It’s not often I take to my keyboard to rant, well other than on Twitter or Facebook at times, but after being at the opening game of the Rugby World Cup and after many words said about the potential line up for the England v Wales match, I feel the need.
The opening ceremony was wondrous, I’ve heard mixed reviews from those watching on the TV, but from my point of view it was very well done and very emotional, I only just got away without tears, phew!
The time to announce the teams came and there was polite applause with a few shouts for the Fijians, one of the reasons for my rant, is that there was a so called England fan who booed every Saracens player as his name was called out. Now I’ll set my stall out and confirm that I’m a Saracens season ticket holder, but I have to say that I was disappointed, I also have to say that if this man had been near me he’d have had a flea in his ear!
Before I go off on a full rant, I’ll move on to the possible inclusion of Owen Farrell at fly half for the Wales game. Social media has been full of posts decrying the decision to start him, with all sorts of insults being thrown his way by England fans.
Farrell at 24 has the following England Test Stats behind him – played 32, scored 307 points, including 39 conversions and 72 penalties. That is an impressive set of stats for such a young player.
As a Saracens player he was awarded the Man of The Match accolade in the Premiership Final, in being instrumental in their win. I would say here that I totally don’t agree with the winner takes all situation in this competition, Northampton Saints stormed the league in 14/15 and came away with nothing and Saracens did the same in 13/14.
So, into rant mode, if Owen Farrell is indeed confirmed as the starting fly half against Wales it will have been the decision of the whole coaching team. Yes his Dad is part of that team, but their future as a whole group relies on the performance of the men on the pitch. One suggestion is that nepotism is at play here, a whole coaching team are prepared to hang their future on a key player because he happens to be related to one of them? I can’t imagine that would ever be the case.
To boo any player from your own country when he’s putting both his body and his reputation on the line is beyond belief to me, I cheer every single name as it’s called, I don’t care which club they may or may not play for.
I suppose what I’m saying here is get behind the men representing your country and wish all of them well. As a final thought, next time you’re lucky enough to be in a stadium with a man such as Richie McCaw have the good grace not to boo this man who has been one of the very best in the world. Yes he tripped a player, yes it was deliberate and yes he saw a yellow card. He also plays very close to the line in each and every game, if you were given the chance to have him in your team, would you turn him away? I very much doubt it, enjoy the World Cup we’re privileged to have it on home soil.