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The National Stadium
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Situated as it is in the very heart of the capital city of Cardiff, the stadium was completed in time for the 2000 Rugby World Cup; despite all the doom and gloom predictions that were made by the media. Did the media publish that they were sorry that they had doubted the Welsh Rugby Union or the contractors, as usual with the press, like as heck they did.

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Roof Closed

The Millennium Stadium, no to me it doesn't roll of the tongue like the old 'Arms Park', but then that was a very special place. The days when we stood in the north enclosure on match days and sang Delilah and Cwm Rhondda; yes I must admit they did sound the same, but O the pride, the passion.

The days of the 70's when even the mighty 'All Blacks' feared to tread the hallowed turf of the 'Park', and England were forced to come there by gun point ha ha, how different the situation is now when England are the 'Cock of the North'.

O yes they were the days when 'Paddy' used to cross the Irish sea and stand alongside me in the old north enclosure and ask 'God' for him to see a try, only to be told by 'God' when Wales scored another "you should have been more specific". But his generosity was such that we had wee drop of the Irish out of his hip flask and a comment ' here's to you Taff '

The Days when my my friends from north of the border ventured south only to be 'sent home again' to Scotland, after we had enjoyed a wee dram and a song in a local hostelry in Cardiff.

The Great Gareth Edwards

O yes those glorious days of the 70's, but then what a team one had to watch!! Bobby Windsor, Charlie Faulkner, Graham Price (the Viet Gwent or the Pontypool front row as they were collectively known). The great Gareth Edwards at scrum half, Barry John at outside half, the immovable man himself Orthopaedic Consultant J.P.R. Williams at full back and Mervyn Davies arguably the greatest No 8 of all time. These were just a few of the team who from no's 1 to 15 was a Welshman through and through, each with such a pride and passion in both his jersey and playing for Wales.

Sadly those days have gone, now it seems that the flair and skill of the individual player has gone too, drilled out of them by those most mighty of men 'the coach' who to us the lowly supporter cannot understand why that should be, for some of the coaches were once great players too.

A word to the 'Gods', the Committee men and the rugby clubs in Wales if I may, remember the story of the goose that laid the golden egg, if you do, take heed of a warning from me Ole R.D. Stop and listen to the rumblings of us the Welsh Rugby supporters, ask us what changes 'WE' would like to see for a change. Remember it is us who spend the money, fill the stadium's seats and attend your club grounds with the hope of seeing a great game and those most precious of commodities, flair and skill in a 'new' Barry, John or Gareth. So stop and think, solve the problems that 'we' the supporters of rugby in Wales know are wrong.

Once again we have had a change in coach and coaching staff, but the same problems are still there. Again the familiar statements are reappearing "we are on the right road, we played a good game, of course we are disappointed, we are getting there, we will be ready for the World Cup", which one? 2050 perhaps! It might be to late by then for just like dust in the wind, support for the game may have blown away. So if change is to come, lets start at the top, get rid of the old dragons like me, then work down, have professionals to manage the game for they are more accountable, but then I don't suppose that will happen because all the clubs want to have a say of who's is going to be the management. Yes same old story.

I for one will never again pay money to enter my beloved arms park or any rugby ground until change has come and all the bickering of who should do what and when has stopped, and clubs cease to state that they are going do this and that because they cannot have their own way.

Perhaps my ramblings are the result of the so called professional era, if they are, all I can say forget the the professional's and the big money wages and come back the days of the amateur when to don that red shirt with the Prince of Wales feathers was suffice payment. As for the players, I know you should be protected if you have an injury and a system has to be in place to protect your immediate and future financial situation. But remember too did anyone force you to play?, I always thought the game was played for enjoyment not for what could be 'got' out of it. Well it was when I played.

Referees take heed too, if the front row want to have a 'go' mind your own business. Don't keep blowing that whistle every two minutes because they have decided that they don't quite like each other. Still you've never been in there, so you wouldn't know. But just look in the clubhouse after, see who's having a drink with who? Yes a special breed! the men of the front row.

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