Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Trio Of "Old" Boys

Mr Farrell's training is coming along nicely, apparently. He's been in full contact sessions with his team mates as well as hitting the tackle bags. But the boss Alan Gaffney says he won't be ready until the Brisol game on 10th September. Pity, I was looking forward to seeing him run out at Twickenham in a week's time. Oh well. Hilly's also making great progress, and might be back on the park by the end of October.

Also, the coaching changes at HQ may possibly tempt Jason Billy Whizz Robinson out of international retirement. He's certainly been flying for Sale at the end of last season. And if he stays in-form this year, who knows?

Here's a picture of Jason the day after he announced his international retirement last autumn, playing for Sale against Sarries.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Rob Gets The Job

Newcastle supremo Rob Andrew has landed the job of RFU Elite Director of Rugby, announced today. And good on him. He beat off Sir Clive for the post, and I think he has the universal respect amongst the Premiership Clubs' head honchos, and at HQ. Hopefully, he will be able to build some bridges which have been pretty battered of late, and sort out the whole club vs country battleground, once and for all.

I don't have any pictures of Mr Andrew himself, but here's one of his team Newcastle, when they visited Saracens in December 2004 for a Powergen Cup match. Jonny Wilkinson emerges from underneath a heap of bodies, including the sizeable figure of Saracens' Hooker Matt Cairns.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Two For The Price Of One

The season is almost upon us again, and that means two things - the Middlesex Sevens tournament at Twickenham and Streakers!! Yep, apart from a great day of sevens rugby, we got two streakers on the pitch.

So good value for money! Of course, modesty prevented me from taking pictures when the gents were running the other way... but what I want to know is, how come the security folk left it to the most petit WOMAN on duty to go and round them up?? LOL. But you had to admire their determination, it was pretty cold and windy and not really the sort of day you wanted to be cavorting around in the buff.

You can see more serious pictures of the rugby at, and there are some extras in my Flickr account.

Now then, a fortnight's countdown until I'm back at Twickenham for the London Double Header - Wasps v Saracens and Quins v Irish. Good stuff.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Roll Out The Farrell (Again)

Andy Robinson has named his Elite Player Squad for the 2006/07 season, and Sarries' Andy Farrell is once again on the list. Let's hope he's fit enough this year to actually get a run out on the park! Farrell apparently has an aura about him, akin to Martin Johnson. Perhaps a bit early in his Union career to be making such statements, but I would dearly love him to make a difference to the England team this year. God knows we need a boost somehow.

Similarly, Jonny Wilkinson returns to the White Jersey Brigade after his injury battles. I have seen him play for Newcastle and The Lions, but never managed to catch him playing for England. Fingers crossed.

Also, the usual close-season merry-go-round has finally stopped and we can now see who's sitting where (and who's got no chair when the music stops).

Jonny WilkinsonHere's a picture of Jonny lining up a penalty for the Lions vs Argentina game last year in Cardiff.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Guilty As Charged

Freebie paper Metro ran an interesting little piece today, about the "guilty secret" tracks we have stashed on our iPods, which we dare not admit to liking but can't help having buried in an obsure playlist:

  1. Livin' Thing - ELO
  2. More Than A Feeling - Boston
  3. Don't Stop Movin' - S Club 7
  4. I'm Not In Love - 10CC
  5. Rock 'n' Roll Part 2 - Gary Glitter
  6. Cold As Ice - Foreigner
  7. Rebel Yell - Billy Idol
  8. Whatever You Want - Status Quo
  9. Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty
  10. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
  11. Since You've Been Gone - Rainbow
  12. Centrefold - J Geils Band
  13. Summer Of '69 - Bryan Adams
  14. Never Ever - All Saints
  15. Mr Boombastic - Shaggy
  16. Owner Of A Lonely Heart - Yes
  17. Manic Monday - Bangles
  18. Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds
  19. Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
  20. Rock On - David Essex
  21. How Tou Remind Me - Nickelback
  22. Mandy - Barry Manilow
  23. If You Leave Me Now - Chicago
  24. Walking In Memphis - Mark Cohn
  25. Life Is A Rollercoaster - Ronan Keating
  26. Can You Dig It? - Mock Turtles
  27. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
  28. Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant
  29. Chant No 1 - Spandau Ballet
  30. Boogie Nights - Heatwave

I was quite alarmed to learn that, of these top 30 (compiled by Q magazine), I actually have 8 on my mp3 player. Yikes! I'm not telling which, though. And thankfully, some of the naffest (#3, #5, #20 #22) are not on my playlists! ;-)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Scrum In The Dark

Last August, O2, sponsors of England Rugby, held the Scrum In The Park (you can see my photos here) event where the public could see the squad train and all sorts of other exciting stuff.

This morning, it occurred to me that we haven't heard about a similar event for 2006, which is a great shame. Despite torrential showers last time, the crowd seemed to enjoy themselves and it was great to meet some of the players afterwards. Danny Grewcock signed my shirt for me - and I was still wearing it :-D

There is an email address given on their website, so I thought I would ask if there are any plans for this year. A few minutes after sending it, I got a bounce - no such address as Oh well.

Here's Danny after last year's training session, looking a little sweaty. No comment.