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? 


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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.

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