Friday, 17 August 2018

Once a wazzock?

I'm currently on my hols so will keep this short and sweet.

After pleading guilty to assault outside a Jersey nightclub this week, Danny Cipriani will only have himself to blame if he never plays for England again.

It's really not that difficult to stay out of trouble and by his behaviour off the field he is constantly asking the question of whether he should be trusted on it.

On that question the jury is still out...

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

What's going on in TW1?

Something is not quite right at HQ.

Despite making a jobbing great profit from the 2015 World Cup the RFU are currently engaged in a cost-cutting programme that will result in over 60 members of staff losing their jobs.

CEO Steve Brown, whose job - incidentally -  does not appear to be under threat, insists that the RFU finances remain in good shape and that the redundancies merely reflect tough market conditions.

While any redundancies are unfortunate and a nightmare for those involved, reports that apparently over 40 of the job losses are coming from the community game suggest an incredibly ill advised short-term approach by the RFU that can only lead to the detriment of grassroots rugby and the game as a whole in this country.

And rumours that the RFU Council, in approving the cuts, rejected a proposal that members pay out of their own pockets for their partners’ match tickets and lunches for the four November internationals this year, do nothing for the credibility of the whole process.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

England Rugby Legend retires

Question: who is England's most capped rugby player of all time?
Answer: England Women's prop Rochelle "Rocky" Clark, who has announced her retirement from the international game having won 137 caps.
Clark, who will continue to play for Wasps in the Premier 15s next season as well as coach Chesham Stags, also retires as the most capped female international player of all time.
Legend is a word often bandied about indiscriminately, but in this case it is wholly deserved.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Ben Foden - former England rugby player hits the headlines

It’s been a little while since former Saints and England fullback Ben Foden made the news.

And, while we should be talking about the player’s impending move to Major League Rugby team Rugby United New York, unfortunately Foden is instead hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

It’s not often that rugby players are featured in the red tops, but Foden has managed it with the revelations in The Sun that his marriage to former Saturdays singer, Una Healy, is over following the former Saint’s affair with a “26 year old PR girl”.

The Sun has, in its own inimitable way, branded Foden a “love-rat.”

I have a better word.


Friday, 27 July 2018

England Women disappoint at Rugby World Cup Sevens

Another talking point from the Rugby World Cup Sevens last weekend was the failure of the (professional) England Women's team to progress beyond the first round of the competition after losing their opening match to (part-time) Ireland.

Yes, they went on to lift the Challenge Trophy, but finishing the tournament in 9th place overall was arguably a poor return on the investment made by the RFU in the sevens squad and must surely call into question  RFU's decision to prioritise the resourcing of the sevens programme at the expense of the 15-a-side game?

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Rugby World Cup Sevens overshadowed by Samoan's arrest

Being somewhat engrossed by the European Touch Rugby Championships on BBC iPlayer, last weekend's Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco somewhat passed me by.

It seems, however, that New Zealand's victories (male and female) in San Francisco have been largely overshadowed by the alleged off-field assault by Samoa's Gordon Langkilde on three Welsh players which left all three with facial injuries and forced Tom Williams out of the competition with "broken facial bones".

Unsurprisingly the Samoan has been suspended by World Rugby pending investigation but that could be the least of his problems having also been arrested by San Francisco Police on and charged with one count of aggravated assault and three counts of battery causing serious bodily injury.

Langkilde, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

We await developments. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

RFU trialling new tackle law

The RFU should be applauded for the introduction of a trial to lower the height of a legal tackle in rugby next season as part of efforts to make the game safer. 
The height of a legal tackle will now need to be below the armpits rather than the line of the shoulders as is currently the case.
Admittedly the the trial will be  limited to the Championship Cup competition, but at least it's a start and gives the powers that be the opportunity to assess the impact of lowering the height of the tackle on brain injuries and concussion.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Sam Warburton Forced to Retire

I was sorry to hear the news that injury has forced Wales and Lions skipper Sam Warburton to retire from rugby at the tender age of 29.

Fabulous player, inspirational leader and all round good egg - only shame is that he decided to be Welsh (despite English parentage). Just think how good England would have been with him at 7.

What ever he decides to do next I am sure he will be successful and wish him all the best...

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

European Touch Rugby Champs on BBC

As we're on the subject of Touch Rugby, the European Touch Rugby Championships is currently live on the BBC iPlayer.


Touch and Gone (2018)

Come on, admit it, you're just dying to know how my touch rugby season has been progressing, haven't you?


Well, here it is anyway, a quick summary of the exploits of Dave's Dad's Dog's Dead in the Chesham Touch Premiership of 2018...

Last night saw the culmination of our season in a game in which unfortunately DDDD slumped to a comprehensive thumping at the hands of the Chiltern Barbarians, meaning that we finished in 3rd (or, as I like to call it, joint 2nd) place in the league.

The result was a bit of shame as, until last night, we had remained competitive in all of our games despite a campaign fragmented by a recent football tournament in Russia, an injury to our skipper and by the demands (on some) of pre-season rugby training, which meant that the team was rarely at full strength during the second half of the season and at times even struggled to raise a quorum.

There was also a realisation at last night's post-match inquest - over beer and pizza - that the collective age of our squad, with several of us now in our 50s, was maybe beginning to take its toll, especially when faced - as was more often the case - with teams stacked with young, fit, speedy men.

Hardly a level playing field then, but on the upside we still finished with a record of won 7 and lost 3,  on occasion we played some great touch and we made sure that we always (or, nearly always) enjoyed ourselves. And we always had a beer after the game. And the pizza was delicious.

As for yours truly, I did have my moments, albeit perhaps they were fewer and farther between than I would have liked . At the bar after the game last night there was talk of maybe cutting our youngsters free next summer to play competitively while we oldies play purely for fun in the more social Championship division. I suspect that in reality, however, by next summer the competitive juices will be flowing again and our egos will begin attempting once more to persuade our bodies to perform feats well beyond their capabilities.

I'm missing it already.