'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

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'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by Notch on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 1:38 pm

Superb interview with Roger Wilson, who was really unlucky not to get more caps for Ireland. Also really unlucky not to be at Ulster when we played in the European Cup Final although he did get one with Saints against the same opponents, with the same result. Absolute legend, one of Ulsters most capped ever players and reaching that point where the fans get frustrated he just can't do what he used to do every week.

In the second half of Ulster’s latest European Champions Cup game against Oyonnax in Belfast he saw a clear gap in the field. “I spotted it, it was there for me, a really decent gap, I ran at full pace, then in a second I was caught and hit. Boom, flat on my back. As I was tackled, I was annoyed, I knew when I was younger I would have made that. I popped up a good offload and then, thinking out loud, said ‘Jesus, I’ve got slow’. A player nearby laughed.” Wilson can smile thinking about a moment in a game where he otherwise excelled, but the realities of his final years as a professional are becoming harsher.

Most mornings he wakes up tentatively, not because he is tired, but because he must assess how much damage his body took in the previous game. After playing almost 200 games for Ulster, he greets the inevitable aches with stoicism and a sigh. Bruises and niggles are an occupational hazard common to every professional player. His body slowly wakes up, and he makes his way into training, where he is happiest and more comfortable. He is now the oldest player in the Ulster team, but apart from a successful spell at Northampton, he has played at Ravenhill since he was a student.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/behind-the-lines/2016/jan/28/roger-wilson-interview-ulster-ireland-rugby-union?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by VinceWLB on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 4:20 pm

Bang average player imo, not more unlucky than someone like Muldoon for not getting more Caps.

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by rodders on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 4:58 pm

Average player with an over inflated ego and salary. He was always slow.

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by yappysnap on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 6:14 pm

I quite liked him at Saints. A very good club player who worked hard for the team and grafted. Never a star but the kind of guy all teams need.

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by Notch on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 7:55 am

yappysnap wrote:I quite liked him at Saints. A very good club player who worked hard for the team and grafted. Never a star but the kind of guy all teams need.

This, really. A hard nut on the pitch. Unflashy, uncomplicated, reliable. What's more interesting is the insight into how Ulster handle their nutrition and training these days. Big, big difference to when he moved to Saints I think.

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by yappysnap on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 8:23 am

I haven't read it, what was the difference?

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by Notch on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 8:25 am

yappysnap wrote:I haven't read it, what was the difference?

The Guardian wrote:Wilson made his professional debut aged 21 in 2003. At Ulster, professionalism came a bit slower than in England. The players still wore baggy cotton jerseys and court sessions on the back of the bus were still relatively frequent. Today Wilson arrives into training for a nutritious, pre-planned breakfast, he then has lunch with the team before being given a packed dinner to take home. Every detail of his life in terms of rugby is catered for by the club.

“When I started, we would train for a few hours, then as a team we’d all troop down to the local shop, grab a sandwich and a coffee, and polish them off on the weights bench. Now everything in my life is scheduled and thought of, to the point where, if you let it, you can become robotic in how you go about things. Rugby is such a consuming sport that you have to force yourself to think outside it and have other interests.”

It's no wonder a lot of players flounder when they first retire from the game now. Going from an environment where every minute is planned out for you, from the weights you lift to the meals you eat, to having no job and no structure is a very hard adjustment if you don't do things outside of rugby.

A lot of players are doing degrees part-time now, especially the older guys. Probably can't overstate how valuable that could be in terms of staying independent and having to organise yourself.

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by clivemcl on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 10:21 am

Probably no secret I'm not a fan. His extra curricular activities and problems with the law leave a bad taste in my mouth. Actually, forget law, it's the plain and simple disregard for other people's safety that infuriates me most.

It influences how I read sentences like "Now everything in my life is scheduled and thought of, to the point where, if you let it, you can become robotic in how you go about things. Rugby is such a consuming sport that you have to force yourself to think outside it and have other interests."

And rightly or wrongly I read that as a guy with a problem with authority and being told what to do.

I can't help it. I just get annoyed when I read a headline like "I've learned my lesson" after you read the sentence "vowed not to get in trouble with the law again after his second drink-drive conviction".

You couldn't have learnt the lesson first time round Roger?

Or... what about... like the vast majority of citizens, there's no lesson to be learnt because we just don't break the law in the first place!

Yea... players get slow when they get old. yea... rugby is a hard sport. yea... its a short career. But guess what, you get paid a shed load for it.

Am I supposed to care if you are 35 years old and don't know what to do with your time?? Bloody hell, there are people drowning in the Mediterranean in desperate quests for a less miserable and violent lives. I'm sure you could think of something.

I'm sorry but I struggle to see how this article is even worth the cost of the web space it is written on.

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 10:46 am

clive his lifestyle Im sure hasn't helped with his pace or the state of his body either. Alcohol stays in the muscles and you tire easier and recover slower so not much point doing what the coaches etc tell you when your undoing a chunk of it acting like an irresponsible teenager

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by Notch on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 11:12 am

Fortunately web space is cheap to an organisation like the Guardian Clive Smile

Let's face it, we could all be out in Calais or Greece doing aid work or dropping off food right now and many people do do a lot for charity- I'm sure this forum is no exception to that. But we all have our distractions, and our vices and our hobbies too. There's no shame in just enjoying them

I've never warmed to Wilson either but I do respect him. I respect anyone who's willing to take the hits a rugby career gives out. The highs and the lows. And I guess, like him, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life as well when I've been working it all out. Not been in much trouble with the law mind you.

I do think that him saying he knows he's made mistakes and he's grateful he can still play pro rugby and count his blessings even if he never made the most of his career internationally (a certain red card against NZ Maori comes to mind) is a good starting point. I don't know him, never met him, don't know if he's changed, don't even know if he was bad to begin with. But no matter how proud you are life will always cut you down to size. You generally don't need anyone to help!

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 30 Jan 2016, 12:11 pm

Notch wrote:
yappysnap wrote:I quite liked him at Saints. A very good club player who worked hard for the team and grafted. Never a star but the kind of guy all teams need.

This, really. A hard nut on the pitch. Unflashy, uncomplicated, reliable. What's more interesting is the insight into how Ulster handle their nutrition and training these days. Big, big difference to when he moved to Saints I think.
To me Roger Wilson was one of the absolute key players in the resurrection of Saints after relegation.  Tough.  Smart.  Led from the front.  Fan favourite.  Not the best player, though damn close, but a winner.  I would have him in my team any day.  Brings so much more than playing skills.  

Best story about Roger that I can recall:  In the bar at Saints after a match, but after he had announced he was going back home to Ulster, some fans and a few players were talking with him about playing for Ireland. We thought it was a certainty.   Characteristically, Roger took it as a funny when people joked about him having the speed of Mother Theresa.  Suddenly up comes an older Saints fan who announced loudly she hoped he would never play for Ireland.  When asked why, she said she always supports Saints and England, but will NEVER root against any team for which Roger plays.  Warts and all.  The bar went dead silent, then all cheered for her and Roger together.

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Re: 'Jesus, I've got Slow': An Interview with Roger Wilson

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