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Wales

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No. 32 Sept. 1958

Rugby : Prospects for the season.

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there are several minor adjustments and tidying up of laws the short
penalty-kick may be taken in any direction and any length. Which, in
effect, means that from every penalty kick a potential handling move-
ment may be started.
The combined result I learn from that little genius of outside-half
play, Cliff Morgan, is that the game is speeded up very considerably.
He experienced the effect of these new rules in South Africa this last
summer when he toured with the Barbarians. Now here is food for
thought for the Welsh Rugby brain. The faster, more open game,
must favour the backs once again, but the forwards will still play a big
part in the open play. How best will a side learn to dispose of its energy
and power? That we must wait to see, but the club sides who give much
thought to their tactics in the early weeks of the season will reap the
reward in results I am quite sure.
How will Wales fare in the Internationals this season? At a guess I
would say about as well as last year, when we drew a tough assignment
against England, beat Scotland and Ireland, but lost to France. Our need
is for mid-field players, and no more clearly will this be realised than at
outside-half now that Cliff Morgan, with every honour that the game
can possibly bestow upon him, has retired. Will Carwyn James
(Llanelly), Cliff Ashton (Aberavon), or Benny Jones (Pontypool), fill
his boots, or will some new star burst forth on to the Welsh scene? Can
Brian Jones (Newport), Malcolm Price (Pontypool), Cyril Davies
(Llanelly), fulfill our needs at centre where Wales has looked woefully
insecure since the era of Bleddyn Williams, Jack Matthews and Alun
Thomas ? Of forwards we have plenty.
Three of them, Roddy Evans (Cardiff), John Faull (Swansea), and
Haydn J. Morgan (Abertillery), should reach their peak this season.
That by Welsh standards puts them in world class, for we have seldom
given best to anyone in post-war years among the forwards. Time will
tell but the scene is set and the players are about to take their places.
In the broader scene I hope the Welsh Rugby Union, who have
moved in more constructive and progressive ways in recent years will
continue to aid the growth of rugby over the whole of Wales. It is
gaining a hold in North Wales, where I learnt my first rugby, and
many Secondary Schools are now playing it. A limited number of
enthusiasts are sponsoring the game, and for the most part they are
enthusiastic South Walians by birth who have moved up in their
teaching profession to the North. They possess little money, few
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