So the big chill has finally descended on Europe (I am literally typing this while wearing a pair of gloves!)….and just when we thought we were going to get away with the mildest winter since the Jurassic period. This coupled with the post-Xmas blues has meant the only thing stopping half-frozen commuters from ending it all by hurtling themselves on to the railway-tracks (only to find that their train has been delayed by half an hour…awkward) has been a morbid fascination to see how the Eurozone debt crisis turns out.
The good news for us Northern Hemisphere folk is that there will be a reason to get out of bed this weekend (unless you have a TV in the bedroom, in which case you won’t have to move at all), as International Rugby is back on the menu with the start of the 6 Nations tournament! Yeeehaw….
And just so you can enjoy it all the more, here’s Big Daddy’s essential guide:
Coach: Stuart Lancaster – no pressure Stu, the RFU is right behind you…literally, so watch your back.
Captain: Chris Robshaw – has more syllables in his name than caps…experience isn’t everything, is it?
Man to watch: David Strettle – the Premiership’s in-form winger.
Strapline: A young, inexperienced side with a lot to prove but not much to live up to.
If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Policy of Truth or Condemnation (depending on how much the tabloids find out)
Team motto: ‘No news is good news’.
BDR’s Prediction: 4th
Coach: Philippe Saint-Andre, also known as ‘The Pig’…apparently.
Captain: Thierry Dusautoir – IRB player of the year.
Man to watch: Imanol Harinordoquy – you can’t pronounce his name and he hates you for it. A tour de force.
Strapline: The team to beat…if they decide to play.
If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Sometimes or A Question of Lust (depending on what mood they’re in)
Team motto: ‘Give it to Thierry’.
BDR’s Prediction: 1st
Coach: Declan Kidney – softly spoken number-cruncher.
Captain: Paul O’Connell – in the absence of injured golden-boy Brian O’Driscoll.
Man to watch: Stephen Ferris – a potato man-mountain with speed.
Strapline: Not as good as their provincial teams.
If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Never Let Me Down Again
Team motto: ‘Age before beauty.’
BDR’s Prediction: 3rd
Coach: Jacques Brunel – a Frenchman, a turncoat…a part-time amateur film-maker?!
Captain: Sergio Parisse – if they could clone him to make a whole team, they would.
Man to watch: Martin Castrogiovanni – powerful name, powerful man.
Strapline: The whipping-boys
If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Dream On
Team motto: ‘Rome was not built in a day…or even 10 years’
BDR’s Prediction: 6th – at best.
Coach: Andy Robinson – lost his hair even before he started coaching Scotland.
Captain: Ross Ford – who?!…he’s replacing Kelly Brown…oh…wait… who?!
Man to watch: John Barclay – best flanker in the tournament, depending on who you’re talking to and if they’re Scottish.
Strapline: If only they could score a try they might win something.
If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Everything Counts
Team motto: ‘The end justifies the means’.
BDR’s Prediction: 5th
Coach: Warren Gatland – Wales’ adopted son.
Captain: Sam Warburton – one of the players of the World Cup…when he stays on the field.
Man to watch: George North – “It’s alive!”…and it’s as fast as a friggin freight-train.
Strapline: Best of the Home Nations…could win it if they have belief.
If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: A Question of Time or Agent Orange (if Gavin Henson is in the squad)
Team motto: ‘Boys will be boys’.
BDR’s Prediction: 2nd