RUGBY Union has never been a sport I particularly warmed to, mainly because I found it too stop-start and couldn’t fathomed out its rules.
It also has a quirky side to it. Take the decision of Saracens to toss a coin to decide whether Richard Wigglesworth or Neil de Kock would start at scrum-half for last Saturday’s Premiership final against Leicester.
The two players have played in rotation all season and Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall told BBC Three Counties Radio before the game: “We made a very deliberate decision that we wouldn’t change anything for semi-final or final. In both those games there’s been the toss of a coin.”
For the final Wigglesworth won and played for 50 minutes before being replaced by de Kock in Saracens’ 22-18 win.
Somehow I can’t imagine football’s Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho tossing a coin to decide who plays in a Champions League final.
The football season is now over but one old face from the past is still making headlines.
A bankruptcy petition against former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been dismissed at the High Court.
The 43-year-old owes more than £30,000 to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). At a hearing an agreement was reached to restructure the debt and pay it off over time.
This for a man who at the peak of his career was reputed to be worth £14million. Where did it all go wrong Gazza?
A much more sensible approach to the game has come from Martin Allen, the manager of League Two side Notts County.
Allen, who has a reputation as a tough disciplinarian, says he will be taking a dustpan, brush andblack bin bag to every away game and the players will clean their dressing-room before returning to Nottingham.
He said he was inspired by spending a week at Premier League Blackpool earlier this season before he was appointed to the Notts County job.
“They all wash their own kit, a bloke brings out a big pot of porridge for all of them in the mornings and pasta after training. He heats up the sauce in a microwave and all the players help themselves,” he told the BBC.
“I have started to do similar things here at Notts. Players sat with our fans at games when they were not playing at the end of last season and the players have to fold their kit the right way after training and not just leave it in a heap on the floor.
“I have changed the food menu because a lot was going to waste, which turned my stomach, and we will leave away dressing-rooms exactly how we find them.
“We will take a broom, bin bags and a dustpan to clean up after ourselves.”
Can’t imagine Lionel Messi doing that. But there again when you play as superbly as he did in Saturday’s Champions League final win over Manchester United, you deserves to be waited on hand and foot.
It was rather revealing to see the best Premier League side by a mile out-thought and outclassed by the Spanish supremos.
It was also interesting to note that the majority of the Barcelona side are Spanish whilst United’s starting 11 had only three Englishmen and one Welshman.
Wonder if the Premier League ‘suits’ are taking note?
They say a good workman should never blame his tools but listen to golfer Ian Poulter talking after finishing with a double bogey for a level par on the redesigned West Course at Wentworth in the PGA Championship.
“I don’t like this golf course. Period. End of story. It’s a very difficult golf course, especially now it’s been redesigned. It’s not fun.” Oh dear.