Archive for the ‘Rugby’ Category

Bare with me, this is an off the cuff blog, so it may ramble, but what it WILL do is RANT!

With the Olympics coming up, i felt the need to rant on a subject that riles me for roughly 8-12 weekends a year…. fairweather, know it all fans who only watch rugby when its on the BBC (6 nations) or ITV (Rugby World Cup).
How do these tie in? The Olympics and fairweather fans that is….


Anytime a sport is overkilled on TV, it instantly draws the crowds of know it all fans, who are experts during the TV run, and usually a month afterwards.

For example….
Go to any tennis court at the moment….. full of teens to mid 20’s, mainly males, new raquets, new balls, and absolutely no skill in the world. Whats just been on TV? Wimbledon. Now i know a few people who play tennis every summer and take it seriously, this isn’t aimed at them. Its not even a dig at people trying out a new sport, its just the example i use to how stop/start exposure to sports damages participation levels.

Yes, Aviva Premiership and Heineken rugby is on Sky and ESPN. I have neither. I watch the ITV4 highlights. Usually its easier to find Bin Ladens bunker than to find the highlights show in the listings, and its on a minor channel that many people don’t have! Plus when you cut out Craig Doyles waffling and the ad breaks, its about 35 minutes worth of highlights.
Match of the day is the football equivalent. Its on between 10-1030 every Saturday, MOTD2 is on at 10 every Sunday, plus morning repeats of MOTD on a Sunday morning, football focus at lunchtime on a Saturday, final score at 430 every Saturday, it even has a kids spin off and there is total football saturation on Radio 5, TalkSPORT and local radio all weekend every weekend. Actually, with TalkSPORT, the name is misleading as it 99% talks about football all bloody week. Brian Moore guest hosted last week and i barely heard rugby get a mention, and since when were former international cricketers Darren Gough and Ronnie Irani doyens of football punditry???

Imagine the fanbase that could be built in any sport with that kind of market dominance, especially with the impressionable and lucrative early teens to late 20’s market.
Rugby has the fanbase, bigger Premiership sides aren’t far off of lower end Premiership football attendance figures. Most big games are sold out these days and even lower league teams are getting decent crowds these days. come on ITV, give Rugby a decent shot. Put the highlights on ITV2 at a peak time, instead of the only way is f*****g Essex, then repeat it on ITV at a reasonable hour (instead of the usual 1am slot!)

That rant is actually off topic of the rant i was planning.

My rant was going to be about the people who watch half a dozen or so rugby matches a year ( normally the 6nations and an Autumn international or 2) and then make out they are some kind of expert by repeating word for word what Jeremy Guscott or Brian Moore says about a player and tries to pass it off as a fact.
EVERYONE knows someone like this. I unfortunately know loads.

There are many local clubs that would love to have these peoples money in the coffers at every home game, I mean granted, I’m from Coventry and I’m a Gloucester fan, so it may sound hypocritical, (family circumstances dictated that one….) but people should support the local sides. Coventry nearly went bust. I was gutted by this, i’ve been to the old Coundon Rd and the new Butts Park to watch them on many occasions over the years, and i used to play for them as a youth.
Not even just the big local sides, Barker Butts, Coventrians, Broadstreet, Nuneaton…. there are many clubs that would love the support, so instead of buying the England shirt (usually when sports direct have it cheap)and telling the world that ‘Chris Ashton is the best support runner in rugby’ (or whatever Guscott said to Inverdale on the last broadcast!) get off your arses and support rugby, from grassroots up!


I know, before i even write this blog that parts of it will be controversial, and people won’t agree with it, but this is MY blog to showcase MY opinions, so please respect that if you feel the need to argue or comment negatively on it, you won’t change my mind on what i believe.

So with that in mind……

The threat has been made by the Premiership clubs that they intend on withdrawing from the Heineken Cup unless changes are made to the format of the tournament.

I believe the English and French clubs feel that the qualification should be 6 from the Aviva, 6 from the Top 14 and 6 from the RABO league alongside the defending Heineken champs and the winners of the Amlin cup, making up the 20 best sides in European rugby.

I’ve seen a lot of press coverage going into the reasoning behind the call for change, this is my take on some of the main points i’ve seen.

1: The Italian clubs. Now, in fairness to the Italian sides, they are at the beginning of the steep climb to being competitive. The fact Aironi have already dropped out of the RABO says a lot about how far they have to go. So the fact that Italian sides are guaranteed HC spots at the expense of better teams, both on the pitch, and off, is surely wrong. The last thing sides want mid season is an expensive weekend in Italy to walk over an uncompetitive side. If the 6 sides from each nation rule was bought in, then the Italians would have to finish top 6 to qualify. They’d still have the chance to improve, and they’d still play in the Amlin cup, so their development wouldn’t be compromised.

2: RABO Pro12 league. The way qualification works at the moment, 10 out of the RABO league sides can qualify for the HC. This is a league where there are only really 6 or 7 sides that stand a chance of winning it. Leinster, Ulster, Munster, Ospreys, Scarlets, Blues and possibly Edinburgh, the other sides are NOT Heineken standard. The fact that 8 to 10 of these sides will qualify for the HC takes away the competitiveness of the league, OK, they slog it out for the playoff berths, but one of the highlights of the Aviva premiership season was the battle for the HC spots, which involved 5 clubs fighting for the last 2 spots. The fact that the Provinces can rest players without any real consequences has helped both the Irish and Welsh national sides develop as they always have the best players fresh for big games. This also shows with the attendance of league games, and has affected the Welsh sides especially, which is now showing by the amount of players being released to the French clubs. The Top14 and the Aviva Premiership are far tougher leagues in the respect that you don’t get ‘down’ games, each game is fought for, tooth and nail, the way a league should be. There is relegation places, playoff places and European cup places up for grabs, so each game carries importance. The RABO just doesn’t get that. There is no relegation worries, no realistic Euro worries (the weaker sides will not budget for HC places, so qualification is a bonus) so some games are absolute non entities.

3: Provinces vs Clubs. Is it fair that the provincial sides should play club sides anyway? With English clubs also hamstrung by a salary cap, they simply can’t have a squad with as much talent in it as say Leinster or Ulster. Even the top English clubs are trying to build with a lot more youth, George Ford, Owen Farrell and co are coming through the ranks, whereas the Provincial sides, especially in Ireland, seem to have 3 or 4 internationals in most positions standing between a youngster and a starting spot. The French sides, with no salary cap, can sign who they like, so they are buying up a lot of the talent. The Welsh sides are slightly different as financial restraints have meant they have had to put in youngsters, and its worked tremendously for them as they can play with almost no pressure in a lot of their league games. Also, the fact that these youngsters can be called in from any of the Welsh premiership clubs to the Provinces shows the depth of the talent pools the clubs have. Far more than the Aviva or the French sides.

4: Financial. This is one that i’m not so sure actually has that much of an effect on the English and French clubs, but is the one being touted by a lot of the press. Articles saying that because the English sides went out early this season, that they lost the financial input of the cup. There are three main reasons i don’t agree with this.

1) Heineken prize money isn’t THAT great. its a prestige tournament, but the prize money is better for winning the LV=Cup (or at least it was in the 10/11 season) so the potential for increased gate receipts is the only real bonus on offer, but then take into account, Leicester, Saints, Exeter, Bath and Quins out of next seasons Aviva qualifiers will probably draw sell outs for 90% of home games anyway. 

2)Having a more accessible opponent in the pool stages would allow more revenue for the club from their club travel arrangements. For example, more people would travel from Sale to Cardiff than would travel to Rome. Also you would be more likely to have a local ‘grudge match’ which would increase revenue for the home and away games. 

3)Less travel expenditure for the clubs. for example less air fare, less hotel expenses (as most sides would stay 2 or 3 nights on a long distance away trip, whereas it’d likely only be 1 if it was British Isles opposition) Lets not forget, a side could draw Toulouse and an Italian side in the same pool, thats 2 blooming expensive away trips for fans and club!


5: Jealousy?  I saw Dean Ryan claim this as a reason, that the English and French clubs are jealous of Leinsters success. But even after the re-jigged qualifications, Leinster would STILL qualify, so they’d STILL be the team to beat. So again, this isn’t something i agree with.

6: It wouldn’t mean any extra English clubs would qualify anyway.It was only the top 6 from this season (Quins, Tigers, Sarries, Saints, Exeter and Sale) that are in the tournament, but there would be 7 French clubs (Clermont, Toulouse,Montpellier, Castres,Metro, Stade and Biarritz as Amlin champs) and 7 from the RABO12 (Ospreys, Munster, Glasgow,Scarlets, Ulster, Blues and Leinster as HC champs) So no Edinburgh, Treviso, Zebre or Connacht. Now Edinburgh had a good cup run this season, but seriously, could ANY of those sides win the tournament?And for the record….. Zebre? Who? Did they win a place in the cup in a raffle? (3 of the teams that wouldn’t qualify under the proposed qualification criteria are in the same group in the cup draw, the 4th team, Harlequins…. again proof that its not being suggested to make it easier on the English clubs!)

If the Heineken were to be boycotted by the French and English, it wouldn’t be the greatest thing to happen to Northern Hemisphere rugby, but you can bet there’s a contingency plan in place for an Anglo-French competition, maybe involving the second tier sides as well,but obviously it wouldn’t be the same as the Heineken cup, but i honestly think there is a point to be made, so i agree with the respective parties that something needs to happen.

The English and French are trying to make the competition elitist, which i agree 100% it should be the elite clubs. If they were trying to devalue the competition, i could understand some of the criticism i have read, but this is an attempt to give the best sides a chance to prove their mettle.

I can see the reasoning behind the Italian involvement, they are trying to improve the profile of the sport, it gives another market share for TV revenue, etc, but really, Aironi are NOT better than Toulon or Biarritz, yet they were both in the Amlin last season. Same with Connacht, they are a smashing side, and a great bunch of fans, but the reaction to beating Quins should say a lot about their chances. It was greeted like they’d won the Heineken cup, and without checking my facts, i think it was their only tournament win this season. They KNOW they are huge underdogs. And even though it was a great thing for their fans, surely competing, and beating, the minnows in the Amlin would provide just as much enjoyment for the fans. As a long-suffering Gloucester fan, i can assure you that winning the LV cup in a crowd 20k is JUST as satisfying as winning the Powergen cup as part of 80k!


As i said at the top. This is only my opinion, so feel free to disagree, but if people are going to get abusive or argumentative i’ll just block/ignore you. All comments are pre approved before appearing anyway


Anyway. its 2 am and i was going to bed an hour ago, but i got bit by the urge to blog, so as i have work in the morning, i’d best skidaddle!!


take it easy, chickens!


You may have noticed (but probably didn’t) that i didn’t blog last week, this was because it had been pretty much a rugby free week for me. This week, however has been full of rugby so far!!

Last Friday, i flew to Belgium (Brussels) to support my stepson and his teammates in the 40th Annual Tom Morris rugby tournament, which involves teams from Belgium, France, Holland and England and is held at the  Kituro Schaerbeek rugby club. This years teams (i will try to remember them all!!) Kituro, Red Star, Den Haag, Noisy le Sec, GTO, ASUB Waterloo, Boitsfort, Luxembourg, Dover, Dudley Kingswinford and ‘Team Europe’ (and also one side that didn’t turn up!)

It was an Year 12 tournament (u17’s), and the lads from Dudley are u16’s/year 11 so they turned up with a challenge ahead of them!!

I can’t remember scores and results, they played 8 ‘mini games’ (7 mins a half) over the 2 days so i have no chance of remembering all the various permutations but I do know that the Dudley lads came 4th in the top tier Cup competition, which was won by Den Haag.

Dover rugby club won the second tier Plate competition, and if memory serves me correctly, Red Star of France won the Bowl contest.

It was Team Europe that will be the inspiration to this post. They are the embodiment of the ideals behind RugbyUnited. They are basically the guys from all the participating sides that aren’t going to get gametime, mixed with a base of 4 or 5 from the Kituro club, obviously, language was an issueas the players were from 5 nations, couple that with the fact the majority of the squad were changed game by game and you’d think these boys were cannon fodder. Indeed they lost every game, 2 of which were to the last play of the game, but they scrapped for every second of every game.

My stepson, Pat, was one of the lads who was asked to join Team Europe, which at first he wasn’t overly excited about, but once he realised he’d get plenty of game time (only missed 1 and a half games all weekend, one because it was against his ‘parent’ team and less than half because he was late for the start of one game) he also could play pressure free, and thrived on that freedom and played fantastically well!!

He played so well, in fact that he was made captain for the last game, an honour he has never had (according to his mother!) at Dudley Kingswinford. His big moment of the tournament actually started in the penultimate game. Losing 12 0, Team Europe scored a try in the very last minute and in a moment of comedy, the fly half asked Patrick, a tighthead prop, to convert…. (all kicks were dropgoals to save time!) Now Pat can kick… the lads from his team weren’t to know this and he missed a tricky conversion by about 10-12 inches.

In the last game, with all the pressure gone and the captaincy of the side, Pat flourished. He was comedy gold, asking the ref on 2 occasions to go to the non existent video ref for the 2 dubious tries that were scored by the opposition. Again they were 12-0 down in the last few seconds, a penalty was awarded to Europe, and with the win impossible, Pat decided to re-try his kicking heroics, this time putting it short and low, his chance seemed to be gone, however he got a reprieve when the defending team knocked on and Europe recovered it and managed to get a penalty 5 metres out, which was converted to a penalty try when someone took out the player going for the quick tap and go…. Pat held on to the ball from the various players who wanted to take the kick, and pulled out the captains card to ensure it was his shot at goal….. and he slotted it straight through the middle, causing his teammates from Dudley Kingswinford to storm the pitch to celebrate with him like his kick had just won the tournament! It was a truly fantastic moment that caused his mother to shed a tear (and also one of his teammates dads to do the same…. yes, Martin Fowkes….named and shamed!)

The DK boys then cheered on their British comrades, Dover, in their Plate victory, again with a pitch invasion to celebrate at the end a game which saw Patrick earn himself more plaudits for wrestling the Kituro mascot (a big teddy bear) to the floor and causing a mass pile on!!

The Den Haag boys then played a fantastic game of old fashioned, bludgeoning 10 man rugby to hold on against the hosts, Kituro for a 3 0 victory (despite some dubious refereeing by the Belgian referee throughout the tournament AND the fact the Den Haag captain and unarguably the man of the match and tournament, had spent 12 hours in a police cell for drunk and disorderly the previous evening) to cause a mass 3 team celebration on the pitch. The sort of thing that you would only ever see in rugby. 3 teams that were banded together through having some dodgy decisions against them and ended the day celebrating together like old mates!

For the record, Den Haag and Dover are supposedly ‘arrogant’ as a Kituro official told me, i found them to be some of the nicest guys you could talk to and a credit to their clubs.

In fact there was a lot of respect between the players, in every game, there were no dust ups, on or off the pitch and everyone had a great time. There were a few injuries, our lads had to unfortunately have 2 lads rushed to hospital, thankfully both were released back to us by early evening, and we learnt that the Belgian red cross make St Johns Ambulance look like olympic sprinters.

Brussels itself is a strange place. Parts of it are beautiful, and parts of it are horrible and make you feel very unsafe….reminiscent of Birmingham town centre!!

I came back to blighty to see Gloucester finish the season with another loss in a game that involved a fair old punch up between Jim Hamilton and David Paice, and i bet Paice gets a lesser ban than Jim Hamilton even though he was the aggressor! Jims reputation precedes him in situations like this and the fact Paice ended up with 12 stitches and the London Irish coaches have squarely blamed Jim won’t help his case one bit.

The Union coaches merry go round continues. Gold and Booth to Bath, Edwards to Irish… intrigued to see who Gloucester’s new coach will be!!

about 5 weeks now to the RugbyUnited touch rugby match, so need to step up my training. Had a couple of runs, a really long walk and a trip to the hotel gym this week, so hopefully still heading into the right direction!!


This blog is easily better than my last pisspoor effort,(with 0 views in the last week, i don’t need a review on it!!) so hopefully you’ll have enjoyed reading this one and have forgiven me for the last one!!

til next time!!


Well its sure been an odd week to be a Gloucester rugby supporter.

Losing at home 20-29 to Newcastle was tough to take, I still maintain they are the worst side i’ve seen at Kingsholm, yet Gloucester didn’t even take a losing bonus point. It was truly one of the worst displays i’ve seen in 20+ years of following the cherry and whites.

A couple of days after the papers online were quoting Sale’s Steve Diamond as saying Redpath was on his way to Sale next season. Tosh, we all thought… Glaws recruitment for next season is well underway. Surely a coach wouldn’t build a squad and walk out….. Just to add to the intrigue, Sale and Glos are battling for the last Heineken Cup qualifying spot and play each other this Saturday.

Good news greeted us on Tuesday morning with the truly world class signing of Jimmy Cowan, and thus, Glaws fans rejoiced. The late part of the morning bought reports of Glos chairman, Ryan Walkinshaw asking Brian Redpath in for a ‘chat’  about whether or not the Sale rumours were true.

Well…. we were answered soon enough, Redpath resigned, quoting that the team weren’t responding to him….well. Yeah. OK. Lets wait to see how long it takes for Sale to announce their new coach!!

The twitter response from the players was almost relief. Its VERY odd. But with Cowan, Twelvetrees and Ben Morgan lined up for next season (amongst others), the new coach  will be left with a great potential line up!!

It certainly bodes well for the atmosphere this weekend. A REALLY heated crowd backing the team against a)our Euro qualification rivals and b) the team that have seemingly ‘poached’ our head coach should make the shed LOUD. and when the shed is loud, there is NO better place i’d rather watch sport. Its spine tingling!

Talking of Saturday, it’s a #rugbyunited / #glawsfamily outing (with some very special guests from Sale and Maria who writes the posh totty on tour blog) which should prove to be great fun. I also have tickets to Peter Buxtons testimonial evening do after the match(es).

On to important matters. My jogging quest.

Had a running partner for the first time the other night. My sis. We had a great run, i really seemed to go better with someone to run with, and though i don’t think i particularly challenged my sisters pace, it was a decent run, without a doubt the best i’ve had. For the first time i struggled with knee pain, so i went out to buy some knee supports. My legs now look semi mummified….

Thats 2 knee supports and 2 ankle supports. My legs are falling apart! lol Check out my solid calves! Screw Bully Ray, I’m CALFZILLA!!

My Brother in law decided he fancied a run (he used to do 18 miles a week) so we went for a small run this evening, unfortunately, my quads and shins started killing me about 2/3 of the way through our route and even though i tried to push through it i ended up walking the last part of the course. Cue ibuprofen and a hot whirlpool bath and the legs don’t actually feel too bad, but i reckon i’ll have a day or so off. i think my run with my sis kinda knackered my legs and the run the next day was a step too far for my aching old muscles!

Blog is a day earlier, but i was bored!

Til next week!



(By the way the pic was inserted as a promise to Gemma!!)

Women’s rugby in Britain is a booming sport. I read that a while ago. But is it? I can only write this as an England fan, so excuse my bias!

Englands Womens team have won the 6 nations 6 times in a row, they were runners up in the womens world cup. they beat the best team in the world (unsurprisingly, New Zealand) 10-0, 21-7 and got an 8 all draw at the end of last year, but where is there recognition? In Maggi Alphonsi they have arguably the best player in the world, but get no TV coverage. Well not true. They got on the ‘red button’ on BBC 1 after the England v Scotland mens 6 nations game, yup,the red button. England Womens team v their Scottish counterparts. 89-0 to the red rose gals.

So why do the media ignore the womens side of the sport? Thats a rhetorical question…..

The womens game has flaws. Some of the tackling in the aforementioned red button game was laughable, but also there was some superb running rugby, Kat Merchant, Danielle Waterman can cut defences apart with the best of them. Surely the flaws can be ironed out through better training. But better training comes at a cost. A cost that needs to be covered by sponsorship, advertising, anything, burt that surely can’t happen without some kind of media exposure. So we are at a vicious circle.

I am no expert on womens rugby, far from it. But i can see the inherent problems in the game. The Catch 22 of no media = low advertising revenues means the coaches will always be, with the greatest respect, people on the lower rungs of coaching, don’t get me wrong, i’m sure they are good at their jobs, but could you imagine rugby luminaries such as Martin Johnson or Sir Clive Woodward coaching the womens side? It wouldn’t happen. If it did, there would be instant raising of media interest, so surely the RFU could put some of their vast profits into the Ladies game and hire a coach to work with England coach Gary Street and raise the profile. How about someone recently retired like Jason Robinson? Or even a current player to work alongside them. Not just as a publicity stunt, as a real attempt to raise the game.

The added interest would increase female participation, for example, my wifes side can barely raise 15 to play nowadays, what they (the RFU) need to do is encourage younger girls to play, someone like Margaret Alphonsi could be one of THE BIGGEST female role models in any sport with media help. You can’t be a role model without the public having access to you.

Is there more the RFU could do? Yes. Simply. But they don’t seem to be interested. Grass roots in both mens and womens game is the bread and butter of the future generations of players, and if the RFU don’t look after them at that level, then there is pretty much nothing you can do to re encourage people to take up the sport. Girls at school don’t really play rugby. The boys do. My school could put out 2 or 3 teams, but the girls weren’t even taught rugby. How can you encourage people to play if you deny them a chance to try.

At club level, i have searched through google, and if you search for a club league, you get a smorgasbord of Wikipedia, Pitchero or RFU pages mostly linking you to international games. So even the internet seems to have very little coverage.

I also, without straying down the road of accidental sexism, cover gender roles in life. Women have babies. FACT. Shocking huh, but as is the traditional gender role, women also tend to be the primary carer, this obviously affects participation levels, and the other problem is women tend to have babies when they would be in their peak levels of fitness as rugby players. How about changing a game day so the mens, womens and kids sides don’t all play on the traditional sunday? That makes it tough for a family to all play. If Dad is playing, and Junior is playing away from home, then Mum has to go, its the traditional parental dynamic. So are thought processes and traditional stereotyping as big a problem as lack of media interest?

Who knows. If any female players have any thoughts, i would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. I know that i can’t answer the questions i have posed,i’m not actually sure anyone can answer them, but i would love to hear thoughts on how the Womens game could be improved, top to bottom.

I’m aware that this blog is appallingly structured,and certainly lacking the humour i normally try and throw in,  but i kinda got on a roll writing it and i’ve just drifted where the thoughts have taken me.


The all conquering England womens squad

The RFUW (womens rugby) affiliated club list

How to set up a womens team

The WRWC 2010 website

The excellent Scrum Queens site



Does Rugby Union have  the best sports fans in the world?

Lots of good-natured banter, everyone looking out for each other, it’s a nice place to be. Yeah, we have our fair share of idiots, like every walk of life, but the majority of rugger buggers are all like-minded individuals (and yes, that’s kinda an oxymoron!)

A few months ago, I asked for help in pressurising the RFU and IRB over punishing Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu for tweeting, and bearing in mind it was my first ever blog, and only advertised by myself through twitter and facebook, i had over 1500 people read the blog and a good percentage helped with spreading the word. It was originally known to us Tweeters as #GlawsSOS and we had people jump on board from all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Pacific Islands. I had 2 negative comments over it. one that didn’t agree with our cause (who actually admitted by the end that the proposed 6 month ban was OTT!) and 1 that pulled me over punctuation. Wow. Like i care about punctuation. My Blog, my thoughts, punctuation has sod all to do with it!

This got me talking on Twitter to guys and gals that are too numerous to mention, the original #GlawsFamily, and becoming good friends with a fair few of them. The #GlawsFamily then grew, we had over 150 by Xmas. The players at Gloucester began to  tweet using that hashtag, a few players follow the fans, it’s a truly great fan experience, in my opinion. But its my blog, so my opinion is all that matters, right?

After a while of great banter amongst the fans of Gloucester on twitter, Trevor Large had a great idea. We were already followed and following fans from a few clubs, some who we ‘met’ through #GlawsSOS, so he decided we wanted fans from all clubs to come together, for banter, for a news grapevine, for fun, and created a hashtag called #rugbyunited. If i remember right it was originally #rugbyfollowback, a chance for rugby fans to follow each other. Simple, right?!

Well simplicity was the beauty . Since #RugbyUnited was born, I’ve gained fans from every Aviva Premiership club, all the Irish provincial sides, Cardiff and Osprey’s, Glasgow, Edinburgh…. then the Aussies, the Americans, The South Africans, Kiwis…. fans from EVERYWHERE have joined in. its only been a couple of weeks since the concept, we’ve already had people meeting up at games, I’m getting 10+ new followers every day, My timeline is nigh on impossible to follow, but 90% of it is about rugby, so I’m happy with that!

There is a website set up ( showcase the events we have coming up, whether through individual clubs, or as part of the larger scale #RugbyUnited, there’s talk of #RugbyDate being set up, with events being set up to coincide with matches, hell, I’ve even been talked into having my legs waxed for charity through #rugbyunited. There are introductions to some of the fans, as there are also on which is a (much better) blog (than this one!) that is written by yet another of the #RugbyUnited clan!

Anyway, i’m rambling.

No change there.

Anyway. i’m impressed by the Twitter community of rugby fans, and i know that the non Twitter fans are generally awesome too. So to answer my original question, Does Rugby Union have  the best sports fans in the world?

You bet your sweet arse it does!

R xxx



NB:- edited to add, the NEW rugbyunited website is available at http://WWW.RugbyUnited.Info. you can also try

One last push

Posted: November 15, 2011 in England, Rugby, Rugby Union

With Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu’s appeal against his 6 month suspended ban coming on the 20th November, we (the #GlawsSOS/#RugbyUnited Twitter campaigns) feel we have to try 1 last time to try and force the governing bodies to see sense. We originally thought of a petition, but a) it takes too long to get signatories, and we don’t have the time and b) if a petition was sent, the IRB would only have 1 email to ignore. So we came up with an idea. Pressure, Harassment, call it what you like, but i am going to write a short email, explaining our problems with the Eliota case and i ask EVERY rugby fan to cut and paste the letter, put your name on it and email it to the IRB using the Topic as:-

FAO Lorne Crerar, Graham Mew and Nicholas Davidson

(these are the IRB disciplinary panel, and i will be emailing all 3 personally)

Dear Sirs.

We would like to show our unhappiness at the suspended 6 month ban hanging over Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu as we feel this is too harsh compared to some bans imposed for dangerous play.

As fans, we think you should be representing our best interests and by giving a player a 6 month ban for voicing an opinion  whilst others get a couple of weeks for brutal law breaking, we feel you are not serving the audience of the sport of rugby union.

This in no way supports all of Eliota’s opinions, yet shows support for him in his right to have these opinions under the various laws attaining to freedom of speech.

We hope common sense prevails and a massively talented player isn’t lost from the game over difference of opinion.

Yours Faithfully

(place your name(s) here and also the club and country that you follow to show that this is not just a Gloucester rugby thing but a general concern from fans around the world!)

the email address for the IRB is simply IRB