“In fact, retiring is so good, I’m actually thinking of making it an annual event.”
The mercurial Wales back is arguably now more famous for his teary wave goodbye to his adoring fans than for the many brilliant tries he scored in career that no-one is actually sure has ended.
Now, the Welsh Assembly Government has stepped in and made August 1st a national holiday called “Shane Williams retirement day”. A spokesperson for WAG says Shane will be taken out on to the Millennium Stadium turf every year – where, before a packed house, he can wave goodbye once again, cry a bit, give a choked-up interview and bask in the love and adoration of a small, but perfectly formed nation.
Then, after a period of mourning, the length of which will be arranged with the WRU, coach Warren Gatland will call upon him to return to the fold and save Welsh and indeed, British rugby once again.
In a similar move, the RFU have decided to have Jonny Wilkinson kept in a large bottle of preservative for all eternity and occasionally fuel rumours in the London press that he will return to stem the tide of under-achievement bedevilling the English game.
Shane Williams is a legend of the game, whose reputation belies his diminutive frame and now he has added a new string to his bow as Wales’s own “man for all seasons”.
“Let’s be honest, it’s not like they’ve found a direct one-for-one replacement. George is a great guy, with bags of pace, but face it; he couldn’t send a whippet the wrong with way with just a nod of his head.”