I don’t know if this is the first time a sport has had its own poet, but in Wales, land of bards, where poets are highly regarded, the combination is not surprising.
Rugby arouses strong emotion and encourages its expression; neither players nor spectators hold back from showing their feelings. Poetry articulates all the varieties of emotion and shows us how to think about them. A natural pairing.
Despite having lived in South Wales at one time, I know almost nothing about rugby and can’t imagine what a poet will find to write about. However, Mr Sheers is a fan of the game and is no doubt brimming with ideas to bring it closer to poetry-lovers, and poetry closer to sport fans.
I’m looking forward to reading the results and, who knows, I might learn something about rugby.