Saturday, 17 March 2012
Grand Slam number 3 please!.....
Today's game was poignant following the sad death this week of Welsh rugby legend Mervyn Davies (pictured left). Mervyn was affectionately known as "Merv the Swerve" and captained Wales to Grand Slam glory in 1976. The Daily Mail summed up his career as follows: -
"The former London Welsh and Swansea number eight won 38 caps and toured with the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa three years later, featuring in eight Tests. Known throughout the rugby world as 'Merv the Swerve', he suffered a brain haemorrhage playing for Swansea against Pontypool in a Welsh Cup semi-final in 1976 that cut short his career."
A number of his former team mates have paid glowing tribute to their former captain and friend. Gareth Edwards paid tribute to him when interviewed by John Inverdale and he echoed the comments of another former team mate Phil Bennett who said: "The word great and legend are used so frequently these days. This man was iconic," said Bennett. "He was one of the greatest players ever, ever to wear the Welsh jersey and the Lions jersey. To go to New Zealand in '71 with the Lions and to become victorious, beating New Zealand in their own back yard. Three years later we were out in South Africa and we beat the Springboks in their own back yard. He was so great on those two tours. He wouldn't take a step back - he was inspirational. In 1976 we won the Grand Slam against France. He was captain, he was inspiring us to victory. Just after half-time he suffered a very bad calf injury and had Mervyn left that field that afternoon we would have lost. He limped through that second half - put his body on the line and we won the Grand Slam."
It is fitting then that on a day when the memory of a former Welsh rugby legend has been celebrated, our current team have begun to build their own history and legend.