In a week when I turned 46 to no fanfare whatsoever (too busy at work for starters), a few rugby stories caught my eye...
According to Paul Rees in the Grauniad, the IRB is investigating claims that Australian players were wired up to their coaches during the 2003 World Cup.
Although I believe that it is common practice in the NFL, for instance, that players are wired for sound (for example via miniature electronic earpieces stitched into headgear), it is strictly verboten in rugby. If true, however, this nefarious practice might explain the absurd phenomenon of backs wearing scrumcaps, something on which my views have previously been made known.
That said, a fat lot of good it did the Aussies in the final minute of the 2003 World Cup Final as "DROP GOAL, DROP GOAL, DROP GOAL, OH F**K" was screamed into the players' earpieces.
When I say 'scandalous' what I mean of course is 'brilliant'. Utterly unprofessional no doubt, but it's good to see that there are those that still appreciate the value of a few beers together and are not entirely in thrall to the corporate dollar (or, in this case, euro).
Finally, there was the astounding hold-the-front-page announcement by Chesham Rugby Club that it will be running a 3rd XV this season. With very few Vets fixtures planned this season the 3rd Xv may well turn out to be my only opportunity for rugby action this year. That said, my current state of fitness leaves something to be desired and, given the reported numbers at club training (which I have not yet experienced first hand, it must be said), there's a very real possibility that I wouldn't get a game anyway. C'est la vie.