John laments sorry state of Welsh rugby
February 6, 2011
England's Tom Palmer tackles Wales' Dan Lydiate during Friday night's Six Nations clash at the Millennium Stadium © Getty Images
Wales fly-half legend Barry John has launched a withering attack on the national team in the wake of their opening Six Nations defeat to England.
The 26-19 loss at the Millennium Stadium was their eighth successive Test match without a win and left Wales battling to salvage their campaign. Three of their next four games on the road with Scotland awaiting them at Murrayfield next Saturday.
"It has to be accepted now that, as far as I am concerned, Welsh rugby is in a sorry and perilous state," John told the Wales on Sunday newspaper. "I am not simply talking about the performance against England, but the bigger picture of the regions and supply lines of players.
"It's now becoming stagnant, if not very close to non-existent. It is sad, but it's as bleak as I have ever known it, and the rugby itself is clueless and bland. The game against England is always top of the list in priority for both players and supporters, there is no doubt about that. But now the team seems to be devoid of adrenaline, personality and nous.
"It seems as though we play the game by numbers and no-one has a clear way of how to break patterns."
John also saluted the loyal Wales supporters who continue to back their team in droves, despite recent poor results. Wales have not won a game since the final weekend of last season's Six Nations.
"I am still amazed that, in this day and age, where money is a priority in every household, that the Millennium Stadium is full and the supporters are so forgiving. It says a lot about the Welsh persona when it comes to following the national rugby team. But surely even the most die-hard fans from the north to the south of the country will soon realise that, as a product, it's pretty empty."
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