England training to involve regular AA meetings

England’s caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster is contemplating regular AA meetings as part of the team’s preparation ahead of the Six Nations next month.

This comes after scrum-half Danny Care was arrested twice in three weeks for drink‑related offences. The Harlequins player was stopped by police on New Year’s Eve for driving while twice over the limit, having previously been arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Care has now been thrown-out of the squad and Lancaster is said to be extremely disappointed, reportedly saying ‘Danny is an embarrassment to the team, Tindall would’ve been at least five times over the limit and would still have had the sense to try and do a runner…he has a BMW 5-series for Christ’s sake!’

The recently appointed coach is insisting that there is not an endemic drinking problem within the England ranks and has defended the proposed AA meetings as being a motivational exercise in which the players will learn to have fun outside of a ‘24-hour drug fueled partython environment.’

The dramatically reduced risk of hepatitis of the liver would just be an added bonus.

Danny Care contemplates missing-out on the Six nations...over a stiff drink of course.

Jonny Wilkinson hangs up his kicking boots

It’s hard not to like Jonny Wilkinson.

A man more humble than the Dalai Lama, but far better looking and with a precision kicking game that took England to World Cup victory in 2003.

I hate him.

But that’s besides the point, and probably more to do with the fact that I secretely want to be him.

Wilko really was an asset to the sport and played rugby in the true spirit of the game…whatever that means.

He was arguably the best fly-half in the world a few years ago until he got more injuries than Wile E Coyote after a particualry bad run-in with the Road Runner.

Go forth and prosper Jonny! I look forward to getting the autobiography for Xmas and not reading it.

I bet the pictures will be great though.

Like a true gentleman, Jonny always took his shoes off before making love to you with his eyes.

Shane Williams…what a way to go!

Shane you beauty!

Scoring a cracker of a try in injury time in your last ever game for Wales….nice!

If the post-match interview with twinkle-toed Shane fighting back the tears while holding his hobbit-like offspring didn’t move you – either you’re a cynical fool without a heart or you have no tear ducts.

An emotional farewell from Shane Williams

 

 

And it’s goodnight from him…

Shane Williams will be saying an emotional farewell in his final test for Wales against Australia at the Millenium Stadium this Saturday.

The pint-sized national hero will be hoping to bow out on a high by wreaking revenge on the Aussies for their bronze final defeat at the World Cup in October.

Willams has commented that although a try would be a special bonus, his sense of national pride and achievment would be all the more intense if he gets to: ‘laugh hysterically in the faces of the defeated Australians as they pick the pieces of James O’Connor’s skull from the bloodied Millenium Stadium turf.’

Steady on Shane!

Shane was caught heading to his local pawn shop.

Mallett demands Rob Andrew’s head on a plate…with a side order of Lady Gaga

Nick Mallett has confirmed that he may still be in the running as the new England coach, but only on the condition that Rob Andrew ‘eats twenty strawberry flavoured energy bars in the space of five minutes’. 

In addition to this he has also demanded that the Director of Elite Rugby at the RFU simultaneously perform a rendition of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance in a ‘coherent fashion that is perceptibly akin to the spirit of the original recording’. 

Mallett’s somewhat bizarre requests have reportedly been taken into consideration by the RFU board, though it is still not known what Andrew’s thoughts are and whether he is even a Gaga fan or just considers himself to be a casual listener. 

Mallett is currently the strongest candidate for the job, but the former Italy and Boks coach has made his thoughts on the Director of Elite Rugby role very clear in the past, having referred to it as ‘a load of crusty old bollocks’ in a press statement earlier this week.

Time to start working on that Gaga reflex Rob!

Rob Andrew and Martin Johnson watch as their careers float away.

Australia spank the Barbarians good and proper

Australia totally outclassed the Baa-Baa’s at Twickenham yesterday, thrashing them 60-11.

It was a disappointing end to the international career of one of South Africa’s all-time greats Victor Matfield, who rather sheepishly admitted (see what I did there!) that the team were not quite up to the attacking flair shown by the Aussies.

Farewell Victor…you’ve had a fine career but unfortunately you don’t get the spoils this time.

There were concerns that the Baa-Baa's weren't taking the match as seriously as they should.

Leaked report reveals English players greed

A leaked RFU document has brought England’s woe-ridden rugby World-Cup campaign into the spotlight once more.

Just a week after Martin Johnson stepped-down as the Big Dog in charge, a shock report has now revealed that the England players were more focused on money than rugby during the tournament.

Whereas it was previously thought that the team was playing according to the code of The Order of Knights Templar, championing such noble ideals as chivalry and the protection of freedom and liberty – it turns out they were just in it for the cash.

Anonymous interviews with players revealed further shock revelations. For instance, during coaching sessions certain players reportedly refused to chase the ball unless it was painted gold and had a pound sign on it. Prop Matt Stevens was also made to dress-up as the ‘tax man’ in an attempt to encourage more ferocious tackling from the greed riddled players.

Senior players are said to have disputed the amount of money they were being paid on the eve of the tournament, with one squad member demanding  ‘at least 5 times as much as that cock Richie McCaw’.

Pay to play

The Mike Tindall scandal continues…

So the  big man with the gravity defying nose has been axed.

That’s axed as in dropped from the squad, and not just pissed out of his friggin mind again.

So toodaloo Mike! Now you’ll have an opportunity to spend some quality time with the new wife, maybe help clean out the stables and get to know the posh side of the family a bit more, or….

Head out on another bender and toss a few dwarves?!

Your call buddy.

No jacket required

White men can’t Haka…

We hate stereotypes here at Big Daddy Rugby.

For one thing, we’re a rugby blog that doesn’t have much to say about rugby – though does have an awful lot to say about facial hair and the various developmental stages of Gavin Henson’s spray tan.

But just every once in a while a stereotype sneaks up on you and slaps you on the ass like a Lycra-clad Gareth Thomas on poppers.

That’s why if you ever needed proof that white folk have no rhythm, just take a look at this Haka from way back in 1973.

It’s like a bunch of awkward fathers dancing to Status Quo at the local community centre disco while their kids try to bury their heads in the cement floor out of sheer embarrassment.

If  Boks coach Peter (till the bitter end) de Villiers thinks the Haka has lost some of  it’s potency then he obviously hasn’t seen this clip. Not too surprising when you consider tv was only introduced to South Africa in 1976 and that three years before that young Peter was hanging-out at the local shebeen getting pissed on homebrew.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0xn7RWcwVw&feature=player_embedded]

New Springbok Sevens kit revealed…and it’s something else!

Either SARU are on the cutting edge of fashion and are hoping that the ‘undies on the outside’ look is going to take-off at the next Paris fashion week – or they have just lost their minds completely.

The new Sevens kit revealed yesterday has raised a few eyebrows to say the least and it has already been dubbed the ‘diaper kit’ by the South African press.

In SARU’s defence, they have vowed that the players will take to the field in the more traditional ‘tighty whities’ (who comes up with these names?) to avoid national humiliation and shame.

Personally I think the kit works – all it needs is a bib and a bonnet to complete the overall look.

It takes real men to wear their pants on the outside

Gavin Henson saves the day yet again!

Post World Cup blues? Nothing on tele worth rolling out of bed and finding the remote for?

Well the fun’s not over yet (at least for those of us in the UK),  as tonight is the finale of The Bachelor – the Channel 5 ‘reality’ show in which Gav, the host with the most, is on a quest to find his dream woman.

While his erstwhile Welsh team-mates have been putting their bodies on the line down in a cold, windswept New Zealand, Gav has had more important things on his hands – such as sunning himself in a luxury love-nest on the island of St Lucia.

Following a succession of romantic dates, he has now whittled a bevy of 25 beauties down to the final 2. But in the immortal words of the highlander ‘there can be only one’.

His most recent date with one of the two finalists ended with them both sipping champagne in a hot tub and her commenting that ‘I didn’t realise it would pop so quick!’….Oh dear, not what you want to hear at the end of a romantic evening! Let’s just blame the pressure of being on camera, hey Gav!?

If this still doesn’t wet your whistle, then there’s always a repeat of Weekend at Bernies over on the BBC.

Animals were harmed in the taking of this photo.

Sam Warburton sees red….a nation continues to mourn

So it looks like this little talking point has not quite been put to rest…and I completely understand why.

I for one didn’t agree with the decision to send Warburton off in Saturday’s semi-final. Quite frankly I’ve seen worse tackles in football – and that’s a game played mostly by purse-snatchers and people who don’t know how to tie shoelaces.

But that’s just my opinion, and that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

On the other hand…the opinion of the British public does  (let’s remember the Poms did invent the game – even if they don’t play it very well) and they appear to agree with me for a change.

In a recent online opinion poll conducted by the Telegraph, their readers were asked if the Welsh captain deserved to be sent off for the offending tackle:

60% of people didn’t know what the question meant, 20% thought his performance as a paraplegic in Avatar was commendable, BUT more importantly, the remainder thought that the World Wrestling Federation’s loss was rugby union’s gain.

Pity that none of this changes the result though. Now we are left to watch a final in which the Kiwi’s will most likely make pate of the French.

Viva Alain Rolland!

Sam Warburton's tackle...the camera angle that the Welsh don't want you to see.

Tuilagi ferry jump…the catalogue of shame continues

Anyone following England’s world cup campaign could easily be forgiven for mistaking it with the most recent series of Big Brother.

What with the drunken tomfoolery, cheap pick-up lines, cavorting with local blonde floozies and even a bit of ball switching for good measure. Let’s not even get into the dwarf-tossing escapade!

Now that the team’s campaign has come to an end, the English tabloids are going to have to look elsewhere for their ingenious headlines. Well not just yet…as Manu Tuilagi has come to the rescue and shown the world he’s no fish out of water with a daring ferry jump in Auckland harbour.

Hooray! That’s the spirit Manu! You may be out of the World Cup but you can still ferry jump with the best of them! Go down fighting like a true British bulldog and give the great English public something to cheer about – even if it does get you fined £3000 and a nasty icecream headache.

Oh well…it’s just £3000 less you’ll have to spend at Spearmint Rhino when you get back to Blighty!

Manu earns his stripes (Image courtesy of Mail Online)

Berlusconi promises to ‘treat’ Azzurri

Italian Prime Minister and self-confessed playboy Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly promised to throw an extravagant party for the Azzurri if they beat Ireland in their crunch match this Sunday – a gesture that seems particularly ill-timed in light of the current state of the Italian economy.

The eternally bronzed PM was overjoyed with the recent victory over the USA and despite his ‘special relationship’ with Vladimir Putin, he was particularly pleased with the result against Russia last week, saying:

 “I would’ve watched the match if only the plasma screen in the Jacuzzi room had been working, but the twins spilt some bubbly on it during a particularly frantic mud-fight.”

By promising the team a shindig that they won’t forget (or possibly remember) Berlusconi will be hoping to inspire them to secure a place in the quarter finals. There are even rumours that his wingman Putin may put in an appearance so the two can perform their infamous ‘Jagerbomb run’ routine, which is generally followed-up with his favourite ‘cook the cannelloni’ party-trick.

Berlusconi and 'friends'...air stewardess just out of shot

Big Daddy’s guide to a replacement Haka

Bok coach Peter de Villiers caused a bit of a stir this week by suggesting that the Haka was losing its respect due to its being performed too often.

Well, the Kiwis have no need to worry as here’s BDR’s guide to other potential pre-match challenges that could be just as effective.

The Macarena

Everybody’s favourite Latin dance sensation that allowed even geeks a chance to look good on the dance-floor.

Pros: Optional maracas could be a nice touch (we’re looking at you Sonny Bill!)

Cons: Opposing team are likely to join in, which would just get plain awkward

The Hokey-Pokey (Cokey)

Old school participation song-cum-dance that set the benchmark for others to follow.

Pros: So easy (the words are the moves) that even the most uncoordinated can do it…Colin ‘butter fingers’  Slade take note!

Cons: The ‘shake it all about’ section may not set the right tone for the match

The Time Warp

The indie S&M version of the Hokey Pokey featured in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

 

Pros: More edgy than the others, but just as addictive and the All-Black kit fits the mood perfectly

Cons: Tricky to sing and perform with some high vocal register parts – so lots of warm-up required

Y.M.C.A

Who doesn’t know the Y.M.C.A? The ultimate party dance made famous by the sports bar-loving Village People.

Pros: The element of surprise and a good excuse to be more adventurous with facial hair

Cons: Too many to mention

So there you have it…something for Graham Henry’s successor to mull over.

If BDR readers have any of their own suggestions  please feel free to try these out in the privacy of your own home.

Interview with ‘Grizzly’ Adam Kleeberger

In keeping with our (un)healthy obsession with facial hair, Big Daddy Rugby decided it was time to put a few questions to Canada’s Adam Kleeberger.

The first thing you notice about Kleeberger is the size of the man’s hands. My gosh they’re huge – like giant paddles. I was fortunate enough to track him down at the team’s hotel in Napier ahead of their big match against France.

Kleeberger has caused quite a stir at the tournament, with his ‘wild-man’ beard trending almost as much as Jay-Z’s love-child. The big man also had a massive game against the Tongans, with the Canucks having edged the Pacific Islanders by a whisker.

On entering the hotel lobby, Kleeberger was immediately noticeable by being shoe-less and sitting in the double lotus position. This was going to be interesting…

Big Daddy Rugby: Hi Adam, thanks for taking the time to meet with BDR today.

Adam Kleeberger: Don’t mention it. By the way, you made a lot of noise on your approach. I could hear you a mile off.

BDR: Oh right….is that a bad thing?

AK: If you want to last one night in the Canadian wilds it is. Your smell gives you away too.

BDR: Thanks, I guess…if I could ask you about the Tongan match. Was that more of a scare than you were hoping for?

AK: I don’t believe in fear. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

BDR: That’s interesting. Didn’t Yoda say that?

AK: No.

BDR: Okay.

At this point in the interview Kleeberger closed his eyes and took a number of deep breaths

AK: Okay, I’m back!

BDR: Great. Will the team be trying a different approach in the match against the French?

AK: As a team we don’t believe in trying. Do or do not, there is no try.

BDR: Err..Isn’t that something else that….never mind. So the ‘growth’ is getting quite a bit of coverage at the moment? Do you…

AK: Don’t move! Stay perfectly still! A wasp has just landed on your shoulder and if you move he will strike you dead compadre!

BDR: I’m not so sure they’re THAT lethal…

AK: You weren’t THERE man!

BDR: Vietnam??

AK: British Columbia…1998. Swarm of wasps as thick as mud. I had to go to ground for three days straight.

Kleeberger springs from his seated position and swipes the wasp with one of  his mighty paws

BDR: Geez..thanks Adam! Close shave huh?!

AK: (Chuckles) I wouldn’t know my friend. I wouldn’t know.

BDR: Well anyway, enjoy the rest of the tournament and may the force be with you!

Swift exit BDR

'Grizzly' Adam Kleeberger....he knows what you did last summer!

Signs of reincarnation in the Bok squad…literally

At Big Daddy we take pride in asking the ‘big questions’ that matter, the questions that challenge the norm, and that others just don’t have the balls to ask.

  • is the ‘war on terror’ merely a smokescreen for a new wave of Western imperialism?
  • has the world financial crisis been stage managed for the benefit of a wealthy elite?
  • is Gurthro Steenkamp the reincarnation of ancient Egyptian high priest and polymath Imhotep?

Gurthro's response to the Fijian haka had Ancient Egyptian mythology written all over it

World Cup 2011 off with a bang…sort of

Well the opening match between the hosts and Tonga went pretty much as expected, but it was not the pasting that most were expecting and All Black’s coach Graham Henry rated his team’s performance a disappointing 5 out of 10 and only marginally better than Sex and the City 2.

Henry has a few selection quandaries for upcoming matches with ‘hot off the bench-press’ Sonny Bill Williams dazzling the Tongans with his complicated tattoos and single-handed layoffs….in fact I lost count of how many times the commentator used the words ‘layoff’ and Sonny Bill Williams in the same sentence and I started to suspect him of merely enjoying saying the Inside centre’s catchy name.

Let’s be honest, it is pretty fun to say….Sonny Bill Williams….give it go and tell me it doesn’t instantly make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Call me cynic,  but I found the opening ceremony pretty underwhelming. Seeing Jonah Lomu gyrating to the ‘World in Union’ anthem (in what I can only imagine to be an attempt at dancing) was up there with ‘walking in on your parents’ on the awkwardness scale. I bet Sonny Bill Williams could show him a thing or two.

If you missed the  ceremony and match…no need to fret…as BDR has compiled a special highlights package that can be seen below. And before you ask…yes, it’s mostly clips of Sonny Bill Williams.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIMxTZr5mnY&feature=player_embedded#!]

 

Celtic tiger caged by dominant English

Well it seems the Celtic tiger has lost some of its roar, with Ireland whimpering to their 4th straight defeat in a row… AND to add insult to injury (literally in the case of flanker David Wallace who sustained a blow to the knee) it was by losing to England for the first time since 2003.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney looked like he was about to pass a stone as he watched his teams ineffectual performance. While Wilkinson kept the scoreboard ticking over with his usual clockwork-like precision, the highlight of the match for the home crowd was watching full-back Murphy’s try saving tackle on Manu Tuilagi, after the Anglo-Samoan made a 70m run from his own twenty-two. It was like watching a greyhound tracking down a rampaging rhino.

The Irish seemed genuinely lost at sea without General Maximus O’Driscoll to call the shots and rally the team spirit with one of his rousing ‘I have a dream’ speeches. From an English fan’s point of view, things are looking promising leading up to the World Cup. In fact, at one point something resembling a smile (though it’s hard to tell when someone’s had that much reconstructive surgery) appeared to cross Martin Johnson’s face. And yes…it was a faintly disturbing sight.

Ireland's World Cup mascot 'Punch-drunk the Tiger'

Shock call-up for All Blacks in Tri Nations decider

In a last ditch effort to avoid being branded ‘a bit predictable’,  or the team least likely to do something crazy at the World Cup, the All Blacks have a released a shock statement that they will be calling-up American actor Denzel Washington for Saturday’s Tri Nations decider against the Wallabies.

The actor’s reasons for putting himself forward for selection and links to the country remain unclear, though it seems he may have visited Auckland once on a stopover flight to Japan and has apparently seen at least two of the three Lord of Rings films.

Washington has no previous experience on a rugby field but his press officer commented that: ‘Denzel is a method actor of the highest standard, and when he takes a role on,  he f***ing lives and breathes it!’

Footage of the stars first attempt at the Haka were recently caught on camera and posted on Youtube. Judge for yourself…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeHIGTEL7dM&playnext=1&list=PL9CA935DFF718F31A]

All Blacks training video exposes their No.1 weakness….perfection

Okay…admittedly there are some wicked skills on display in this video. But I can’t help thinking that the time spent doing this could have been put to better use elsewhere!

For instance:

  • earning some pocket-money by being an extra in the upcoming Hobbit film
  • working on the choreography of the Haka (I’m thinking a bit more Gaga and a little less Hammer)
  • helping Sonny Bill Williams film his new workout video ‘Ripped and Ready’
  • elocution lessons
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjqqqcPAViQ]
AND now for the response:
This is the response from some Aussie players who demonstrate that perfection isn’t everything….well it’s far less entertaining at any rate.
Watch and enjoy…
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7X8Sc5u0hY]

Henson given life-line….whereas O’Driscoll needs more time

Gavin Henson has decided to take a well deserved (and encouraged!) break from his busy reality tv schedule by returning to the rugby field on Saturday when the Welsh host the English at the Millennium Stadium. The men in red will be hoping to exact revenge on their neighbours for last weeks defeat and for blatantly stealing the format of a typical night-out in Swansea and re-enacting it on the streets of London and other English cities earlier this week. As always, Henson will be out to dazzle the English with his bright orange glow and fancy footwork (mostly learnt from his recent stint in ballroom dancing).

Gav...you missed a spot or two!

Across the English channel the Irish will be visiting the South of France, though they won’t be packing their sun-cream and novelty Guinness hats, as they can expect a bruising encounter with Mark Lievremont’s team in a part of the country in which they actually enjoy rugby more than lovemaking and Jean-Luc Godard re-runs. Unfortunately for the Irish, they are still lacking their playmaker and all-round wunderkind Brian O’Driscoll, who is yet to return while working on the final draft of his autobiography ‘On the seventh day God created me’.

Brian O'Driscoll with his 'ride'

England v Wales: World Cup warm-up preview

So what can we expect from Saturday’s clash between these two great Northern Hemisphere rivals? Well, the pundits will certainly be backing the men in white (black?) with their home ground advantage and recent resurgence in form. England have been on a steady upward climb, having triumphed in the 6 nations earlier this year and only narrowly losing out on the Grand Slam with a defeat at the hands of the Irish. Oh yes…the black stuff flowed freely on the streets of Dublin that day! Looking at the England line-up you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the Barbarians taking to the field, with the likes of Manusamoa Tuilagi set to make his debut.

Define 'regulation tackle'

Warren Gatland’s Welsh team have not been at their best of late, but they hate the English as much as everyone else so will be trying their darndest to cause an upset. The team has also struggled with their off-field discipline, with the likes of Gavin Henson focusing on his career in reality tv (not having to do his own make up makes a nice change) and scrum-half Mike ‘Burger Boy’ Phillips having been suspended indefinitely for a late-night fracas outside a McDonalds in Cardiff. Phillips’ happy-meal soon turned sad when a bouncer refused him entry and he was forced to eat the pavement instead. I know what you’re thinking…bouncers at McDonalds? How bloody ‘hard’ is Cardiff??

There’s also more at stake than mere pride, with both nations making their final RWC team selections later this month, there are a number of players who will be out to impress the selectors. In particular Charlie Hodgson at No.10 (or the guy least likely to be the new face of Wilkinson Sword) will be hoping to book a place in the first class lounge with Wilkinson and Toby Flood. England find themselves in a relatively easy RWC group, with potentially only Argentina or Scotland set to give them a hard time. Whereas, Wales have the likes of the Boks, Samoa and Fiji to look forward to….happy daze!

The other Northern Hemisphere clash this weekend will be the Scots hosting the Irish…well that one’s a no brainer really.

Mike Phillips gets a taste of late-night Cardiff.

Fights just ain’t what they used to be…

In the words of the late great King of Pop, ‘I’m a lover not a fighter’…..well, most of the time anyway.

I for one have heard the now famous quote “Football is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligans’ game played by gentlemen” bandied around my local drinking hole enough times to make a little sick come into my mouth. But as with many cliches, there’s a certain truth to it.

Most of the time rugby is a game of controlled aggression, played by men who could easily tear their opponents heads off if the mood struck them. But every once in a while that all goes to sh*t and the players decide to go all ‘wrestlemania’ on eachother’s asses – and I’ll be honest….I kind of dig it!

ESPECIALLY when some geezer has stayed-up way past his bedtime, compiling a highlights package and putting the Clash as the soundtrack.

Drink it in my friends…fights just ain’t what they used to be…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUzwdZYOsEU&feature=fvst]

Where are they now? (Part 3) – Michael ‘wild man’ Brial

If you don’t remember Michael Brial, your life is better off for it and you can go on with your life thinking all is well and good in the world. But if you do…it’s most likely as a result of the Aussie back row’s outrageous assault on Frank Bunce during the 1996 Bledisloe Cup match. The fact that the phrase ‘I’ll Brial you!’ has entered into common parlance says it all really – that his rugby playing career will be singularly remembered for an on-field act putting him proudly in the Rugby Hall of ball sacks.

What was so surprising about his actions that day was the seemingly unprovoked nature of them. It was like Brial suddenly decided that Bunce was the cause of all the world’s ills – so laid into him to teach him a lesson on behalf of all humanity. In Brial’s defence – his wild swings were about as effective as Col Gaddafi’s publicist, with Bunce looking about as troubled as a walrus on a sinking ship.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a51-vckZrIE]

What is particularly amusing about the whole debacle is seeing the Aussie pleading his innocence to the ref (who subsequently lets him off with a slap on the bum and a stern word of warning!), then running back to his team mates with his thumbs up and grinning like a hyena that’s just stumbled in to a chicken coop.

So where is the Wallaby ‘wild man’ now? It’s been surprisingly tricky to track him down, and though we may be lacking a few things here at Big Daddy HQ (journalistic integrity, acceptable levels of body hygiene?) perseverance in the line of duty is not one of them! It turns out he has put his fighting days behind him and swapped his togs for a suit and tie – moving into the world of corporate finance. He’s obviously doing quite well for himself too – getting out most weekends for a spot of line-fishing. Let’s hope Frank Bunce isn’t thinking of taking any swims anytime soon…

Who's your daddy - Brial that's who.

Like a kid in a candy store

Oh dear…our friend (and he really is one of Big Daddy’s favourites!) Gavin Henson has slipped under the radar a bit hasn’t he? Oh well…there’s no use crying over spilt fake tan, so chin up and chest out…as this old dog has few more tricks up his extra tight sleeve! The Gavster has been branching out from the ‘day job’ quite a bit recently. There was his appearance in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing last year – great for the ratings, but not so good for dance appreciators – with Gav displaying about as much grace and poise as Stephen Hawking on a half-pipe. This year he also took part in an Arctic survival show in which he had to go without a face mask for a full two weeks and in his words, ‘risked my life seven or maybe eight times’.

Your place or mine? (Gavin Henson set to appear in The Bachelor)

The good news for fans such as me is that Gav is now set to appear in the UK version of the hit US show The Bachelor – in which 25 models compete for the Welsh crumpet’s affections. This is a whole new ball game for Gav, who has been on the single scene for over a year now and is apparently looking forward to ‘getting to know the girls before taking them home’ for a change. It’s bound to be classy stuff!

I’m pretty darn sure he’s particularly looking forward to having a household of (let’s face it!) call girls to compare grooming techniques with. I can’t wait for the episode with the full back, sack and crack.

The future’s bright, the future’s orange…

Jonah Lomu – Where are they now? (Part 2)

When Jonah Lomu first made an appearance on the world rugby stage – they had to rebuild it with steel reinforced concrete – such was the size of the man. Some say that widescreen TV was invented just so that we could see more than his flexed bicep in one shot. There’s even a rumour that along with the Great Wall of China Jonah is the only ‘man made’ feature visible from space – in which case the astronauts on the Mir space station must have enjoyed watching him storm on to the scene in 1994, becoming the first truly worldwide rugby superstar.

He left an indelible mark on the 1995 World Cup, not to mention the one on Mike Catt’s face when he used it as a doormat on the way to scoring four tries in the semi-final against England. This might have led to England Captain Will Carling’s famous description of him as ‘a freak…and the sooner he goes away the better.’ His words – not mine.

Jonah gives Mike Catt a taste of his studs (Getty Images)

So where is the big man now? Well luckily there’s no whale big enough to swallow this Jonah and his disappearance is down to the fact that he retired from rugby in 2007 – though returned to the game to play for a French club in 2009. He’s even turned his hand to amateur bodybuilding, having won a competition in Wellington by eating his opponents whole and using their bones to pick his teeth. He is also set to play an ambassadorial role for the All Blacks in this year’s world cup. We can only assume this will involve being part of the welcoming committee for the England team. Jonah needs his boots cleaned.

Jonah shows off his new pair of budgie smugglers

Where are they now: Cabous van der Westhuizen.

Oh Cabous, Cabous, where art thou Cabous?! How could we forget (even if we wanted to) the flowing mane and Impala-like stride of the former Natal Sharks and Springbok speedster? Cabous played the game back in a time when it was still okay to ruck a man’s face and shake his hand after the match, a time when the word ‘flamboyant’ in SA rugby was defined by having all your own teeth or ordering a salad with the rack ‘o’ ribs at the local streak-ranch.

Cabous certainly stood out from the rest of the pack, even if that did mean looking like a Thundercat. No disrespect intended – the man could play rugby and the stats back that up. He holds the record as being the most capped player for the Sharks in his stint there between 1992 and 1998, as well as scoring the most tries in one season. Go you good thing!

So where the hell is he now? A recent survey revealed that 60% of people believe that he went on to establish a successful hair salon and brand of ‘wet look’ hair products. The remaining 40%  think he is soon to be making an appearance on the big screen in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie – as a rum smuggler with an eye for the ladies.

Nick Slaughter from Tropical Heat

It turns out Cabous has in fact relocated to the tropical isle of Mauritius, where, in addition to perfecting his all-over tan, he has opened and runs a popular beach bar. Oh yes, you read that right my friend – and I know what you’re thinking…..why does this sound so familiar? Maybe because we knew all along he would eventually become Nick Slaughter from Tropical Heat.

Cabous with 'lady friend'