The beard is mightier than the sword

Hashim Amla’s outstanding performance in the recent SA v Eng Test cricket series got me thinking…is it all down to the beard?!

The association between hair and brute strength is nothing new (take Samson for instance), so would it be too far-fetched to assume that a beard gives an athlete an extra edge?

Let’s apply this scientifically-backed theory to the world of rugby by rating a few of the more distinctive soup-strainers out there:

Josh Strauss (SA)

 

 
Believe it or not: 
Some say he fertilises his facial hair with mixture of coffee grounds and chewed tobacco.

 BDR rating: 8/10 – Good solid growth with excellent shape and body, but we’ve seen better…

 

Adam Kleeburger (Canada)

 


Believe it or not:
Rumour has it that he was raised by a pack of huskies in the Canadian wilds.

BDR rating: 7/10 – Great coverage with some interesting hues, also a vast improvement over his previous ‘boy-band’ look.

 

Sebastien Chabal (Fra)

 


Believe it or not:
Apparently he can make a woman pregnant just by looking at her.

BDR rating: 9/10 – A solid contender and ranked highly based on its animal magnetism alone.

 

 Jason Eaton (NZ)

 


Believe it or not:
An Auckland newspaper once reported that an albatross nested in his face-rug for a whole week before he even noticed and had to call-out the RSPCA.

BDR rating: 9/10 – Just look at it for Christ’s sake! It’s practically a fully functioning eco-system.

Player Profile: Joshua Strauss

Joshua was discovered by a Lions scout whilst performing with his electro-folk band “Steak Machines” at an open mic night somewhere in Randburg back in 2009.

Rumour has it that it was the intensity of his performance coupled with the ruggedness of his look that convinced the scout to sign him right then and there on the spot.

Being a sensitive artistic soul with a preference for whispering lyrics about lost faith, Josh was put through a demanding conditioning program in an attempt to bring out his mongrel side, the side of him the Lions believed could make an impact for them at Super Rugby level.

The exact details of this conditioning program are sketchy at best, and with the Lions management refusing to comment it’s probably best to look to Steak Machines’ second album, “Apocalypse Strauss” for a small idea of what Josh had to go through to become the trojan we see on the field today.

Here’s the opening verse from the first single “Pissing in the Jukskei”…

The look of death in my eye
Surely no-one will survive
Just a pile of mush
Left to dry in the sun

As is the case with much of Steak Machines music this verse is very much open to interpretation (a popular theory swirling around the net is that it was written before the Lions v Bulls derby earlier this season) , but regardless of how you read into it I think it’s fair to say that Steak Machines have a long and fruitfull career ahead of themselves.

Go Josh, Go…

Josh - pleading for forgiveness