Just in case anyone didn’t notice, I only ever played in the high numbers when I was at school – it wasn’t all that rough as an 13 year old but it was plenty enough for me to try and fit into shirt with a much bigger number on the back – preferably 11 or 14.

That way I’d be as far away as possible from the ‘handbags’ and shoe-ings that the bigger boys all seem to think is such spiffing fun (me either). If you’ve ever read the chapter on ‘Getting Hurt’ you might well be wondering ‘how that worked out for me?’ Which is beside the point – just imagine the hospital bills if I’d stayed in the front row!


Okay, so it would have been on the NHS but you get my meaning. I try not to take the piss out of the blokes in the forwards too often – but it’s just so easy – however, by way of balance I thought I’d give them some positive spin for once.

There’s a recent article by Chris Boyd who is the new Hurricanes coach in Super 15 which underlines how much the front 8 contribute to winning rugby



I’d take my scrum cap off to him if I’d ever had one (it really f**ks up your hair so most backs give them a miss). His views reminded me of one of Steve Hansen’s after match interviews when he was coach of Wales and they’d just lost. He’s not exactly full of the joys when any of his teams win, so you can imagine his mood on this particular occasion.

The person with the mic was a lady from the BBC who asked him “would you say the game was won up front today?”, he replied “young lady, every game of rugby is won up front – do you have another question?”.

Now, I have absolutely no problem with females in rugby – I’m looking forward to the World Cup in France next month – but whoever does interviews they ought to try and ask sensible questions in my view (and I think Steve would agree with me).

I’m pretty sure that Emily Scarratt, Heather Fisher or Danielle Waterman would have come up with something a bit more intuitive. BT Sport have just signed up BOD as a rugby pundit – even though he’s a back I imagine his contributions will be worth listening to!