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Humphreys' last stand
21 March 2003 09:30am
Wales captain Jonathan Humphreys is set to make his final international appearance on home soil, but the Bath hooker has no intention of letting emotion affect his performance.
Humphreys will be in charge when Wales target a surprise success against RBS 6 Nations Championship opponents Ireland at the Millennium Stadium.
While the Irish are just two wins away from securing their first Grand Slam since 1948, Wales have almost forgotten what victory feels like.
They have lost five successive championship games, and their last Cardiff triumph over the Irish came 20 years ago when Eddie Butler skippered Wales to a 23-9 verdict.
In stark contrast to Ireland, Wales are hurtling towards a first RBS 6 Nations whitewash.
Defeat tomorrow and then in France on Saturday week, would transform those worst fears into reality.
But if nothing else, Humphreys has brought a sense of infectious pride and passion to the table since Wales coach Steve Hansen summoned him from rugby's international wilderness last month.
But as far as Humphreys is concerned, it was only ever going to be a short Indian summer, with the final curtain falling in Paris next week.
"It was always my intention to come back on a short-term basis. I have never thought about going to the World Cup later this year," he said.
"Bath have been excellent about this with me - coach Michael Foley has been superb - and with a year of my contract left at Bath, I want to be able to honour that.
"Saturday will be an emotional day, but you cannot let emotion cloud your objective."
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