The good relations that traditionally mark Irish-Welsh relations will be under strain this weekend as the homespun-talk-themselves-down Munster take on the brash-talk-themselves-up Ospreys in Saturdays crucial (rugby) Heineken Cup match.
Relations have been poor for a number of years since the Ospreys counter-cited Munster player Marcus Horan for racially abusing one of their players – a charge Munster angrily suggested was simply made up. Encounters between the teams are usually fiery and in keeping with this tradition, last weekend Munster’s captain Paul O’Connell was red carded and banned for striking an Ospreys player.
The poor relations are reflected in the fans websites where GwladRugby has built up a reputation for anti-Irishness which is then reported regularly (and with some bemusement) on the Munsterfans website. Refreshingly (and perhaps surprisingly to some) these poor relations contrast markedly with those between fans of Munster and the powerhouses of English rugby Leicester and Northampton et al.
So after Ulster dispose of Bath of England at 1.30 and before Leinster see off Clermont of France at 17.45 settle down in the safety of your living room for some good old traditional Celt on Celt fare at 15.30.
Sammy Mc Nally is a Prod fictional character bestowed on us by James Young who accidentally kills his pal, who not suprisingly, given that it is Belfast, is also a Prod. The friend is sent to the after life place (Heaven/Hell) and finds it is an exact replica of Belfast – with one important difference – it is run entirely by Fenians and with the pope himself in residence in Stormo and it seems no sign of the Belgian quarefellah D’Hondt anywhere. To be continued…