For rugby fans the Six Nations is one of the most exciting sporting competitions. England are the team to beat this year and there are many non-English fans who relish a victory against the old enemy.
Dylan Hartley is not my favourite rugby player, having committed so many fouls including biting, gouging and dangerously high tackles. So it is puzzling to find him appointed Captain by the England coach, Eddie Jones.
Ireland are my adopted team and Wales my heritage team. This makes my allegiance to any one team problematic. I cheer Ulster on win or lose and it’s great to see their players in the national squad. Rory Best and Paddy Jackson will be key players in their matches.
My Welshness comes from my mother’s side of the family rooted in Welsh Wales, the bible belt near the Brecon Beacons and the former pits of the Rhondda. I don’t speak the language and I have never lived there, but that counts for nothing if the men in red are trouncing Eddie Jones’ men in white.
The new rules about high tackles should make for a safer game with fewer concussions. There are problems for players defending their try line against attacking players going for the line very low, but that’s when good refereeing will determine how well the rules are applied.