Tuesday 19 November 2019

They Pass On The Torch

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell (left), and Sean O'Brian with the six nations trophy as Ireland win the Six Nation at Murrayfield Stadium at the end of the 2015 RBS Six Nations match at the BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 21, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Scotland. Photo credit should read: Mark Runnacles/PA Wire
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell (left), and Sean O'Brian with the six nations trophy as Ireland win the Six Nation at Murrayfield Stadium at the end of the 2015 RBS Six Nations match at the BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 21, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU Scotland. Photo credit should read: Mark Runnacles/PA Wire

A poem on the occasion of what may well be the greatest day ever in Irish rugby

There's a breathless hush in the stands today -

Twenty-one at stake and Six Nations to win -

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play and we're nearly done in

And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,

Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,

But O'Connell's hand on our shoulders smote --

'Play up! play up! and play the game!'

This is the word that year by year,

While in her place Ireland's team is set,

Every one of her sons must hear,

And none that hears it dare forget.

This they all with a joyful mind

Bear through life like a torch in flame,

And falling fling to the host behind --

'Play up! play up! and play the game!'

Adapted by Eoghan Harris, with thanks to Sir Henry Newbolt's 'Vitai Lampada'

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