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In Praise of David Pocock

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    In Praise of David Pocock

    An exceptional rugby player and a very impressive human being. He really puts the money-grabbing antics of the England RWC squad (and some other prominent rugby merchandising hoors, who I need not name here) into perspective.

    “To accept money to wear boots when the people who are making them can hardly afford to feed their families or send them to school, I just decided I couldn’t do that. It wasn’t something I wanted to do and I also wanted to come up with an alternative for people who wanted to buy something that would give their money to people down at the other end of the production system.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...308180495.html
    Last edited by Old Dog; 26th-November-2011, 01:12.
    New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

    #2
    Interesting interview. Fair play to him.
    Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

    Comment


      #3
      I can't help but feel though, that he'd be better off getting a boot deal and giving the money directly to the charity!!

      Still though, fair play
      "They think they know us, but they haven't a clue"

      Comment


        #4
        From the article:
        Aside from his family’s upbringing and support, much of his motivation also comes from a strong faith and, “reading the story of Jesus and realising just how much he cared for people who were oppressed and forgotten, and how much he stood with the poor”.
        And then there was his marriage to Emma.
        “We work together and I’m part of a little community in Perth and that’s where we’ve talked about a lot of things.”


        AFAIK, Emma is not his legal wife. They are refusing to get legally married until that right is also made available to their gay friends. All in all, sounds like a pretty stand up guy.
        Socialise your Nazism

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Old Dog View Post
          An exceptional rugby player and a very impressive human being. He really puts the money-grabbing antics of the England RWC squad (and some other prominent rugby merchandising hoors, who I need not name here) into perspective.

          “To accept money to wear boots when the people who are making them can hardly afford to feed their families or send them to school, I just decided I couldn’t do that. It wasn’t something I wanted to do and I also wanted to come up with an alternative for people who wanted to buy something that would give their money to people down at the other end of the production system.”

          http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...308180495.html

          Thats fantastic fair play to him. Probably my favourite rugby player at present.

          Pretty incredible story - at 13 having to put a gun under your pillow in case your farm was attacked that night. Not your average upbringing!
          I always knew Madigan was a closet Scrum Half. Ignore All things that suggest Continuity.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by lactose intolerant View Post

            I can't help but feel though, that he'd be better off getting a boot deal and giving the money directly to the charity!!

            Presumably because her reckons that signing up for a boot deal would mean that he's complicit in the exploitation of the boot makers in the third world. Geddit?

            P.S. In future, why not tell us what you THINK, rather than what you feel - emotion isn't usually the soundest basis for opinion-forming! :p
            New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Old Dog View Post
              Presumably because her reckons that signing up for a boot deal would mean that he's complicit in the exploitation of the boot makers in the third world. Geddit?

              P.S. In future, why not tell us what you THINK, rather than what you feel - emotion isn't usually the soundest basis for opinion-forming! :p
              Gout ya mog, I get it....sometimes you need to put your principles aside for the greater good though!! Machiavelli shtyle
              "They think they know us, but they haven't a clue"

              Comment


                #8
                Good read, surprised he hasn't a halo. ;)

                What is it with the new openside, good interview with Sam Warburton aswell lately in the Times.

                Out of the darkness

                As he makes peace with his World Cup semi-final heartache, Wales captain Sam Warburton can look forward to a bright future
                David Walsh Published: 6 November 2011
                I ask myself, ‘Did you throw yourself too much into it, maybe you just tried too hard?’
                In the footprints of Richie
                Sam Warburton remembers the first day he trained with the Cardiff Blues. They were in the gym, he was standing by the weights bench, nervous as hell: “Oh God, I’m going to meet all these players.”

                Chris Tombs, a fitness trainer, caught his eye and spoke to him. “Sam, your training partner is Martyn Williams.”

                Seconds later Williams approached. “Hi Sam, I’m Martyn Williams.” They shook hands and Warburton made eye contact with a man he regarded as a hero. “I saw myself as a No 7, Martyn was No 7 for the Blues, Wales and the Lions. To actually meet him ... my stomach was churning, like I was back at Whitchurch High School and the girl I’d always fancied had just walked up to me and introduced herself.”

                For three seasons he was understudy to Williams; observing, noting, marvelling at the guy’s quality. “I thought the world of Martyn before I ever met him and think twice as much of him now that I have.”

                It has been written that at an important moment in Warburton’s development, his national coach, Warren Gatland, advised him to study Richie McCaw rather than Williams; to aim to be the best in the world rather than the best in Wales. In the chronology of Warburton’s story it is a neat anecdote but it conceals more than it reveals.

                “I was watching Richie way before any coach told me to. At the age of 15 I would get up on a Saturday morning, get my pen and paper and sit in front of the television. He would be playing a Super 14 game for Crusaders and under the different headings — rucks, tackles, carries, passes, turnovers — I would measure what he did. I always wrote the numbers in Roman numerals and what I wanted was his workrate.

                “In the afternoon I would play for the Blues 16s and get a printout of my stats. As soon as I got home I would put his stats against mine: Warburton, seven tackles, 15 rucks, eight carries, no turnover; McCaw, 21 tackles, 42 rucks, 16 carries, five turnovers. ‘Sam’, I would say to myself, ‘you’ve got some way to go’.”


                A fruit and nut case
                His actual name is Sam Kennedy-Warburton. Carolyn, his mum, is one of two sisters and was determined to hold onto the Kennedy name. Every Friday grandfather Keith Kennedy would go to their house in Cardiff and remind the twins, Sam and Ben, that life was simple: you got out of it what you put into it.

                For their 15th birthday the boys asked Jeremy, their dad, if they could have a multi-gym in the garage. Jeremy was a fireman, these things were expensive but they were lads who worked hard at school and loved rugby. So they got the weights bench, the bar bells, the skipping rope and all the paraphernalia. To their garage they took an old stereo, put on their favourite Metallica CD and trained like hell.

                “All our lives Ben and I have never ever had a proper fight. At school we chose the same subjects, fed off the same competitive edge when we revised and got the same grades in our exams, which was a bit spooky. We pushed each other hard, something that really helped me. Near our house there was a green where we would play one-on-one rugby, running at each other as hard as we could. It never hurt when you were 10 and we would really go for it but then, at the end, the winner would feel sorry for the other guy because we got on well. Physically, we would want to kill each other in the game but you would get upset because you didn’t want your brother to lose.”

                When Sam was 16, he watched the Lions play in New Zealand and dreamt of one day being their No 7. That Christmas he was given a Lions No 7 shirt and he wore it out. One day, a Blues coach told him he would be a second-row, not a seven. “I was 16 and even then, I would get emotional wearing that Lions jersey. I thought, ‘No-one’s setting the boundaries for me. No-one is deciding I can’t play seven’.

                “We had trained for an hour and a half. When I got home I put on more training gear, played my favourite song at the time, Anthrax’s Refuse To Be Denied, and did another hour and a half in the gym, possibly the hardest gym I did up to that point. I would decide what position I played.”

                Ambition shaped his lifestyle. He says he doesn’t like the taste of alcohol but he hasn’t given himself the chance. Twice, maybe three times in a rugby season he drinks with his teammates because it will be the right thing to do. Away from the team he is teetotal.

                “I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve been drunk in my life and still have a finger or two left over.” So what’s your vice? He laughs at the thought of what he is about to say. “After a game some players will go out and have a beer. I end up at the nearest corner shop and buy three bars of chocolate; white, dark and normal milk, take them to where I live and eat them. It’s my once-a-week treat. Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut is my favourite.”

                Alain Rolland sent off Warburton against France for a dangerous tackle.


                Why it all went wrong
                On that Saturday in Auckland he felt so good it was scary. His match-day ritual was to visit the team psychologist, Andy McCann, three hours before kick-off. Close to a big match, nerves had to be controlled and McCann helped him to do that. But on this day, he felt totally calm, believing Wales would beat France and sure he would play his greatest game for the team. For once he didn’t need McCann but feeling it would be presumptuous not to have their usual chat, he popped into the psychologist’s room anyway.

                McCann instantly recognised the calmness, the confidence. Sam was never as ready.

                He can’t sing the national anthem because he just needs to listen to it, allow it to fill up his senses with Welshness. In those minutes he thinks of his dad, whose every “good luck” text ends with the same message: “REFUSE TO BE DENIED.” He thinks of his mum, who told him again and again to make his bed and remember he could be what he wanted to. His sister Holly, and of course Ben, for whom he has always played: “It could have been you here, brother, not me.”

                He also remembers Frank Rees, the headmaster who said he must play rugby, who went to his parents and told them: “The boy has something.”

                He thinks too of boyhood coaches Gwyn Morris and Bob Newman and, boy, was he ready for the French that evening.

                “I remember [Imanol] Harinordoquy about to pick off the base of a scrum early on. ‘Go on, mate, do it, I can’t wait for you to pick that ball up’. He tried to hand me off, I ran him about 10 metres to the side, put him down, got up competed for the ball and it felt great. There was a carry, I knew the boys were behind me, ‘Stay on your feet as long as you can, they will come and pump you through these guys’.

                “I think about it now, the red card is all I see and I ask myself, ‘Were you too confident, did you throw yourself too much into it, maybe you just tried too hard?’

                “I really wanted to play well, I felt in a really good place going into that game but because of the occasion and my desire, I probably hit him [Vincent Clerc] too hard.”

                On being Cymru’s McCaw
                You list for him some of the names: Lydiate, Faletau, Warburton, Priestland, Roberts, North, Jon Davies, Halfpenny, Lloyd Williams, Scott Williams, Bradley Davies, Justin Tipuric. Twelve talented players aged 24 or under. Alun Wyn-Jones is just 26. “It is quite frightening when you list them like that. Others will come along. Before the World Cup, no-one knew Lloyd or Scott Williams but they are going to be very influential Welsh players.”

                These players need a great leader, a man who could be to Wales what McCaw has been to the All Blacks. “I would love to have that influence, to help change the way Welsh rugby is perceived, to move it from a pretty committed group with a bit of a drinking culture to an immensely professional outfit. I got credit for our attitude to drinking at the World Cup but it wasn’t me. It was our collective wish.”

                Wales play Australia on the first Saturday in December and Warburton looks to the game with a different attitude. “For my first two years in the Welsh side, I didn’t believe we could beat the southern hemisphere teams. I now know we can and we have to start beating them at the Millennium. Of course this means we are putting pressure on ourselves but we’ve got to do that."
                Last edited by slipper1; 28th-November-2011, 12:08.
                The people of Munster - it's almost the Nation of Munster - it gave me shivers to see how they were supported today and that people will travel like that.
                - Guy Noves, Toulouse Coach
                26 Apr 2003

                Comment


                  #9
                  Wales have frightening talent coming through. Faletau & Sam will form a heck of a BR for years to come.

                  Warburton & Pocock are two class acts on & off the pitch.

                  Ireland need to utilise Connacht more to compete at an international level. Look at what the Dragons have contributed to the recent Welsh team.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Christ, a Wilkinson/Tiger level of focus and application. He's going to tear into the Wallabies this weekend. A superb role model for all up and coming players and seems to be a gentleman to boot. Gwan Sam
                    I am the million man.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
                      Christ, a Wilkinson/Tiger level of focus and application. He's going to tear into the Wallabies this weekend. A superb role model for all up and coming players and seems to be a gentleman to boot. Gwan Sam
                      Battle of the 7's this weekend will be epic.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Tobyglen View Post
                        Battle of the 7's this weekend will be epic.

                        Sam against Bambam :D
                        I am the million man.

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