Thursday, October 04, 2007


Australian gamesmanship is in full flow in the build up to this weekend's knock-out rugby match against England. Now the Australian team manager has asked referees to keep an eye on England hooker Mark Regan, who is famous for his sledging of opponents in the front row of the scrum (Brian 'Pit Bull' Moore, one of Regan's predecessors, won England at least two test matches against France just by winding up the opposition until they snapped and started throwing punches).

It's a cheek, really. Australia leads the world rankings in sledging and gamesmanship, despite the fact that possibly the best known exchange (from cricket) had an Australian as its victim:

Playing against Australia, [Zimbabwean Eddo] Brandes was being sledged by Glenn McGrath, who yelled, "why are you so fat?"

"Because," he replied calmly, "every time I shag your wife, she gives me a biscuit."
I'm dual national, English and Australian, so I don't mind who wins the game. But I'd like whichever it is to go on and win the cup and, for some bizarre reason (totally against the form), I fancy England have the better chance of that.

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