Of the 15 men who took the field for Wales against South Africa yesterday, 5 were fluent Welsh speakers. As the clock ticked past five thirty, around 60,000 of us lustily sang our anthem, in Welsh.Yesterday afternoon, I wandered into the Welsh Rugby Union’s pop-up shop on the Hayes. They’ve got a new range of merchandise out. Can’t blame them for trying to make a few quid; it’s an expensive business keeping our talented players in Wales, not to mention paying the Chief Executive his £337,000 a year salary.
The new merchandise is very stylish. Replica shirts, bobble hats and scarves. Emblazoned with Brand Wales.
That’s Brand Wales, not Brand Cymru. It appears that the WRU aren’t bothered with the Welsh language.
Don’t they care about our language any more? How long will it be before we hear calls for an english alternative to Hen Wlad Fy’n Nhadau to be sung before internationals?
Just think about the meaning of our National Anthem, and the final line that we all sing before the game, “O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau.” What does it mean? “Long may the old language prevail.” What, exactly are the WRU doing to preserve our language? Not much, it would seem.
We know the WRU’s number one priority is money. Just look at the Autumn internationals. The annual cash cow where the players and the fans are the losers, and the WRU are the only winners.
It’s time to realise we’re being cheated by Roger Lewis, his six-figure salary, the insulting merchandise and these pointless money-making matches. Don’t buy any of this english tat. Instead, give a few quid to the Welsh Rugby Players’ Benevolent Trust.