Friday, 7 September 2007

Red Ben

Here's a story I missed while on holiday - Ben Cohen has, it appears, gone on strike at Northampton after being overlooked for the club captaincy. Apparently he hasn't attended a training session since Bruce Reihana was confirmed as skipper a couple of weeks ago and has told chairman Keith Barwell that he wants to leave the club.

Incredible. I can't imagine what the Saints fans think of this but I've always had my suspicions about this guy and this confirms it. On the basis of one good season for England (2002-2003) and a few underwear ads, Cohen (or his agent) over the years has styled himself as rugby's David Beckham - and like Beckham he's been more about style over substance for some time. When he pulled out of the England squad earlier this summer it was seen by many commentators as a blow to England's World Cup chances, but can anyone honestly say he was among the top six (let alone the top four) wingers in the country at the time?

Furthermore, does Cohen think that his actions will endear him to potential suitors? What it certainly does highlight is how unsuitable he is for captaincy.

While no club with any sense will now touch Cohen with a barge pole (him being linked to Leicester sounds purely like hype from his agent), training at Northampton for the rest of the squad must be increasingly difficult, what with the training ground being littered with spat-out dummies and toys thrown from prams.

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