by Max Boyce
During the latter part of last season, a bunch of students had been on a long sponsored walk. They arrived in a little town called Ystrad. The next day being Tuesday, some of the boys went training. A Welsh Rugby Union coach commanded the boys in training, and after he had outlined various scrummaging techniques, he told them to take out their Welsh Rugby Union handbook. Those of the boys who had Welsh Rugby Union handbooks, took them out. But one boy had only a Deck of Cards, and so he spread them out. The coach saw the cards and said 'Boy, put away those cards!' After the training session was over the boy was taken away, and taken in front of the Welsh Rugby Union. And Bill Clement said, 'Why have, you brought this boy here?' 'For playing cards in a training session, sir.' `And what have you to say for yourself, son?' `Much, sir!' And Bill Clement said 'I hope so. For if you haven't I will punish you more severely than any boy was ever punished.' The boy said, 'Sir, I have been away in college for six months and had with me neither Welsh Rugby Union handbook or my Ray Williams coaching leaflets! 'But I hope to satisfy you, sir, with the purity of my intentions.' And with that the boy began his story: 'You see sir, when I look at the ace, it reminds me there is but one game, Rugby Football! And the ace also reminds me of Eddie Waring when he goes "Eh, eh, it's an up-and-under." When I see the two It reminds me that there are two codes of Rugby... Rugby Union and * *! When I see the trey, I think of the Viet Gwent - the Pontypool Front Row. Charlie Faulkner, Bobby Windsor and Graham Price. When I see the four, it reminds me of the four Home Countries: Wales, Scotland, Ireland and ???????. When I see the five, I think of the big five: three were wise and picked Dai - and two were foolish and picked Cobner! When I see the six of course I think of Dai Morris. When I see the seven, I think of the Snelling Sevens at the end of each season. When I see the eight I think of the great Mervyn Davies, the greatest "number eight" in the world. And of course when I see the nine I think of - Gareth Edwards? No, Dai Morris upside-down! When I see the ten it reminds me of the years I worked in the Outside-half Factory, producing that self-same number ten. When I see the jack, or the knave, or the devil I think of the Rugby League scouts. When I see the queen I think of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who bestowed on the great Gareth Edwards the MBE. (Some people will do anything for tickets!) When I see the king, it reminds me of the player they once called "the king" - Barry John. When I count the number of spots on my deck of cards I find 365 - the number of points we've scored against England in the last couple of games at Cardiff! There are 52 cards in a pack: the number of people who come and see Pontardulais on Saturdays! There are four suits: the number of weeks in a month. There are twelve picture cards: the number of times Wales have won the Triple Crown. There are thirteen tricks : the number of times they'll have won it by this time next year! So you see, sir, my pack of cards serves me not only as an almanac but as a Welsh Rugby Union handbook. And friends, that story is true. I know, 'cos I was that boy!

The end