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Front page forces rugby pundit to eat his words

It didn’t quite make a spread, but a regional daily’s margarine-themed front page certainly forced an Irish rugby union pundit to eat his words.

The Cardiff-based Western Mail celebrated Wales’s 23-16 victory over Ireland in the sport’s Six Nations tournament with the unusual front cover in Monday’s edition – concocted after Neil Francis had accused Welsh coach Warren Gatland of having “the intellectual properties of a tub of Flora” in a pre-match outburst.

Former international rugby player Francis had made the claims in the Irish Independent ahead of Saturday’s match, but has now admitted it was “stupid” and a “throwaway line”.

The front page, pictured below, was widely shared by victorious Welsh fans on social media and also received coverage in the Irish Independent.

Western Mail

Alan Edmunds, Western Mail editor, said: “We had hit back at the very personal attack on Warren Gatland by Neil Francis during the week.

“The Flora jibe had infuriated Welsh fans and dominated the build up to the match.

“We hoped Monday’s front page would be seen as reasonably witty and little bit clever.

“It went down well on social media, with Welsh supporters at least.”

Award-winning Mail columnist Carolyn Hitt weighed in with some well-chosen words of her own directed at the Irish pundits.

She said: “The margarine barb was pathetic.  We can’t believe you’re not better.”


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  • March 18, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Sounds a bit of fun amidst the journogloom. Nice puff for Flora too!

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  • March 18, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Can newspapers really afford to give away ‘free adverts’ like this? Should have been a centre spread in my opinion!

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