Anyone for Seconds?

I’ve posted a couple of ‘alternative’ England teams made up from those rejected for the World Cup in the last couple of days.

Today it’s the turn of those rejected for the All Black squad. There are three that have been suggested by different media outlets.


Like the English versions they are not identical, although some players feature in all three teams.

The first is from the New Zealand Herald –

Some powerful players that we’ve seen in the Super XV this season

TVNZ has a few differences and has included the immensely impressive Ardie Savea (brother of Julian) who would certainly be at the World Cup if he played for any other country! A gifted player at 7s too!

during day two of the Tokyo Sevens at Prince Chichibu Stadium on April 1, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.

during day two of the Tokyo Sevens at Prince Chichibu Stadium on April 1, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.


The suggestion for this team is that they would get to the quarter final stage at least if they were in the competition and didn’t include any players currently injured (like Aaron Cruden, Patrick Tuipolotu, Steven Luatua, Augustine Pulu)


One bloke goes further and claims his 2nd XV could actually win the Webb Ellis Trophy –

This seems a bit strong to be honest, but then it is a very strong side!

Once again, all this is just a pub game talking about the players left behind – but some (from all nations) may well be called up if there are injuries. After all, look at who kicked the winning penalty in 2011. At the start of the tournament he was fourth choice fly half but ended up the hero after a freak run of injuries to Dan Carter, Colin Slade and Aaron Cruden.


It raises the question of the importance of the bench and the rejected players staying fit despite the disappointment.

Steve Hansen talked about how vital replacements can be in a competition where players are out of the squad if injured –


France substitutes

No one wants to see injuries, but it is something that all coaches will (hopefully) have planned for – and arranged for players to stand by!



Accident of Birth

Bit of controversy today – ooh matron!


I get quite annoyed when people who are in a privileged position simply by accident of birth start to pontificate and lecture the rest of us on what we are doing wrong and how wonderful their lives are.

This phenomena isn’t limited to the rich – a lot of ordinary people are bigots and uncaring too!

As you may have noticed I tend to take the piss out of them quite a lot on these pages.


I recently found a video on facebook that is a rant about immigration and other stuff that had me nodding (and laughing) most of the way through.


It has spawned likes and dislikes in about equal measure with various nob heads having a go about what he says (you can tell where I stand on his position!)

Anyway judge for yourselves (this bloke actually swears more than I do – I know – you’re fucking amazed aren’t you?) –


Anyway if you didn’t laugh or nod, you know what you can do – lol (as in ‘laughing out loud’ not ‘lots of love’ – unless you happen to be called Debbie that is)


Selection Box

A couple of days ago I posted an England XV made up of players who didn’t make the squad – it was put together by the Rugby Onslaught site (


Yeah, I know I said I wouldn’t go on about the squad any more, but technically this is about the non- squad and anyway it’s my fucking blog.

Seems that picking an alternative team is getting to be a popular pastime – this one has been selected by the Rugby Blog ( ) –


They’ve even put blokes on the bench.

There are differences in the two selections – including Matt Stevens, Luther Burrell and Daly who didn’t make this one! Although 4 British Lions did!

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As did the other obvious candidates!

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The Ireland v Wales game yesterday looked like a full blooded international – Ireland may have lost but they will be no pushover (ha ha) when they come to Twickenham next week. Neither will Wales on September 26th when the real thing is well under way!


Bath Sorts

I’ve only ever been to a spa once – I had a massage from a hefty Doris and it didn’t end well – or at least not exactly how I’d hoped anyway.


It was at Champneys and I went along with Terry and Lell – I think that Lell bought it as an anniversary present for us.

The girls did several things while I mostly read the papers and kipped (probably dreaming of the type of massage I had hoped for). One of the things the girls did involved sticking their feet in some sort of mini aquarium and trying to squash the fish – no, I have no idea why! Oddly they didn’t use piranhas, which, I think, would have made it a lot more competitive.


I decided then that I’d never ever go back to a spa – although I wouldn’t rule out Thailand, obviously.


However I just found out about a place in Prague that seems it might be worth another punt, especially for rugby blokes and Doris’ –

You get to bathe in lager and drink as much beer as you want, or can chug down you – whichever comes first.


I understand that the lager is supposed to be good for the skin and hair – the publicity guff says that the health benefits have been known since the Middle Ages. Yeah right – wasn’t that about the time of the Black Death, rampant smallpox and leprosy? Forgive me if I don’t take medical advice from some medieval quack pot.


Throwing bitter is fine – washing your bits in it,  isn’t quite so appealing. Well, not your own anyway!

Still these places, and there is more than one over there – Czech it out (ha ha) do let you knock back as much amber nectar as you want – so not all bad then eh?


There’s even a video telling you all about it –


These days you don’t actually drink the stuff swilling around you (which may explain the origin of the bubonic epidemic) – you get your own beer tap next to the bath! Probably a good idea for anyone not keen on getting a plague of boils and blains (blains? – no idea!).


There’s probably a dreadful joke about pasteurised in here somewhere!

Does make you want a good workout with a spa-ring partner though doesn’t it! (sorry about that one!)

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Junk Mail

There has been tons of comment and speculation about the make-up of the England Rugby Squad for the World Cup – I told you I was telling porkies when I said I wouldn’t mention it again didn’t I?


The newspaper column inches alone would have accounted for half an Amazon rainforest.


A lot of nonsense has been written of course – a fair bit by me, I admit.

However there was an article in the Daily Mail that makes even my stuff look halfway coherent –

I have no idea what point the article is meant to be making – it’s not even interesting from a perspective of right wing privilege (which the paper is forever denying).

More rugby is played at public schools and they give sports’ scholarships so you’d expect top players to have been there (without paying fees).

They’ve even bothered to list the whole squad, their school and the fees (that they probably didn’t pay anyway) – and someone gets paid to research this for fuck’s sake!


The whole thing is a truism anyway – a bit like saying Brownies on the whole tend to be little girls.


The writer actually says –

‘Make of that what you will but the statistics make for interesting reading’

Er… no they fucking don’t!

You might as well try and make some correlation between how many of the squad had tried their first jump behind a bike shed or which boot they tie first.


I did a lot of research when I had a proper job – much of it was a waste of time (but well paid fortunately) –


But at least we tried to have an idea of what we’d do with the results – this stuff is pointless and worse – meaningless!


With mini rugby and clubs (at all levels) seeking players early then the tendency will be for the best to get the chance of a scholarship based on their playing ability.

It’s not like Mum and Dad’s money helped them get a job in a merchant bank, or become an MP – even though they have the IQ of a cabbage.


The premise of the article is rubbish – much like the rest of the paper.


What’s the Alternative?

And now for something completely different (or not).


I promised yesterday that I wouldn’t go on about the England Squad selected for the World Cup.

Obviously I was fibbing (bite me!)


Rich’s mate Rob posted this link to Rugby Onslaught on his facebook page –


It’s a good site and has a copy positioning that could have been made for me –

‘Because being ill informed shouldn’t stop you writing about rugby’



The alternative XV looks pretty good to be fair – and doesn’t include (amongst others) Henry Thomas, Matt Mullan, Callum Clarke, Luke Cowan Dickie, Matt Kvesic or Thomas the Tank Waldron up front. Or Daly and Ashton in the backs.


How’s that (yeah yeah! – wrong sport) for some alternative medicine?