HEARING that Martin Johnson was arranging a press conference to explain his decision to stick with the lumpen Steve Borthwick as England captain , we felt it was appropriate to send a translator to try and make sense of the reasoning behind this decision.
“Look at the work-rate statistics after a game and Steve is always up there.” Translation: ‘He’s got all the skill and positional sense of a steamed parsnip but he tries his best.’
“Captains cannot stop other individuals making bad decisions.” Translation: ‘He’s the best of an absolutely abysmal bunch.’
“A lot of captaincy is done off the field.” Translation: ‘His best position is off the field.’
“I think the referees respect Steve.” Translation: ‘He’s a 6’6 doormat who couldn’t even intimidate a spindly, balding match official. I don’t really think this is a good thing, but I’m clutching at straws.’
Borthwick managed to blindly lead his team into the train-wreck of a series against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand with all the tactical acumen of a pissed-up street brawler – leading to three losses.
If this goes on it’s not going to be long before Johnno gets the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ from the authorities – and he won’t need our help to translate what that means.
• IT’S HARD to believe that it’s only a few weeks since Ricky Stuart was settled comfortably at the helm of his all-conquering Kangaroos team, smiling smugly as they tore apart one defence after another.
One World Cup final and a turbulent couple of weeks later, Stuart has found himself out of a job and with his professional reputation as tattered as his team’s back line was against New Zealand. Stuart did nothing to refute Australia’s reputation for being the worst losers in world sport when he spotted referee Ashley Klein at his hotel and stormed over, yelling that he was a “fucking cheat”.
Stung by the $20,000 fine handed to him as a result, Stuart has fallen on his sword and left the Roos, who are now looking for another cocky, condescending tosser to fill his place.
Somehow you get the feeling they will be spoilt for choice.
• NO PRESSURE, Celtic Crusaders. Not only will the Super League new boys be up against defending champions Leeds Rhinos in their first match, they’re going to have to put up with live TV coverage for the game, and also the one after.
The pressure seems to have got to Ben Vaeau (remember the name – it’s good for getting rid of all your vowels in Scrabble) who mysteriously pulled out of a transfer to the Bridgend club for ‘family reasons’.
“There is a place now open in our squad and it will be filled by a quality player.” confirmed coach John Dixon.
Good, it’s about time you got one.