Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Rugby Shorts

  • It doesn't look as if Austin Healy will be getting the job of England backs coach anytime soon. Healy recently had Johnno over to his house and, according to Healy, told him: "Okay, I’ll tell you what, I’ll make you dinner if you give me a job...I’m only joking, you dick . . . no, seriously, you can have the crackling if you give me the backs job". Apparently there was a moment of uncomfortable silence and, at that point, Healy knew he wasn’t getting the job. Shame.

  • Will the last player to leave New Zealand please turn out the lights? All Black fly half Nick Evans is the latest to abandon ship - arriving in October to play for Harlequins, following a path north trodden by several of his World Cup colleagues including Luke McAlister, Aaron Mauger, Carl Hayman, Chris Jack and Doug Howlett. With Jerry Collins also heavily linked with a move north (although not to Barnstaple, I understand) and with Dan Carter reportedly mulling over a series of lucrative offers, the drain of talent out of New Zealand must seriously dent their domestic product if not the All Blacks themselves. Still, a couple of years of under-achievement might not be a bad thing and might just help them get rid of the tag of being the best side in the world in between World Cups?

  • It looks like petty bureaucracy will deny legend Richard Hill a proper farewell in front of the Saracens fans at Vicarage Road. Under the terms of their groundshare agreement with Watford FC, Saracens cannot use the Vicarage Road stadium 24 hours or less before a football match and Watford play on Sunday afternoon. No problem, just bring Saracens' game with Bristol forward to midday and the problem is solved. Except that it isn't - Premier Rugby insists that all last-round fixtures start simultaneously, despite the fact that Saracens v Bristol is, in effect, a dead-rubber, the result having no bearing on who might or might not reach the play-offs. What this "rules is rules" mentality means is that Hilda will say his farewells in the less than salubrious surroundings of Milton Keynes. Shame on you, Premier Rugby.

1 comment:

Nursedude said...

You have to keep wondering how long the NZRFU will be able to threaten players from getting All Black selections when they leave Kiwi clubs for a bigger paycheck elsehwere. Playing for the All Blacks is a very special thing, but when you have a very finite career, I cannot begrudge a NZ player for wanting to make more money. How long will the NZRFU be able to keep this custom?