It was with considerable excitement that I settled down to watch the rugby this afternoon. Strangely enough, it wasn't Jonny Wilkinson's return that was exciting me the most.
It was the sight of Cornishman Phil Vickery running on as England Captain. In fact, if I might wax lyrically for a little bit, Phil Vickery is not only a Cornishman, but it is not hugely inaccurate to call him a "Bude Boy", like me. However, purists might point out that he is in fact a "Kilkhampton Boy" but the distinction involves only a couple of miles and a rather large hill from which, incidentally you can see Brown Willy on a clear day (cut the ***p - Ed).
As I settled down, I couldn't help remembering another fine Cornishman, Derek Prout. He was a Rugby veteran and my cousin. He tragically passed away a couple of years ago. I am very proud to see that the British University Sports Association are holding their annual Rugby Sevens event in his honour this year. As you get older, you are conscious that you are enjoying things that those who have passed away would have enjoyed, if they were still here. This was one of those occasions. Derek would have certainly been brimming with pride to see a Cornishman captaining England!
The BBC turned into the Jonny Wilkinson appreciation society for a couple of hours. When the team were lining up for the national anthem, we got a minute of Jonnyboy staring ahead and a quick flash of the rest of the fellows in the team!
Incidentally, why do we sing "God Save the Queen" when Scotland sing "Flower of Scotland"? It seems very strangely lop-sided, like as if we are a loyal enclave and Scotland aren't. "God Save the Queen" is the national anthem of the whole UK, not just a bit of it. I would have thought it would be more appropriate for us to sing our own song in such circumstances.
Anyway, the BBC stopped short of having its own "Jonnycam" although I felt they might need a "CheckingJonnygetsupcam" to check that he was getting up OK after each ruck/maul.
He did have a bleeding mouth (he needed stitches at half time) and a bleeding ear.
But, what a heck of a match! Scotland put up a bold fight. But Jonny W's kicking was superb. Jason Robertson's two tries were brilliant. And Jonny's "try" and conversion were the icing on the cake.
They'll be dancing in the streets of Nuneaton tonight!