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Peter Edwards changing shorts nearly put me off my Sunday roast

By Billy Weir

Published 25/02/2016

Getting shorty: Peter Edwards (left) remains fully clothed
Getting shorty: Peter Edwards (left) remains fully clothed
Mitch Garbutt

Sunday is something of an odd beast, meaning many different things to folks from all walks of life, whether it be finding peace with your deity of choice, spending quality time with your hangover or recovering from a loved one, but this week there was another option - Jim Neilly and a big pair of pants.

At this stage I hasten to add that the aforementioned undergarments were not those of one of the BBC's finest microphone-wielding men, I have no knowledge of or desire to acquire such knowledge of those items, although have a sneaking suspicion they may be festooned with pictures of stars of yesteryear.

While the likes of Willie John McBride, Mike Gibson and Trevor Ringland probably deserve better, I have to admit there was a certain excitement in the air as Scarlets prop Peter Edwards' shorts flapped about in the Ravenhill (sorry, it will never be that other place) wind, that we were about to see Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett and JPR Williams as we'd never seen them before.

"A bit of a stoppage and it looks like Peter Edwards is going to get himself a new pair of shorts," Jim told us.

It didn't look like being a problem as the letters 'CK' were on the back of the Welshman's shirt but on closer inspection this was CK Food Stores and not Calvin Klein and to be honest the sight of a prop in his pants was enough for me to put all thoughts of a Sunday roast out of my head.

"They've asked for a new pair of shorts, maybe they don't have the prerequisite size, I can't remember the last time I saw anybody having to have their shorts changed." Jim, careful now, it is a Sunday after all.

Suddenly a huge cheer as new shorts arrived and Edwards slipped out of old disappointingly plain grey ones in slinky fashion.

"I don't think Peter Edwards has a serious career on the catwalk," Jim suggested to co-commentator Eddie O'Sullivan, before drawing a discreet veil over proceedings with "a nice little vignette there, but back to the serious business".

And that serious business was shaping up rather nicely as Ulster and Scarlets traded blows in a cracking game, although there was to be controversy that rugby chiefs may have to look into.

"Andrew Warwick speaking to his fellow Ballymena Academy pupil John Andrew there," Jim said, which may explain why they have reached the semi-finals of the Schools' Cup this season, but more likely the chat with the hooker was to translate the Braid brogue for the assembled league of nations in the line-out.

They were to be interrupted again by Edwards as he was down stretching out his leg and looking perturbed - perhaps he had laddered his tights? - but Jim was full of sympathy.

"It looks like his left knee is giving him trouble, the last time it was his shorts, he's more worried about his knee than his elegant appearance," he mooted, and to be honest, wearing slingbacks was probably a mistake.

We were then brought back to reality when Scarlets, or Llanelli as stick in the mud Eddie insisted on calling them, hard man Hadleigh Parkes - who sounds more like a hotel - clattered an Ulster player with a "great stripped tackle" but thankfully Edwards remained fully clothed.

At the break, things were close, Ulster two points to the good, though in the studio with Stephen Watson-Live, Stephen Ferris and Maurice Field were far from happy.

"Ulster are their own worst enemies at the minute," suggested Ferris, with Field adding they "are defensively all over the show" but admitted that "it's great Sunday afternoon entertainment, the only thing missing is hot ports at half-time".

You would have needed something as in Jim's words the second-half was "pretty poorish", possibly one of the great understatements of our time, and at the end the Scarlets held on, Ulster coming up short by a point.

While Ravenhill was a fortress it seems that the new old place is a little too welcoming and Ferris had a solution. "We need a few guys in there who are going to ruffle a few feathers," he concluded.

Perhaps they should consider bringing in some new blood, they have already secured a Kiwi and Springbok for next season, but if you really want feathers ruffled then I would plump for something a little larger, a Rhino perhaps.

I know just the chap, goes by the name of Mitch Garbutt, and while he may be a rugby league player I'm sure he could switch codes, and would certainly be handy.

The Leeds player took exception to one of his team-mates being slapped as they took on North Queensland Cowboys in the World Club Challenge Final later on Sunday evening.

It was the sort of slap usually accompanied by a Bacardi and Coke in the bake but Mitch weighed in and flattened James Tamou with a punch Jim would have been in his element to commentate on.

A cowboy hasn't been treated so badly since Geronimo was in his pomp, Mitch red-carded for his troubles and the lesson to be learned is that ruffling feathers is fine, leathering a cowboy is not, so change your shorts by all means but just keep that short fuse under control - it is Sunday after all.

Belfast Telegraph

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