in a very bizarre manner. This guy holds a high position in Irish rugby and has reminded me of Eugene Pallette, the corpulent and frog voiced actor who played Friar Tuck in the 1938 production of the film Robin Hood. This guy played with me at UCC but in a position that he would look very uncomfortable now in his present physical body type. I cannot recall the inn at Redruth but I do recall that we met to watch Cornwall triumph in a Rugby county -championship.
That was a long time ago but only yesterday I was invited to meet with this guy in that same inn and found them both waiting for me. I must confess that we were forced to meet at The Imperial at Torquay at route the inn from that spot.
This guy and I guy wanted to share some memories but that was not the reason I was asked to meet. This guy had a rather intimate question of selection related to the summer tour and on the heels of most recent of Heineken Cup finals.
I had watched the match but not with this guy and came away from a very fine performance by the Irish provinces much impressed.
Over a pint of bitter this guy asked me my honest appraisal of the Ireland team selections and the prediction of the upcoming tour of the Antipodes in a three test series it seems to me.
Honesty is a stranger to me in these cases as I tend to be quite agreeable in questions of fiscal uncertainty in rugby matches. But this guy was so obviously pained about the state of Irish rugby in the future. There is another intangible in this conversation and that is the fact that we are of two distinct religions and this makes for an discomfort in matters of rugby and Ireland.
But we treaded lightly on this unholy ground and got right to the eucharist. This guy could not be more disagreeable in these sort of matters and either am I so we were a bit in a Mexican standoff. Over a gin and tonic and a blackbush there could not be more of discomfort zone but I proceeded with a certain delicacy usually unknown to me. This is what I told this guy at that forgotten inn at Redruth.
With little conciliatory introduction of the facts I shouted that the Republic had ruined all future success of Irish rugby and that the current team was running on fumes. The side is old, untested and deluded and, by the size of his waistline and balding hairline, so was he. The team in black would win all three tests with ease and Ireland would suffer through the next decade and that he should consider himself damn lucky that he is not teaching rugby to the daughters of fisherman in Argyle, and, that , to be sure, he might be by the end of summertime if that position was not filled by a dead man. The conversation with this guy was short and to the point and I left him in a state of humiliation usually reserved for guys who do not consider themselves remotely my friend. But this was the truth as I see the situation and to make things worse I reiterated that this particular country would finish third in the 3N and not reach the final of the Super Rugby Championship because they too were living and breathing on borrowed time. As I ran to the taxi I heard this guy’s jaw come crashing loudly on his stomach. That is the truth, albeit my version. Yes, we are still friend but I was in a great hurry to have a toothache cured.