Six Nations – A Call to Arms

With another big Six Nations weekend on the horizon, I challenge you to read this poem and not feel motivated to cheer on your nation with that extra decibel of gusto.

When the battle scars have faded
And the truth becomes a lie
And the weekend smell of liniment
Could almost make you cry.

When the last ruck’s well behind you
And the man that ran now walks
It doesn’t matter who you are
The mirror sometimes talks

Have a good hard look old son!
The melon’s not that great
The snoz that takes a sharp turn sideways
Used to be dead straight

You’re an advert for arthritis
You’re a thoroughbred gone lame
Then you ask yourself the question
Why the hell you played the game?

Was there logic in the head knocks?
In the corks and in the cuts?
Did common sense get pushed aside?
By manliness and guts?

Do you sometimes sit and wonder
Why your time would often pass
In a tangled mess of bodies
With your head up someone’s arse?

With a thumb hooked up your nostril
Scratching gently on your brain
And an overgrown Neanderthal
Rejoicing in your pain!

Mate – you must recall the jersey
That was shredded into rags
Then the soothing sting of Dettol
On a back engraved with tags!

It’s almost worth admitting
Though with some degree of shame
That your wife was right in asking
Why the hell you played the game?

Why you’d always rock home legless
Like a cow on roller skates
After drinking at the clubhouse
With your low down drunken mates

Then you’d wake up – check your wallet
Not a solitary coin
Drink Berocca by the bucket
Throw an ice pack on your groin

Copping Sunday morning sermons
About boozers being losers
While you limped like Quazimoto
With a half a thousand bruises!

Yes – an urge to hug the porcelain
And curse sambucca’s name
Would always pose the question
Why the hell you played the game!

And yet with every wound re-opened
As you grimly reminisce it
Comes the most compelling feeling yet
God, you bloody miss it!

From the first time that you laced a boot
And tightened every stud
That virus known as ‘rugby’
Has been living in your blood

When you dreamt it; when you played it
All the rest took second fiddle
Now you’re standing on the sideline
But your heart’s still in the middle

And no matter where you travel
You can take it as expected
There will always be a breed of people
Hopelessly infected

If there’s a teammate, then you’ll find him
Like a gravitating force
With a common understanding
And a beer or three, of course

And as you stand there telling lies
Like it was yesterday old friend
You’ll know that if you had the chance
You’d do it all again

You see – that is the thing with rugby
It will always be the same
And that, I guarantee
Is why the hell you played the game!

Matt Hampson Auction March 2013

A message from Tori Chipp

I am running a BIG auction for The Matt Hampson Foundation in the lovely City of London (date provisionally Thursday March 21st) at the No 1 Sports Bar. There will be some amazing lots as well as some drinks and pro rugby players (new and old) attending. So where the help bit comes in, it would be amazing if you guys could spread the word with me. The event is going to be invite-only as I want rich people there who will spend a lot of money int he auction and donate on the night too.I am also looking for donations, it doesn’t have to be rugby associated, just auctionable, rugby based is obviously very cool with me though too. Any donation of this nature will result in an invite to the event so pop your thinking caps on and see what you can come up with.

Furthermore we will be needing some help designing the invites and a digital flyer for the event so anyone that can help with that side of things will be hot property and again will be invited to the event.
Should be a great event guys and I am already really looking forward to it please spread the word!

 

Please do drop me an email if you can help on rugbydiary@gmail.com

A fall in standards for Wales

 

By Jorden Marvelley

After a stellar performance at the World Cup and a successful 6 Nations campaign this year, I had high expectations for Wales at the start of this year’s autumn internationals. Not for the first time, I was however left sorely disappointed.

The first 20 was pretty much as I expected, with both sides somewhat cautious still trying to suss out how the opposition wanted to play the game. I should clarify before I begin that I don’t dislike Rhys Priestland at all however, I think it was a big mistake starting him as he has been less than impressive all season and it more than showed on Saturday afternoon. I’m obviously not the only one who was unsure of Priestland’s ability; the coaches couldn’t have made it any more obvious than when they gave the kicking duties to Halfpenny. The pace and tactics of the game did improve to degree with the arrival of Hook but Wales were still very much asleep and failed to capitalise on even the half chances.

At halftime the score was a fair depiction of how the first 40 had gone, with the battle of the boot making all the difference. It was quite possibly the only aspect of the game where we were firing on all cylinders. Even the players you expected to add a bit of style and class (Roberts, Halfpenny, North and Cuthbert) seemed lost amongst the crowd. Even when we were going forward we knocked on, dropped the ball or simply gifted it back to Argentina.

It really was truly frustrating. Part of me honestly thinks that Argentina weren’t even playing at their best, had they been, we would’ve had an absolute hammering. As it is I believe that Argentina just made the most of what was a tremendously scrappy, ill-disciplined and lacklustre performance by Wales and the best team won hands down.

I couldn’t even end this by saying that on the bright side there were some bright individual performances, Scott Williams showed glimpses as did Cuthbert but simply not enough for me to say any more than that. Going forward I’d like to see Hook starting at 10 and Biggar on the bench and just for a fiercer performance all round from the lads. We are a world-class team and noticeably we got beaten by a team ranked below us yesterday, if we continue to play like that, teams like New Zealand and Australia are going to make it look more like a cricket score.

What brings you here?

As you all know it has been a while since we graced your screens, mainly due to moving home, new jobs, no Internet etc. But we are well and truly back and in our absence it appears you guys have been Googling a lot of strange things to bring you to our page. We get a list of them and so I thought we should share with you some of our favourites. Directly copied and pasted from our list so beware of spelling errors etc but I had a real chuckle at them and hope you do too!

 

“Dan Cole rugby topless” (whatever floats your boat….)

“Chris Robshaw boxers/briefs”

“David Flatman pictures nakeds”

”Is Jamie Noon still playing” (of course)

”Dan Cole rugby sisters” ( I wouldn’t mess with them)

“David Flathands naked” (Edward Scissorhands nemesis?)

“Funny rugby retirement reasons” (are there any?)

“Alesana girlfriend” (seriously people do not mess!!)

“Danny Care hairy legs” ( has someone heard a rumour?)

“I love Jamie George Saracens”

“Jamie George fan club”

“Jamie George rugby fan blog” (I think we have a Jamie George fan following us!!)

“Leicester Tigers team Cher” (don’t remember this half time entertainment)

“Manu Tuilagi muscles”

“Professor Andy Forsyth” ( when did this happen?)

“Ritchie Gray flying squad” (See above!!!)

“How do I recruit new rugby players” (If you are having to ask google Jim Mallinder….)

“James Haskell the Body”

“Ben Pienaar penis” (Ok guys just wrong!)

“Chris Robshaw nude”

“Joe Marler Arsehole” (is he or do you want to see it, either way bad Google search)

“Is Chris Robshaw deaf”

“Tom Catterick holiday plans” (wanting to join him?)

“Rugby player q&a blonde or brunette”

“Is rugby about who you know not what you know”

“Is Benjamin Ryan from England sevens married”

“Why did Manu punch Ashton and not get in trouble” (hahahaha)

“nude rugby Rachel Scott” (who is she?)

“@debspeters chest pics #getthenorksoutdebs” (I know she will appreciate this won’t you Debs?)

 

One last note, I also saw a lot of your names on there been googling ourselves have we ;)…..

Duncan Bell, The past, present and future

As manyof you will already know Duncan Bell announced his decision to retire this week. However the real shock came when he openly talked about his depression and how it has affected him over the years. After a manic week Duncan Bell kindly took the time out to chat with The Rugby Diary about times gone by and everything that is yet to come!

The Interview

As the rugby world has recently learned, you are to retire at the end of this season. What has been your favourite memory of your playing career?

Well unfortunately for you, I must say it is without doubt when we played Leicester in a Heineken Cup quarter final game at the Walker Stadium. We were under the cosh for ages, and even down to 13 for last part of the game. We were there as underdogs and everything was going against us, but somehow we turned the game around and won and ended up in a European Cup semi-final game.

Continue reading

Transfer Update

Here is a quick round-up of whats been going on transfer wise this week The Photos are themed this week rather obviously can you spot the connection?

Bath

New Signings: Rob Webber, Dominic Day,

Contract Extensions: Ross Batty, Chris Cook

Exeter Rugby

New Signings:

Contract Extensions: Tom Hays, Simon Alcott, Jason Shoemark, Hoani Tui

 

Gloucester Rugby

New Signings: Billy Twelvetrees, Huia Edmonds, Ben Morgan

Contract Extensions: Rupert Harden, Peter Buxton, Freddie Burns, Akapusi Qera

Continue reading

Looking Back…. Rob Vickerman

This interview with Rob Vickerman was carried out briefly before he announced leaving Newcastle Falcons to join the England Sevens team full-time. Now we are approaching the halfway point of the IRB Sevens season The Rugby Diary thought it was a great time to revisit it.

A winner in every way......

Joining the core squad of Ben Ryan’s tenacious pack means that Vickerman will no longer be eligible to play at club level for this season at least.

However, it does mean that Rob’s Olympic ambitions may become a reality.

Seeing this opportunity as a perfect time for an interview, and a chance for Rob to get some last ditch revenge before taking off for his new sevens career, we caught up with Rob to get the real story of the switch.

Quick fire questions

Tori Chipp [TC]: Books or films?

 Rob Vickerman [RV]: Films about books, so I can pretend I’ve read it!

[TC]: Surf or ski?

 [RV]: Surf, bro. (Thanks Rob more people will think im a man now!)

 [TC]: Night in or night out?

[RV]: Known as the Olympic Flame – never go out.

[TC]: North or South?

[RV]: T’North.

[TC]: Blonde or brunette?

[RV]: Blonde.

[TC]: Cook or be cooked for?

[RV]: Cooked for every night by a working mother of three – oh no wait, that’s Tom Catterick!

[TC]: Boxers or briefs?

[RV]: Calvin Klein all the way.

 

The interview

[TC]: Now, the time to spill the beans on your previous teammates….Who has the best and worst banter at the Falcons? And you can’t give yourself the best award before you even try it!

 [RV]: I always enjoy a Matt Thompson ‘topper’ story. If you’ve got a black cat, he’s got a panther. Failing that, Daz Fearn has got good chat, and a shit tat. Tim Swinson is improving with some good lines – just about 20 minutes late.

[TC]: Putting on your Trinny and Susannah style cap, who were the best and worst dressed?

[RV]: It’s fair to say Tom Catterick encapsulates the best of both. I bet Marty McFly, in 1985, didn’t think he’d be so on trend in 2011. Unfortunately, Tom Catterick styles himself on Cher Lloyd!

[TC]: Some may say style comes with ease, others really, really have to try. Who was the biggest tart in the Falcons team? We have all seen Geordie Shore, but someone has to stand out?

[RV]: Chris Pilgrim without a doubt. Some boys had to be restrained when he dressed up as a bird at the end of season do.

[TC]: Not sure this is an award that many would admit to wanting, but who was the biggest LAD at Falcons?

 [RV]: Daz ‘Ultimate Lad’ Fearn.

[TC]: Who is the best roommate we know, forwards are usually the worst?

[RV]: It’s going to have to be Tim Swinson – he even brings his Butler.

[TC]: Who goes craziest on the town, usually ending up in trouble? We all know at least one friend who can do the impossible on a night out?

[RV]: Luke Eves is pretty loose. Especially if his dad isn’t out.

[TC]: Can you tell us the funniest story from a team social that you know about happening at Falcons?

[RV]: On our end of season do last year we were all in teams of 5. One of the rules was there must be a ‘team steal.’ This usually means that someone in the team ‘borrows’ an ashtray or perhaps a glass from a bar. (Obviously it will be replaced).

Over the years some teams have done well, capturing a pub sign, brought along a local perhaps, but this year the records were re-written. As we sat in our last pub we had forgotten to acquire any item, so when we all looked around the room we all saw the same thing as our heads then turned back. The Piano! We sat for 15 minutes coming up with a plan, how to distract the staff, the exit route and then how to get it to the next pub. Needless to say, the plan was executed perfectly, until the landlord at the next pub had a phone in his hand saying it was the owner of the last pub, who had called the police. The piano found its way back pretty quickly.

 

[TC]: Love it, shame you couldn’t get a local in the piano; that would have been genius! Now this is a really important question and all the lads probably think they are going to win it, but who is the biggest ladies man at Falcons?

[RV]: Well, judging by our Gypsy Wedding outfits at the fancy dress, I’d have to say Chris Pilgrim was the biggest lady man.

[TC]: There have been a few interviews recently with your old Falcon’s boys. Would you like to hand out any extra awards to your teammates?

[RV]: Of course:

Media whore: Chris Pilgrim

Biggest rater: Luke Fielden

 [TC]: Now for some questions about yourself… I hear you are known in some circles as the “nause of the North.” Can you explain this and do you have any other nicknames?

[RV]: Owing to my nausiing nature, and name, I tend to be affectionately known as Vickernause. It’s a fair shout.

[TC]: You’ve had some great times with the England Sevens team. If the opportunity arose would you ever swap Premiership rugby for sevens full time?

 [RV]: If only that could happen…

 [TC]: Just call me mystic Meg. So Mr Vickerman, all the ladies need to know, well want to know, are you single or taken? My cousin actually was the one who prompted this question! (Sarah)

 [RV]: First time I have been asked since, but happily married!

 [TC]: It’ll never last…only kidding, sorry Sarah. So coming from Leeds originally, how did you find life further north, we hear you have a lot of travelling support?

[RV]: Newcastle was fun, I loved the city and the people and the clichés accepted there. My family do love to watch a bit of rugby – so on Christmas Eve there were around 20 of them at the game, and out that night.

 [TC]: That must have been nice! Falcons came very close to relegation last season, too close. Do you think they will be able to combat that this season?

 [RV]: I hope so. I’ll avoid further clichés and watch with interest in the coming months.

[TC]: Who are the players you look up to in rugby today?

[RV]: Most of them, I’m only 5’11″!!

 [TC]: ONLY?! Try being 5’2”!!

 [TC]: Where is your favourite ground to play in the world?

[RV]: I did enjoy most of the sevens stadiums we played in last time I featured in 2009, but the top one has to be the Cake Tin, Westpac Stadium in Wellington. The atmosphere was immense!

[TC]: Well thanks Rob for taking the time out to do the interview and giving your old teammates a good hammering. Good luck with the Sevens!

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