The battle of the Celts

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.

George North....don't make him angry.

George North….don’t make him angry.

Big Daddy’s Essential ‘All You Can Eat’ Guide to the 6 Nations 2012

There was alot of testosterone in the room that day.


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