Ireland Week threat-level raised to “Steady now”

Both Welsh and Irish camps issued statements today raising the pre-game threat level to “Steady Now” – up one notch from “Quietly confident” and below “Expecting to lose narrowly”.

An IRB spokesman confirmed that the upgrading of the threat level meant that both teams are officially ‘wary’ of each other and is likely to guarantee that any further press coverage between now and kick-off will be exceptionally banal; advising supporters of both nations to just hibernate for 48 hours if at all possible.

Although the public threat level had been raised, the private threat level could actually be anything on the scale. This is known as the McLaughlan effect, in that no-one wants to be making public shows of confidence only to lose and then have media harpie Sonja McLaughlin crush their genitals over the matter on live television. The result is pre-match press coverage that is like listening to a Colin Charvis lecture on the all the numbers between one and 240 million to two decimal places.

Hopes of Warren Gatland emerging from his self-imposed ‘Yip’-ban and having a pop at an unsuspecting Irish player’s ability, intelligence or even personal hygiene are slim, as the Welsh coach’s wariness of his own threat level has been at “Steady now” for four weeks.

Retirement Looms for Matthew J Watkins (‘middle initial)

An end of an era rapidly approaches. This season will see the last of Matthew J Watkins (‘s middle initial). In what has been a perfectly symmetrical career, the Newport-Llanelli-Llanelli-Newport, Tommy Cooper-loving rugby player Matthew ‘the middle initial formally known as J’ Watkins will finally put up his boots. Of his middle initial. “I’ve had a great career” said the player that Scarlets fans knew as ‘The Jayster’, “but I’ve always wanted to go out at the top and that’s what I’m doing at Newport. Rodney Parade will be the last place people will see me play (using J as a reminder of my middle name).”

Matt Watkins (‘middle initial J) has received many tributes from all around the rugby world. Former Dragons coach Ian McIntosh was devastated “What are you doing phoning me up at 4 o’clock in the morning, my man. I’ll give you a middle digit naaaaw!!!!!” he said, enthusiastically. Former Dragons coach and Hiberniaophile Mike Ruddock was almost in tears. “Sorry, you’ve caught me at a bad time. I was putting some shelving up and hit my thumb with a hammer. Matthew who? Sorry, I can’t remember, 2005 was such a long time ago.” he told us in a Gwlad exclusive. Former Dragons coach Paul Turner was outspoken in his criticism of the move “Libya has had to put up with too much from the Arabs for whom it has poured forth both blood and money.” he said in a voice that sounded a lot like colonel Gaddafi’s.

So what next for Matthew Watkins (‘ middle initial). “Well” answered Watkins “unfortunately” added Watkins, “I’ve” interjected Watkins “failed to receive a sponsorship deal (for the J), but hope to somehow move it into advertising” said the plainly monikered Matt Watkins.

Gatland Slams Barca

In a shocking broadside against the Nou Camp heroes, Wales coach branched out from his usual pre-match interviews by blasting a team from a different sport. “They hold no fear for my lads – we know that they can never beat us” claimed the Wales supremo. “They’re an under-rated tippy tappy fixated bunch of wimps!” Gatland continued. “They can’t even throw in properly. This team of tic tac tits can’t even score a try.” Gatland went on to criticise the rugby abilities of the European Ryder Cup team, Sebastein Vettel, Mohammed Ali, Jesse Owens, Usain Bolt, Lance Armstrong, Neil Armstrong, Stretch Armstrong, Time Team, Face off of the A-Team, Dr ‘Bones’ McCoy and Marie Curie.

Warren Gatland’s ‘Cut Out & Pin Up’ Opposition Team Talks

2011 Vol.4 – Ireland

Hello Ireland. My boys are playing you this weekend so here’s just a few well considered words to save your coach the bother of motivating you.

You are Cheats!

Everyone says so. I’m going to tell the Ref on you by spending this week bleating on about how you’re all murdering ball-killers and the enemies of rugby.

 All my players Hate you!

 There, I’ve said it. We had a vote on who we hated the most and you won. Well actually Ronan O’Gara won, but the rest of you came second.

Brian O’Driscoll is Mortal!

The angel Gabriel did not deliver unto Mrs O’Driscoll a child: He is a normal guy. Feed him and does he not shit? This means that we’re allowed to tackle him, and he’s not allowed to spend half the game telling the Ref what his opinion should be.

I’d rather listen to Sonja McLaughlan than U2!

That’s right, the soulless microphone harpie sounds better than Bono. She makes my eyes bleed but listening to the Edge’s patented doorbell sound makes me want to thumb my eyes out of their sockets.

You’re drug-dealers!

Everyone says when the Irish come to Cardiff, the crack is always good. Crack is not good. It is a highly addictive Class A narcotic and it is a criminal offence to bring it into the country. It ruins lives and drains valuable NHS, law-enforcement and Social Care resources. Leave the crack at home.


Disclaimer: Mr Gatland’s views in no way represent those of the Welsh nation who have always got on with you very well actually – in spite of our dodgy deal with the English in 1169 that let them invade you, and Lloyd-George drawing partition lines across random bits of the island after a few too many doses of Port – sorry about all that.

 The Welsh nation does not have a standing army and would therefore like to avoid any armed conflict as a result of the above comments. Tribute can be paid in coin or cattle. Please send all invoices for reparations to The Welsh c/o WRU, Dept for Gatland Gaffe Repairs, Millennium Stadium, Westgate Street, Cardiff, CF10 1NS.

Wilkinson’s Hair Explodes

A destructive hurricane swept across the continent yesterday after the whole of Wales and Ireland and a tiny minority of Scotland breathed a collective sigh of relief following the tragic deaths of most of the England squad after Johnny Wilkinson’s hair exploded on the team bus.

An investigation is underway but early reports suggest that, unable to deal with the stilted social exchanges of the England squad, Wilkinson’s hair self-combusted in an explosion of emotional intensity after catching sight of a baguette brought onto the bus by James Haskell. In a press release the RFU have blamed the emotional freedom experienced by the hair after two years living in France. ‘No.’

Commented Martin Johnson, who despite being on the bus at the time was too busy drawing smiley faces to notice the explosion. Chris Ashton, who swallow dived to safety, was too busy celebrating in front of his former team-mates to comment, whilst the only other survivor, Wilkinson’s torso and limbs, was practising its place kicking.

In Wales the news has overshadowed the fact that Warren Gatland has now metamorphosised into Graham Henry, circa 2002.

Optimism Gnome SCANDAL – Evil Twin Brother Revealed

The normally sober, sedate and sensible world of Welsh rugby commentary in the Six Nations was rocked last night when inspiration of the nation, the Optimism Gnome, revealed his dark family secret.

The Optimism Gnome, whose work has helped Welsh fans deal with the Lewering, the Gyppocaust, the ongoing Gattocide and tubby drunken strumpets in stetsons yelling, “Give it to faaaaaarkin’ SHAAAAANNNEEEE” at matches last night broke down in sobs as the scandal erupted.

“It’s true,” said the Gnome, speaking to Gwl@d. “My family shame is out there, now. I have an evil twin brother, who does nothing else but undo all my good work.”

Gwl@d understands* that the Gnome’s evil twin is, like the Gnome, a microscopically-small entity who speaks in a high-pitched squeal. But the Misery Midget works against his brother, and brings nothing but despair, soul-eating emptiness and Western Mail opinion pieces to the people of a suffering nation.

“He’s so evil,” said the Gnome. “Everything I do, he just twists and destroys it. I start getting people excited about having Wellies in good nick and uninjured, next thing he starts a Hook for 10 campaign. I don’y know why he does it, but the power we were both given to remove all traces of rationality from the minds of Welsh rugby fans for so that they can go to matches happily in replica Arsenal shirts instead of mourning, sackcloth and ashes, he just twists and uses for evil.

“I mean, I know no-one wants to look at the 6N in the cold, clear light of reason, but why not use the madness to make people happy, instead of making them try to burn the innocent member of the halfbacks?

“He’s just evil.”

The Misery Midget was unavailable for intelligent, informed comment. So, no change there, then.

*Which would be a first, mind…