As a rugby weekend, this one started brilliantly with a thrilling interpro at Ravenhill on Friday night, but was overwhelmed by sadness. The tragic news of the death of Nevin Spence along with his brother and father puts blogging, rugby and everything else into perspective, and we were knocked sideways by the awful story on Saturday night. One of our first ever posts was a jokey, throwaway piece gently mocking Gerry Thornley’s choice of words for saying Spence had ‘timed his career perfectly’, in that he had burst on the scene just as D’arcy and Wallace’s careers were reaching an end. Talk about being put into new context. If Spence’s arrival appeared perfectly timed, his departure is entirely the opposite: tragically premature. Here’s the piece, written at the tail end of his breakthrough season in which he had arrived at the fringes of the international set up. It’s a reminder of just how excited we were by his talent, and gives pause for thought for what might have been. Our thoughts at this time are with the Spence family, their friends and Nevin’s teammates at Ulster Rugby. RIP.
On both the Munster and Leinster fan sites, there is currently a mooted plan to sing a round of ‘Stand Up For The Ulstermen’ at their respective home games this weekend. We encourage those who plan to be in attendance to spread the word.