Propping up England

 
You farm for a living every day of the year and a fair few nights too.
 
You know what it’s like to put in a shift and never moan about your lot.
 
You know good stock when see it.
 
To you, it is no surprise Cornish Farmers make sensational prop forwards – as a 50year old woman you can hold your own against any heifer.  
 
JBrian Claude ‘Stack’ Stevens was a key part of the England front row in his prime when you were born and he held you like a butterfly.
 
These same soft hands bamboozled the All Blacks in 1973 when ‘Stack’ exchanged passes with his lock forward on the 22 and strode over to help England notch up their first ever win in New Zealand.
 
20 years on, it’s the Rugby World Cup Final of 2003. 
 
It’s 8am and you’ve been up since 3am saving the life of a breeched calf who came into the world just in time to watch the game with you.
 
Your old ‘neighbours’, Phil Vickery and Trevor Woodman, are there in Sydney belting out God Save the Queen in the white shirt of England, as the prop pairing in the world’s number 1 team against the host nation Australia 
 
Like ‘Stack’ before them, Phil & Trevor are Cornish farmers, so they know what it’s like to pull out a calf. 
 
The World Cup final is nothing, or so they thought.
 
You, the calf and its mum watch the game as it builds to an unbearable climax.
 
There are seconds remaining, when that almighty pack, held firm as a rock by Vickery & Woodman, siphoned the ball back to Jonny Wilkinson and the ball sails between the sticks.
 
England win the World Cup, the calf moos, ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ and you open that old bottle of bubbly for breakfast.