word, Wales are going to win. Believe, believe, believe.