BREAKING: Wasps to move Coventry to Belize
In a statement, the club said, "We said last week that we were keen to find an exciting new home for Derek Richardson's money, oh and the club of course. Coventry was a decent start, but after looking into it in more detail it seems clear that it is in the wider best interests that we move the city of Coventry to Belize"
"This decision has not been taken lightly, it has been a very thorough and detailed process and we truly believe this is the best option to secure a successful long-term future for Derek's money. Oh, and the club as well"
"Our first priority now is to patronise the people of Coventry and anyone else who deosn't agree with us"
Club captain, James Haskell, said "as a lifelong fan, I think it's best I regurgitate whatever company line I'm given"
Coventry resident, Eileen Bobblehat, said, "How can a load of insects moving in lead to this? What? They're a rugby club? In Coventry? That'll never work"
Win! Allianz Rugby Speaker of the Year 2014 tickets. Go on!
Who’s got the funniest rugby story?
Three rugby icons are going head to head for the coveted title of Allianz Rugby Speaker of the Year 2014 at a prestigious event to be held in the City of London and you have a chance to be there…
Blood and Mud has two tickets up for grabs for what is sure to be one of the most entertaining occasions in the rugby calendar.
The previous title holder Martin Bayfield will host the lunch and compere the contenders - Austin Healey, Ben Kay and Doddie Weir. This year’s Allianz Rugby Speaker of the Year is at The Brewery, in London, on Friday November 7th and special guest, rugby legend Sean Fitzpatrick, will give his thoughts on the England versus New Zealand game that takes place the following day.
Let the word go forth from here; Wasps' move is a disgrace
What is a rugby club? Many will have their view, but a rugby club more than anything else is its community: the fans that turn up to cheer, cry and curse; the generations of support that means you are born a fan whether you like it or not; where the club comes from and who the club represents. The proposed move of Wasps to Coventry is a disgrace because it rips all of this asunder.
List any club and you can identify immediately what about it makes it special; Gloucester and their fanatical Shed dwellers, Harlequins with their gin & tonics, Newcastle and the small but stoic band of devotees - the list goes on.
Wasps are a West London club. For so long they lived just off the A40, wedged between the not so glamourous Acton, Perivale, Harlesden and Greenford. Sure they moved to High Wycombe, but it was still westish of London, a short drive for their fans and most importantly still close to its community. Coventry is no doubt a place of many positives but being close to West London is not one of them.
Many will draw the comparison between this move and the relocation of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes to become MK Dons. The PR and money wonks will point out that MK Dons are a thriving football cub with gates on the up and a growing base and roots in their new location. Proper human beings with souls will find it notable that no former Wimbledon fans want any part of it and have instead built a new club for their community in the form of AFC Wimbledon.
The Wasps club statement this week said "Our priority now is to work with our fans on what this will mean for them." I'll save them the trouble, what is means for fans is the team is pissing off nearly 100 miles away and they can like it or lump it.
The statement also said "we truly believe this is the best option to secure a successful long-term future for the Club". They are wrong.
Wasps will no doubt build a decent club in Coventry, there are plently of fans in the West Midlands who wish to see top-class rugby and enough savvy in their company offices to make it successful. But let's not pretend that the club they produce will actually be Wasps. It may still have the same name, badge and squad , but like Wimbledon FC, the club will be long gone. Unlike Wimbledon FC the people behind this move do not even have the decency or respect to change the name.
SHIT/GOOD™ Ratings: Aviva Premiership, Round 3
Premiership Defences - The scorelines so far are completely batshit, with an average of 5.5 tries per game. Those in charge of the league will no doubt say that this is a sign of attacking verve finally coming to fruition and "here you can buy rugby tickets". This attack based explanation is partially true of course, but the defending from many teams has far too often been like a 17 year old trying to take off a girlfriend's bra: disorganised, disjointed and lacking in basic individual skills.
London Welsh - On this evidence they should've signed even more players.
Chris Robshaw - Quins could only have been worse than last week if they either played drunk, in Michelin Man suits, or drunk AND in Michelin Man suits. But they turned it around competely, and no-one summed of the "stop cocking about and show them what you're made of" performance than the England open-side.
David Wilson - The Bath prop spends most of his time in games looking like Bagpuss after a particularly long and energy sapping yawn, but at the weekend he almost single-handedly destroyed the much vaunted Leicester pack, laying the platform for the arse-handing the Tigers received. And oh how we laughed and laughed, then had a little break, then laughed and laughed again. Those looking to get tickets for all England rugby games will hope he can do the same to international packs.
On the retirement of James Simpson-Daniel
Watch the Sinbad magic from the 1 minute mark
Bobby Robson, the great gentlemen of English football, was once asked for a comment about Ian Rush, the great Wales striker in the 1980s. His response was, "I wish he was English", which told you everything about how highly he rated the Liverpool man.
This is how it should be, often fans look from afar at players of other nationalities and think, "if only he was one of ours".
However, this blog often wished that James Simpson-Daniel wasn't English, because as a rugby fan first I wanted to see him play at the highest level. Had he been from any other nation in Europe he would've had a sackful of caps and his premature retirement would be greeted with reverence, rather than the the "what could have been" tone of much of the coverage.
SHIT/GOOD™ Aviva Premiership Preview
The season is upon us. The computer has put down its Pina Colada, applied aftersun generously and quickly deleted from Facebook that girl it met in Malia who now won't stop asking for "a meet up, somewhere halfway". To business.
Key to ratings: GOOD = better performance than last year. SHIT = worse than last year, or Haskell in the team.
Bath - Much talk is about Sam Burgess, and this blog has been very clear about the impact we think the big man will have, but it's ironically the smallest man in the squad who holds the key. George Ford was like a hybrid of Fred Astaire, Meadowlark Lemon and, er, Owen Farrell for most of last year, then he went all questionable big match temperament when it mattered near the end. If he can sort that, it should be a solid 4th and a shot at the title. GOOD
Exeter Chiefs - Chiefs fans must get very, very irritated with the borderline condescending coverage that they get from the media. It's all, "spirit" and "plucky" and all that when they are actually a decent rugby team that has put in better performances than many more feted sides for a few years. That said, they'll be solid only this year and proabably show some spirit and pluck at times before finshing roughly where they ended up last time out. SHIT
Brian Moore's Straight Insertion Consultancy Services
Ford tips Burgess for back-row switch
Bath head coach Mike Ford has tipped Sam Burgess to end up as a back-row forward when he makes the switch to rugby union, despite England bosses feeling the 25-year old is set for a career at centre. Burgess will switch from rugby league to union in October, making the move to the Aviva Premiership with Bath after spending four years in the NRL with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Bath will start the season at around 8/1 with Betfair, but there are some who believe the signing of Burgess has put the club right in the title mix this year.
Bath and Wigan - a match made in heaven?
by Tom Roberts
On the face of it there are few similarities between the city of Bath in the South West of England and the Greater Manchester town of Wigan 200 miles north. Bath, famed for its Georgian architecture and hot springs, and Wigan, a gritty working-class town made famous by George Orwell, may appear to share little in common but their shared love of Rugby Union and Rugby League respectively has seen an unlikely bond form.
With Bath preparing for the start of the new Aviva Premiership season and Wigan enjoying a week off as Castleford and Leeds contested the Rugby League challenge cup final the two clubs came together for a joint training camp earlier this week. Feedback from both camps was positive and the two coaches, Mike Ford (Bath) and Shaun Wane (Wigan), former teammates at Wigan, have both shown an interest in extending the relationship. With the rivalry between Rugby Union and Rugby League as intense as ever, however, what can both sides hope to get out of working with each other?
Video: Jason Robinson talks Sam Burgess' union switch
The Burgess talk has been quiet for a little while, so here's St Jason Of Sidestep to kick off the discussion again. Let the conjecture based disagreements begin afresh!