Being a Welsh rugby supporter requires patience, the ability to take knockbacks and an overwhelming sense of smugness when things are going right. Here’s our beginner’s guide to being a Welsh rugby supporter
Research your heritage
It’s all very well saying that you’re a Welsh rugby supporter but to qualify as the genuine article, you’ll need ancestral evidence of your Welsh rugby roots. The best way to approach this is to ask yourself whether your Welsh heritage can be proved in the court of law. If it can, you’re on your way to becoming a Welsh rugby supporter. These days, you can also qualify as a Welsh supporter, even if you don’t have any Welsh roots, but you have to prove that you support Wales during the dark days and not just when they are winning.
Get the clobber
There’s no point being a Welsh rugby supporter if you can’t show that you’re a Welsh rugby supporter. One item of clothing that you’ll definitely need is a Welsh rugby jersey, which you’ll need to pull on no matter what size you are. Come Match Day, you’ll see plenty of red jerseys out and about but you’ll also find those who wear jerseys from days gone by – the ones with Brains written on the front and those shitty white and green ones that Wales used to wear back in the 90s are good examples.
If you are going to the match itself, you’ll also need a daffodil headdress and a pink cowboy hat. Millions of daffodils are slaughtered every year to make the large yellow headpieces but that’s ok because they look fun.
Learn to sing
There’s a very good reason that Tom Jones can sing – he comes from Wales. The Welsh people are renowned for their exceptional singing voices and if you can’t sing, you can’t be a real Welsh rugby supporter. Practise some of the favourites – Calon Lân, Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau and that one that Tom Jones sings when he’s on about stabbing his girlfriend.
Understand the rules
Or at least pretend to. Rugby is a complicated game and if you want to be taken seriously as a Welsh rugby fan, you’ll need to know at least the basics of the game. Remember – we’re the ones in red and if a tackle looks really bad, throw your arms up in the air and shout ‘referee!’. You can also mention things like inside shoulder and players being offside but one trick is to listen to what the commentators have to say before committing to saying anything yourself.
Prepare your nervous system
Wales are masters of making your arse twitch – and not in a good way. Expect frantic finales and near misses, especially against some of the Southern Hemisphere sides. Drinking excessively will almost always make you forget some of the painful memories and be prepared to have no fingernails left at the end of a game.
Pretend to be interested in the regional games
Many true Welsh rugby fans may interrogate you about your true devotion to the game by asking you questions about the regional teams. If you want to be accepted as a true Welsh rugby fan, you’ll need to know some background information about this so do your homework and pretend to know stuff if you have to.
Prepare for ultra-smugness levels
Over the last decade or so, there have been plenty of opportunites for Welsh rugby fans to indulge in a spot of gloating, especially if it includes a win over the English. Ex-pats living in England will know how hard life can be around the Six Nations tournament and some fans have been forced to lie low if things aren’t going too well. Alternately, when things are going well for Wales, you are encouraged to gloat to extreme levels as it may be your only chance for a while.