Parry Jones spotted Duggan’s surrender to battle fatigue
THE passing of broadcaster David Parry Jones, aged 83, evokes memories of WalesIreland in 1975, a unique match in that it featured the only double sending-off in the Five or Six Nations, one that could easily have been missed.
BBC’s live coverage of the event showed Wales lock Geoff Wheel being given his marching orders for punching Ireland flanker Stuart McKinney under the nose of referee Norman Sansom of Scotland. What they appeared to miss, at least until some time after the event, was that Ireland’s No.8 Willie Duggan had been sent off simultaneously.
BBC Wales, with their own commentary team headed by Parry Jones, claimed they picked up on the double dismissal right away. So while Welsh viewers were au fait with what had gone on, those elsewhere were left to labour under the misunderstanding that only one player had gone.
A Test Lion in New Zealand two years later, Duggan has never been slow to make a murky picture all the more so, claiming he was not given his marching orders that day, that Mr Sansom asked him whether he ‘would mind leaving the field’.
Duggan, so the story goes, felt reduced to such a knackered state of disrepair that he was only too happy to oblige.
What with his arrest for drink-driving and Racing’s failure to survive the pool stages of the Champions’ Cup, Dan Carter has had happier seasons. Le Figaro reported the other day the ageing Kiwi superstar will not be ‘fleeing home’.
His three-year deal with the French champions has one more season to run, at £20,000a-week. And, that, is as good a reason as any for not wanting to flee home just yet.