Monday, 24 April 2017

Very proud...

The weekend saw my son's Under 14 team round off a great season with a hard-fought 28-20 victory away at Tring.

Sunday's win was the culmination of a hugely successful season for the boys, not just in terms of results (and yet the overall record of played 16, won thirteen, lost 3 - and victory at the Harrow 10s Festival - is not be sniffed at) but also in terms of just how well the boys have developed as players.

This time last year I posted my guide to coaching youth rugby and at the start of this season being involved in the coaching of the team was still very much akin to trying to herd cats, but as the season has progressed there has been a noticeable shift in attitude, with several of the boys now displaying an impressive mental maturity that was previously absent.

What is great to see is that often it is the boys themselves who are now working out what to do during a game rather than relying on instructions from the touchline, and on several occasions this season their sheer determination to defend their line has been a joy to behold.

There is also a fantastic camaraderie developing amongst the boys which is wonderful to see and which, as I keep harping on about to TF Jnr, is really what this game of ours is all about.

Quite honestly this season has been a pleasure to be involved with...

EXCLUSIVE: Hartley expelled from Hall of Wazzocks

Following his classy response to being left out of the 2017 British and Irish Lions touring squad last week, the membership committee for the Total Flanker Hall of Wazzocks has made the unanimous decision to expel Dylan Hartley from its ranks.

Mr Hartley will be required to re-apply should he wish to resume membership in the future.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Interesting titbit of the week...

Many Aussies will be gnashing their collective teeth over the news that the son of Wallabies legend Michael Lynagh has been selected to play for England Under 16s.
Louis Lynagh, a member of the Quins academy, will line up at fullback for England against their Welsh counterparts at Bath on 30 April.
If he's anywhere near as good as his Dad we may have a player here...

Friday, 21 April 2017

Now THIS is exciting

Unlike the Lions I have to say I am pretty enthused by the England squad Eddie Jones has selected to tour Argentina in June.

OK, so there are a few strange omissions - Christian Wade, Tommy Taylor, Semesa Rokoduguni for instance.

But there's not much not to like about a squad which blends the huge experience of Hartley, Robshaw, Launchbury, Haskell, Wood, Care, Ford and Brown with the youth and promise of the Curry twins, Sam Underhill, Nick Isiekwe, Harry Mallinder and Joe Marchant.

There are fifteen uncapped players in the squad, many of whom who have come via the Under 20s. 

I predict good times ahead...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Lions selection 2017: Verdict

Well, everyone else seems to be doing this, so why not me?

Actually this is not really a verdict, more a comment or three.

Yes, the Scots should feel a tad upset about only having 2 representatives on the New Zealand trip and yes, it does feel as if Wales are somewhat over-represented (quel surprise).

But inevitably the players announced yesterday are unlikely to form the the actual touring party to leave these shores (injuries and/or suspensions before the season ends are more or less inevitable).

And you can bet your last sou that within days of arriving in New Zealand a steady stream of players will begin to return home crocked to be replaced by a long line of pre-photographed and kitted out replacements. In reality this Lions squad could easily stretch to 60+.

Ultimately I'm afraid I remain a tad cynical and not overly excited about another Gatland-led Lions tour. Time will tell...

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Shock Lions squad omission

Following today's British and Irish Lions squad announcement for the  tour to New Zealand in June, we caught up with veteran forward Total Flanker outside his Hertfordshire home to discuss his controversial omission from the squad.

"Naturally I'm as sick as a parrot", said the corpulent breakaway.

"Admittedly at my age selection for the Test team was perhaps a long shot, but I always felt confident I could play a valuable part as a member of the wider squad.

"I've been holding tackle bags, putting out cones and running the line for Chess Valley Under 14s all season, so to be honest I'm not sure how much more I could have done.

"It's particularly galling having narrowly missed out on selection for the 1983, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 Lions tours.

"I'm beginning to think that my chance may never come."

Warren Gatland was unavailable for comment.