Tuesday, 29 August 2017

WRWC 2017: Carpe Diem

Well done to the Black Ferns, 2017 World Champions!



Great game of rugby from both teams and an excellent advert for the women's game.

So, what happens next? A live UK TV audience of 2.6m suggests that the opportunity now certainly exists - for World Rugby, for the RFU and other national unions, and for TV broadcasting companies - to make significant growth in women's rugby, both in terms of participation numbers and in the game's global audience.

I guess the question now is whether anyone will seize the day?

Thursday, 24 August 2017

WRWC 2017: unmitigated success


It's only right and proper that it will be the best 2 teams - England and New Zealand - who will contest the Women's Rugby World Cup Final on Saturday, following the Red Roses' tense semi-final victory over the French on Tuesday and the Black Ferns' slightly more comfortable win against the USA.

Whatever the outcome - and for me the 2 finalists look very evenly matched - there's no doubt it has been a hugely successful tournament with sell-out crowds, plentiful live TV coverage via ITV4 and, following England's progress to the final, belated acknowledgement by the national news media. And with the Final being televised live on ITV's main channel on Saturday night there is now a fantastic opportunity for the women's game to reach out to new audiences.

Inevitably there have been some naysayers who, in forums and on social media, have been quick to point out the difference in standards between the men's and women's games but in my view such comparisons - between a game which has been fully professional for over 20 years and a game in which professionalism is very much in its infancy - are all rather pointless.

I just wish that people would simply enjoy international women's rugby for what it is - fast, skilful, dynamic, competitive and hugely compelling to watch.

And of course good luck to the Red Roses for the final ๐Ÿ‘

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Ticked off

Shocked by the news this week that former England no.9 Matt Dawson has been suffering from Lyme Disease.

Dawson was apparently bitten by a tick in a London park, causing a bacterial infection to spread throughout his body. 

Following a severe fever he he went to hospital where he was diagnosed with Lyme Disease which, if not treated promptly, can cause issues such as inflammatory arthritis, heart problems, problems with the nervous system and meningitis.

After multiple heart operations (what?) and 18 months of treatment, apparently Dawson is now on the mend but is still on medication and it will take time for his heart to recover fully.

Sounds utterly horrific.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Toby for Deutschland?

Ja, it’s true apparently.

One of the more bizarre stories of the week is that Toby Flood has said he would consider switching his international allegiance to Germany, the land of his grandfather.

Flood, a German passport holder, already has 60 England caps and would therefore (I think) need to take advantage of a World Rugby loophole under which he would first have to play Sevens for Germany in an Olympic qualifying event.

Whilst all of this is highly unlikely, it's one of those stories I'd quite like to be true...

Sir Colin Meads RIP


There’s no doubt that the game has lost another of its true legends.

Belated RIP Pinetree.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Rubbish


There's not much that Saracens get wrong these days but, simply put,

THIS...IS...

RUBBISH.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Aussie crisis deepens


According to the Grauniad, Australia have named Kurtley Beale in their starting XI for the weekend's Bledisloe Cup encounter against the All Blacks.

Starting XI?

I know the Aussies are having a few issues at the moment, but surely they have enough players to name a starting XV? ๐Ÿ˜€

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

WRWC 2017: a bit of a let down


The Women’s Rugby World Cup has so far been a tad disappointing.

Not the rugby. That’s been great.

No, what’s disappointing is the total and utter lack of scandal.

No tales of excessive drinking, no breaches of curfew, no drugs, no gambling, no dwarf tossing, no ferry diving, no arrests, no players sent home in disgrace, nothing.

Come on ladies. Amid all this talk of equality and discrimination you need to be playing your part…๐Ÿ˜‰

Monday, 14 August 2017

Western Farce

I admit I’m not particularly up to speed with the workings of rugby in Australia, but it strikes me that the ARU have made a right old horlicks of things lately.

Having agreed to axe one of it’s Super Rugby franchises, last week the ARU announced – following 4 months of dithering discussions – that it was to be the Perth-based Western Force who would be cut.

Predictably enough the Western Force aren’t exactly chuffed with the decision and have gained an injunction order against the ARU's decision and lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court.

All of which rather nicely sets up a costly legal battle between the cash-strapped ARU and the Force, backed by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest. I wonder who has the deeper pockets?

In other news it is reported that the ARU’s annual piss-up in a brewery has had to be cancelled due to unforeseen cicumstances.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Whole Wide World



When I was a young boy
My mama said to me
"There's only one girl in the world for you
And she probably lives in Tahiti."

Delighted to have the opportunity to post the opening lyrics from one of my favourite songs from the seventies - Whole Wide World by Wreckless Eric.

The opportunity has somewhat improbably arisen courtesy of the Tahiti rugby team who last weekend pulled off a huge shock to keep their 2019 Rugby World Cup aspirations alive by beating the Cook Islands, 43 places above them in World Rugby's rankings, to win the Oceania Rugby Cup.

Tahiti (ranked 91) defeated the Cook Islands (ranked 48) 13-9 in Rarotonga and will now face either Hong Kong, Malaysia or South Korea in 2018 in a home and away play-off for a place in the four-team global repechage tournament to determine the final qualifier for RWC 2019.

Tahiti also now leapfrog the Bahamas, Cameroon and Swaziland to occupy 88th place in the rankings.


I'd go the whole wide world, 
I'd go the whole wide world just to find her
I'd go the whole wide world,
I'd go the whole wide world to find out where they hide her.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Woman's World


Good luck to all involved with the Women's Rugby World Cup which kicks off in Dublin later today and especially to the Red Roses, the defending champions.

It's also great to see that much of the tournament will be able to be viewed live on ITV, giving much needed exposure to the women's game.

Now, about those professional contracts...




Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Here we go again...

It's August and you know what that means.

Yes, time once again for the RFU to attempt to extract yet more cash from the pockets of English rugby supporters with another shameless launch of another unnecessary new England rugby kit.

This time there's some marketing guff about a so-called unique commemorative plaque forming part of Canterbury’s new ‘Unbreakable Bond’ campaign. I'd explain further, but honestly can't be arsed to delve any deeper.

No doubt there's a suitably awful change kit also in the pipeline...

Monday, 7 August 2017

Homeward Bound...

News today that both Manu Tuilagi and Denny Solomona have been sent home from England's training camp following “team culture issues.”

What this actually means is anyone’s guess, but the clever money has to be on alcohol-related behaviour.

If this is the case, if these two couldn’t manage to stay off the sauce while attending a 3 day national training camp, then no doubt I shall shortly be reviewing their applications for entry into the Total Flanker Hall of Wazzocks.