Great Rugby Arguments: No 2, Will Carling vs the RFU
Before he made the beast with two backs with Princess Diana (allegedly) and advertised Quorn on the TV, arse-chinned Will Carling was something of a maverick. He jacked in a career in the Army to concentrate on rugby, was made captain of his country at 22 and had a love of publicity greater than that of Mr Crabs for money.
The most infamous of his outbursts came in 1995 when he famously uttered the words, "If the game is run properly as a professional game, you do not need 57 old farts running rugby.” A reference to the fifty-odd man RFU executive committee who were in charge of the English game at the time. Carling's anger had been piqued particularly by administror Dudley Wood's pontificating about players "cheating" by abandoning the amateur principles.
The fallout was dramatic. Carling was sacked, before a huge public outcry forced the RFU to take him back (following an apology), and a sort of polite bad-boy image stuck with him for the rest of his career.
Raking up shit-o-meter score: Moderate to steaming
b&m.com opinion: Carling was right, the RFU was a bloated amateur nightmare in 1995; unlike now when it's a bloated professional nightmare.Tweet
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