Parry Jones spot­ted Dug­gan’s sur­ren­der to bat­tle fa­tigue

The Rugby Paper - - Feature -

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.

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