You can tell it’s quiet in the rugby world when we run a story on fashion. In a scheme worthy of Baldrick – England have hatched a cunning plan to beat the All Blacks this year in the World Cup. They’re changing their away outfit to an all black outfit (England’s RFU lawyers want you to note the small “a” and “b” there – they are legally very important). No doubt the thinking is that suddenly wearing the traditional colours of the host nation will do several things, including win over some local support and the support of the Newlands unfaithful as well as turn a somewhat mediocre team into serious challengers. But the jersey is just step one of their dark plan.
The rest of the steps to England’s Kiwi mastery include:
- All England flyhalves will now be called “Dan” regardless of their actual names.
- Martin Johnson will start behaving like that eight grade Latin teacher you used to have – and not a rugby coach.
- All open-sided flankers are to immediately wear too much gel in their hair and act really suprised whenever they are penalized for anything (in particular if you are pinged for hands in the ruck flankers must look at the ref as though they’ve just discovered he has eight heads)
- At least one backline player is to sport a rat tail
- All locks in the squad to behave like tools at any opportunity (players named Chris Jack excepted)
- Centres will be allowed to call each other “Sonny Bill” and arranged fixed boxing matches against drunks
- Anyone with remote ancestry to Fiji, Tonga or Samoa who can handle a rugby ball is to be immediately offered UK citizenship and their choice of a first date with either Kate or Pippa Middleton (for rugby qualification purposes having watched Samoa’s 1991 triumph over Wales will count as having “ties” to Samoa)
The old farts at Twickenham must be congratulation themselves – it certainly beats putting in the hard work at the training ground. However, like all of Baldrick’s cunning plans – there is one fatal flaw. If England in their new all black strip run into France in a quarter-final or semi-final match, they’re completely poked.