Thank you Brian O’Driscoll. We will miss you. Probably the best way a legend can leave the game.
If you thought the big-screen version of Victor Hugo’s famous novel was the must-see tear jerker event of the year…think again!
A tragedy of a much grander scale is likely to unfold this weekend if Les Bleus fail to beat Ireland in their 6 Nations encounter, leaving them just one step closer to the infamous wooden spoon and the prospect of facing all-out revolution when they return to home soil.
With the singing at this weekend’s match expected to be of only a slightly poorer quality than in the film (with the exception of Russell Crowe…in which case it will be exponentially better), the dramatic tension is likely to be far greater with the French team knowing their necks are literally on the line. Guillotines are being sharpened around Paris at this very moment.
It will take something pretty exceptional for Les ‘Miserables’ Bleus to save themselves from certain death at the hands of an angry French mob – like winning for instance, and if not that, then at the very least trans-mutating into fire-breathing parrots and flying-off into the sunset squawking a version of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.
They do like a good show-tune those Frenchies!
On a cheerier note, in their match against Wales this weekend, the Scots will be looking to get their first hat-trick of victories since the dawn of time – or the inception of the 6 Nations tournament to be a bit more precise.
Just goes to show you can’t predict anything when it comes to sport.
I just wish the same could be said for Hollywood.
There was once a time (let’s call this period BC for reasons that will become clear later) when rugby players thought long hair was for girls. And possibly ponies, especially girl ponies.
Then this happened…
Yes…Cabous van der Westhuizen.
Remember him? Big Daddy Rugby does and publicised his current whereabouts here.
Looking like he’d just stepped out of a shower that was in fact a galactic wormhole that led straight to a Led Zeppelin roadie piss-up, Cabous burst onto the SA rugby scene in the early 90’s, making the ‘wet-look’ his trademark.
Before Cabous (otherwise known as BC), rugby players all looked pretty much the same…a bit like cauliflowers really.
Cabous made it okay for players to step out of the John Frieda closet and express themselves in ways other than grunting and eye-gouging. In a similar vein, some players took even greater strides, going on to experiment with two-tone colour highlights and new-wave perm techniques.
Remember Percy Montgomery? That’s him on the left…(or is it the right!?)
In more recent years there’s been an attempt by some players to reclaim the uber-masculine image that rugby once had This can be seen by the number of beards on display in the modern game. Big Daddy highlighted 5 of the best in this post.
However, as with most things in life…the balance must be restored. For this very reason, the RBS 6 Nations is taking a break this weekend. Big sponsors realise that in the age of HD TV players need to look their best.
No one wants to see this kind of shit in HD…
So the players are getting a much needed rest weekend. Time for that trip to the spa to treat those split-ends, thread-veins and whatever else is required in order to look this bloody good…
And finally, for our more high-brow readers out there, here’s one of the many, many portraits that has attempted to capture the pure, innocent beauty of French player Dimitri Szarzewski in all his glory…. Enjoy.
Everybody knows the Irish like nothing more than beating the English, which is exactly what they’ll be hoping to do this Sunday.
It doesn’t matter how, when, at what, or with what….as long as a pasty English backside is at the receiving end of a good old whipping – Irish eyes will be smiling.
The only thing is…their a bit rubbish at it.
Ireland have only won 46 of the 126 rugby matches played against the poms. Fact.
Though that really isn’t all that bad when you consider the following:
- England has roughly 2.5 million registered rugby players. Ireland has 150,000 (2011 figures)
- The least a top-flight English professional player can expect to make in a year is 152,000 Euros. In Ireland its 85,000.
- Ireland is ranked 4th in the world rankings for most beer consumed per person (104 litres pp per year – 2010)
Okay…I know that last one is not all that relevant, but you’ve got to wonder where they get the time to do anything other than imbibing the black stuff.
But all of this is besides the point.
If the Irish were to beat the English all the time, then the odd victory here and there wouldn’t have quite the same drama, the same David vs Goliath tension.
AND…there just wouldn’t be that same great feeling you get when Daniel-san ‘crane kicks’ the shit out of Johnny at the end of Karate Kid!
Not many people know this about the former French captain Thierry Dusautoir, but he was raised by bears.
This hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the greatest flankers the game has ever seen, but it has meant a challenging journey of self-discovery in which he has had to forego his previous life to adopt the confined existence of human society.
In the early stages of his rugby career, Dusautoir refused to wear clothes and instead of releasing after the tackle, he would rip all his opponents limbs off and then proceed to eat their liver. At times washed down with a nice Chianti. His interpretation of a maul was also at times…suspect.
As you can imagine, he spent more time in the sin-bin than on the playing field, but with support from his bear family (in particular his Uncle Joe – see pic below) and the encouragement of his trainer – he overcame his primal urges to produce some truly great rugby and become IRB Player of the Year in 2011.
Now back from injury, he returns to the team in today’s 6 Nations clash against Italy, in which France will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their shock defeat two years ago – and you can bet Dusautoir will be pawing the ground in anticipation.
The 6 Nations tournament kicks-off today with a mouth-watering encounter between two Celtic nations who have really upped their game in recent years.
Since winning the grand slam last year, it’s fair to say Wales have not had a great run….in fact, it’s been more like a chain-smoker struggling to climb a flight of stairs weighed down by having an entire nation’s hopes and dreams on their back.
Ireland have also underwhelmed of late, but they have O’Driscoll back (could it be his last?!) to bolster their hopes of their first title since 2009.
Ireland are a good team so could give the Welsh a run for their money…but they’ll have the hulk that is George North to contend with first.