Wright is a blacksmith and to have the Scottish pack propped up by muscles made hammer-hard by the pounding of metal was reason enough to bring out and pass round the nostalgia. There probably never was a time when the village smithy was the cornerstone of every rugby team, but whose imagination would deny it?
Wright's profession is an anachronism in an age when rugby players are more likely to be leading figures in the City than imposing physiques honed down the coal- mine or strengthened by toil on the land. The synonymous link between the pits and the Welsh rugby team was broken in the Thirties and replaced by a breed of men with less physically demanding professions. Now an average rugby player builds his strength with gymnasium weights in his free time, his work exercising only the fingers which labour over a keyboard.
When England met Wales in Cardiff yesterday, the starting line-ups included eight players who spend a good proportion of their time staring at terminals. BBC Television chose the theme 'different professions, same job' to promote their coverage of the match, the corporation voice telling us, 'England go to work.'
And what a diverse selection there was. Peter Winterbottom ruthlessly pursued the opposition half-backs yesterday having honed his aggression on the Eurobond markets, Will Carling led the visitors after a week of courses teaching the principles of man management and Jonathan Webb's tackles could have put men into the hospital where he works as an orthopaedic surgeon.
The Welsh, too, hardly pursue jobs that instil fear. Carling's opposite number, Ieuan Evans, patrolled the wing for his country having chased up and down Britain's motorways to the tune of 40,000 miles a year as a leasing manager for a bank, while Stuart Davies played at No 8 fresh from his duties as an environmental health officer with Swansea City Council.
There was not a miner on the pitch in Cardiff and only the inclusion of Gareth Llewellyn at lock paid lip-service to that other great instution of south Wales, the steelworks. But if technology has slowly brought to a close the era when heavy industry provided the heavyweights of the Five Nations' Championship, the teaching profession has been dealt a swifter death.
When England beat Wales in Cardiff 30 years ago there were eight schoolmasters on the pitch and some of the 11 students were destined for the chalk and gown, too. Yesterday, there were no teachers and only two students. Teachers could once have provided a Lions team, now they would be hard put to add up to a XV worthy of meeting a junior club.
At least France could boast one schoolmaster, Marc Cecillon, but he was the exception rather than the rule against Scotland, a match which included enough sales reps for a convention. Only the clash of the stonemasons Graham Shiel and Jean-Francois Tordo was redolent of the age of blacksmiths and LNER-liveried steam trains.
Ireland, whitewashed in the Five Nations last season and uncompromisingly beaten by Scotland three weeks ago, may not be thriving on the field but they are successes off it. Their team at Murrayfield was sufficently middle-class to have passed muster at Ascot and their threequarter line of an articled clerk, banker, insurance agent and investment consultant reads like a financial-services advert.
They may not have sold a dummy since 1990, but they could sell you a nifty line in personal cover. And, in their full-back, Colin Wilkinson, provide a solicitor, too.
Doctor: Jonathan Webb
Commercial artist: Ian Hunter
Marketing/promotion: Will Carling
Marketing: Jeremy Guscott
RAF pilot: Rory Underwood
Chartered surveyor: Rob Andrew
Financial Consultant: Dewi Morris
Builder: Jason Leonard, Mike Teague
Solicitor: Brian Moore
Furniture maker: Jeff Probyn
Policeman: Martin Bayfield, Wade Dooley
Eurobond dealer: Peter Winterbottom
Farmer: Ben Clarke
Metal worker: Mike Rayer
Bank leasing manager: Ieuan Evans
TV researcher: Scott Gibbs
Surveyor: Mike Hall
Student: Wayne Proctor
Builder: Neil Jenkins
Business development executive: Robert Jones
Fireman: Ricky Evans
Student: Nigel Meek
Policeman: Hugh Williams-Jones, Emyr Lewis
Steel worker: Gareth Llewellyn
Sales rep: Tony Copsey, Richard Webster
Environmental health officer: Stuart Davies
Marketing exec: Gavin Hastings
Banker: Tony Stanger
Advertising account manager: Scott Hastings
Stonemason: Graham Shiel
Chef: Derek Stark
Marketing: Craig Chalmers
Lorry driver: Gary Armstrong
Blacksmith: Peter Wright
Sales rep: Ken Milne, Paul Burnell
Electrical engineer: Andy Reed
Sales manager: Damian Cronin
Policeman: Derek Turnbull
Student: Doddie Weir
Money broker: Iain Morrison
Wine trader: Jean-Baptiste Lafond
Sponsorship agent: Philippe Saint- Andre
Sports shop director: Philippe Sella
Physiotherapist: Thierry Lacroix
Student: Pierre Hontas
Public relations executive: Didier Camberabero
Businessman: Louis Armary
Stonemason: Jean-Francois Tordo
Sales rep: Laurent Seigne, Abdelatif Benazzi, Laurent Cabannes, Aubin Hueber
Surveyor: Olivier Roumat
Council worker: Philippe Benetton
Teacher: Marc Cecillon
Solicitor: Colin Wilkinson
Articles clerk: Simon Geoghegan
Banker: Vince Cunningham
Insurance consultant: Paul Danaher
Banking investment consultant: Richard Wallace
Student: Niall Malone
Sales manager: Michael Bradley
Warehouse manager: Nick Popplewell
Sports rep: Steve Smith
Service engineer: Paul McCarthy
Publican: Richard Costello
Dental student: Paddy Johns
Farmer: Phil Lawlor
Sales rep: Noel Mannion
Engineer: Denis McBride
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