Never has there been so little expectation placed on an England team before a tournament. This lot are quite possibly the worst world champions in the history of sport, and some relatively positive and negative showings recently have done very little to make anyone in the land feel much better.
Key Player: Tom Rees
As the person who sent me this link said: “Some would say this is crass and at the expense of a noble culture – and some would laugh out loud.” I know which one I did.
Video highlights of Saturday’s game.
As the commentator says, "It’s 1995 all over again!"
The team responsible for the greatest Rugby World Cup upset in history, and managed by one of the tournament’s greatest players, Michael "Iceman" Jones. They have about as much chance in this one as a gay jewish man at a Deep South religious convention, but guaranteed to rattle a few bones along the way.
You’ve guessed it, it’s another shirt by Canterbury!
At least this time they have actually changed the design slightly and not put a shed-load of stupid piping and panels all over it. Be thankful for small mercies.
What a player, what a man. Will Carling famously said, “He’s just a freak, and the sooner he goes away the better”, but I for one wished we’d seen more of Jonah.
The dark horses. A team that has quietly been bulking up both physically and form-wise for the last two years and should be in with a shout, if they can keep enough players out of the sin-bin in every match. The return of Schalk Burger is a big bonus, and in Bryan Habana they have probably the best wide man in the world.
Key Player: Victor Matfield
The naming of the England side to face France on Saturday, and indeed the whole England squad, suggests that Yoda Ashton has decided to jump on the nostalgia bandwagon that is an inescable part of modern life. With Christmas rapidly approaching, and to tie in with the Rugby World Cup, I think the RFU would do well to release an England Old Skool compilation album, feturing such titles as:
Fans travelling to the quarter-final to be held at the Millennium Stadium on 6th October have today been informed that there will be only one train back to London, 30 minutes after the final whistle. Anyone who has attended a match in Cardiff will tell you that there is no way you can get into the station within thirty minutes, unless you shoot everyone in front of you in the queue.*