WITH British (and Irish) Lions coach Ian McGeechan publicly announcing that his team needs to ‘get everything right’ on next year’s South Africa tour, we felt that he needed to get more specific. Here is a set of rules to be studied by every Lions player before taking the field as, let’s face it, they’re not going to work it out for themselves.
1.) You will be wearing RED jerseys, therefore only pass to players wearing RED. England’s players should be able to get this. Just do what you do every time you play Wales.
2.) A Springbok is not a cute little antelope. It is a vicious animal capable of ripping holes in your defence. Treat with caution, and don’t let feeble youngster Danny Cipriani near one unsupervised.
3.) The Natal Sharks have a midget riding a tiny fire engine as a mascot. Don’t laugh at him. He’s a hard little bastard and could probably take out half the squad with one hand tied behind his back.
4.) If any South Africans start giving it large about being the world’s greatest rugby nation, don’t mention the national embarrassment that is their rugby league team.
5.) You don’t need to win every game. Just try and win one. Please.
The best of British (and Irish) to you all. You’ll need it.
• ANOTHER one bites the dust. It’s goodbye to Josh Lewsey, the second-to-last survivor from England’s World Cup win, as the Wasps man called time on his international career.
The image of him stomping all over the French back line in the 2007 World Cup semi will remain forever in our hearts and minds as well as in the nightmares of France’s Damien Traille, who lost Lewsey for the crucial opening try.
Phil Vickery now remains the only surviving World Cup winner at a time when the bulldog spirit of 2003 is needed more than ever.
Judging by England’s current form, drastic measures could be needed. Is it really too late for a mass comeback?
Jason Leonard’s still only 40, after all. And if Matt Dawson doesn’t stop doing ‘A Question of Sport’ and come back to the international fold we’re going to invade the studio and batter him live on air.
It should bring in the ratings if nothing else.
• UNRESOLVED contract issues mean Wasps risk no less than nine contract rebels buzzing off before the start of the new season, and the club is in no mood to back down.
Danny Cipriani, James Haskell and Tom Rees are among the list of players who have been given a stern warning to ‘beehive’ themselves and accept the terms of their new contracts. The mood in camp is said to be explosive, with some of the senior players seriously considering winding down their careers in the Italian league.
Swatting aside fan criticism, new chairman Steve Hayes is sticking to his guns. It remains to bee seen if this will come back to sting him.