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Rugby: A spoonful of medicine for Wales youngster
« on: September 07, 2007, 09:30:24 AM »

A spoonful of medicine for Wales youngster
(Rugby News Service) Thursday 6 September 2007
By Russ McKinnon
From Nantes

Welsh passion is encapsulated in a spoon worn around the neck of the squad's youngest player.

NANTES, 6 September - One Wales rugby player is taking his medicine in good humour.

Second row Alun-Wyn Jones (WAL) has more responsibility than some during the IRB Rugby World Cup as, at the age of 21 and just 13 days shy of his 22nd birthday, the Ospreys holder of 13 caps is the youngest player in the Wales squad.

To mark the honour, Jones has to wear a 60cm-long Welsh love spoon to special occasions.

The opening press conference was one such occasion but Jones failed to front with the object and thought that perhaps he could be fined for the indiscretion.

One of the tasks of the holder is to explain fully the background of the spoon to anyone who asks. This writer was the first to ask. Here is his explanation:

"It's a Welsh harp good luck spoon with a red ribbon on it and held by the youngest member of the squad, which is me for the near future.

"It really represents the heritage of Wales and the passion that the Welsh population possess. It was introduced at the last world cup and it was carried by Huw Bennett, who is on tour now.

"It's got (the words) 'Ich Dien' on top with a wooden chain. It's got the Welsh dragon, the daffodills, the harp and those symbols represent the passion of Wales, if you like, and there's also two holes carved in the wood all made out of one piece of wood.

"The chain and 'Ich Dien' are on the jersey, which, along with the dragon on the flag, is one of the major symbols of Wales. You've got the daffodill, the national flower of Wales, the harp, the land of song and the many male voice choirs. That's about everything. I am proud of it," Jones said.

When asked whether Bennett had passed on any tips, Jones said: "Yeah, but I think he's keeping them close to his chest."

RNS rm/mp/pr

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