For a country famed for its production of small and elusive threequarters the current Wales threequarter line is quite a departure from tradition.
Don’t get me wrong, the Welsh have always known the shortest route through a brick wall, they are, after all, the nation that produced Scott Gibbs while dynamic doc JPR was no mere slip of a lad.
Yet where other international rugby teams have spent decades subjugating the claims of a good little ’un to those of a not-quite-so-good big ’un, the Welsh have always backed their diddy men in the area of whitewash crossing.
Who will ever forget the rings Kevin Morgan and Rhys and Shane Williams ran around the rest of Europe en route to the 2005 Grand Slam? Before them the images of Jiffy, Ringo and Benno weaving their way through leaden-footed defences live long in the memory.
But look at the current crop. Leigh Halfpenny aside, a mere 5ft 10ins, the whole back-line that faces England at Twickenham on Saturday will all be over 6ft. Even waffer-theen Rhys Priestland, at 5st in diving boots, is over 6ft.
Outside him Jamie Roberts is near it and George North actually is 6ft 4ins, while Alex Cuthbert dwarfs them all at 6ft 6ins. They’ll all be big lads when they grow up.
Cuthbert’s case is perhaps the most prescient. The 21-year-old is the direct replacement for the teeny Shane Williams who retired after the last Rugby World Cup, a single switch that ups the average height a few notches.
And it was impossible not to admire them at work against Scotland a fortnight ago. There was plenty of bash, lots of bosh but some delectable skills too. The latest vintage know their way both through the brick wall and round it.
However, it will be a shame if Williams is the last of the shorties because rugby is becoming less and less a sport for all body shapes and more one for Identikits between 6ft and 6ft 6ins and 17st.
The game in most of the northern hemisphere is in a tactical Dark Age in which players are told to look for contact instead of space. And as long as that’s the case a player’s dimensions will matter more than his dexterity. Imagine England picking someone like Shane Williams. It would never happen,
The situation is no less parlous in the forwards where the classic nose-over-the-ball openside is an endangered species. Back rowers are now largely interchangeable and while we all lament the lack of an authentic No.7, very few stop to ask why.