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​For those of you constantly lamenting on how ‘it’s not like it used to be’, this classic poem sums it all up…

                

A history poem ~ “Kids of today”

The rugby balls in my day, lad, were made of bloody leather –

A bladder stitched, with laces in, to hold the bugger together.

The ones today have adverts on, in supersonic plastic;

They’ll reach the sticks from miles away, toe-poked by any spastic.

The boots we wore were leather, too – wi’ toecaps like a brick.

We dubbin’d ‘em to last for years, the leather was that thick.

But now they buy ‘em twice a year, at sixty quid a throw,like ballet-shoes, all soft and pink, wi’ sod-all on the toe.

And we invented tie-ups.  Our socks were made of wool.

Hung around your ankles, they’d hold a gallon each, half-full.

So we tied ‘em up. Or taped ‘em up.  Either way, no fuss.

Bryan Habana in woolly socks?  He couldn’t catch a bus. 

We didn’t have post-protectors, like cushions in a pram.

What rugby-post can do you harm? An advertising scam.

And kicking tees. Kicking tees!  With some so high, at that, you could HEAD the pill between the posts, that’s any tw*t.

And if the ref should send you off,  he didn’t need a card.

We didn’t remonstrate at all – we’d make him drink a yard.

But now you get your yellow card – Ooh! naughty boy! smacked wrist!

Ten minutes off? Within the game?  I’d come back on half-pissed!

And nowadays, if you should burst a pimple on your head,you can have a blood-replacement – your mate comes on instead!

And half-a-Guinness later, or a few more, if your shout – Your mate comes off; you go on;  what the ell’s that all about?

Gum-shields.  Body armour.  Like that American Football  farce.

And passive scrums.  Passive scrums? You can shove ‘em up your a..e.

What we want is what we played – that’s eighty-minutes’ worth of rugby – Rugby Union – the greatest game on Earth.

At that, my son, I’ll take “Time out” ( another innovation! )

And summon up my aches and pains to find some inspiration.

We weren’t allowed a substitute: we turned out fifteen men!

A mucked-up shoulder: a broken nose: blood everywhere, we went back on again!

And everytime the cold wind blows, and crippled with arthritis, We curse the wounds of long ago that come back now to bite us.

We made a try: we saved a try: we played on, through the pain –

And crippled, cursing, bleeding – we loved the bloody game.