Column: We’re on top of those Down Under folk (for a while)

England's Owen Farrell  insists England will dwell only briefly on the success of a remarkable season before refocusing on their true goal of usurping New Zealand as the game's dominant force. .
England's Owen Farrell insists England will dwell only briefly on the success of a remarkable season before refocusing on their true goal of usurping New Zealand as the game's dominant force. .
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Stop the world now.

Not because of Brexit or Boris or the melting of the UK – though Nicola Sturgeon’s weapons-grade Scots smugness could do it all on its own. No, stop the world now because we are better at sport than Australia.

Let’s say that again. Britain, England even, is better at sport than Australia. By sport I mean cricket and rugby union, something that has not happened simultaneously in mine or anyone-else-who-can-still-remember’s lifetime.

You can add football - obvs, and even swimming to that too.

Swimming? Didn’t Australia invent swimming with its blue skies and ‘outdoor lifestyle’?

England’s 3-0 whitewash of Australia’s fabled Wallabies rugby union team is an utterly sensational series result – the kind of aggressive, ruthless domination that we usually associate with Australian teams at their hard-bitten best.

We’ve just done it to them on their own dusty soil. We’ve also won three of the last four Ashes cricket series.

Stop the world so we can have a mother-country gloat for once at our glorious success and before any antipodean points out that they dominate Rugby League, actually rank higher than us in ICC ratings and, most tellingly, that we needed Australian cricket and rugby coaches to put us on top.

But let’s not allow, er, minor details to spoil our triumph. Stop the world NOW before they get chance to ruin it with their boring, real-world details…

*Lionel Messi has quit international football, thus ending perennial pub discussions about him being the greatest ahead of Maradona and the rest.

At the age of 34 Maradona - after a career which lasted 17 years and yielded 34 goals from 91 games - was effectively kicked out after failing a drugs test at the 1994 World Cup, trying to get one last tournament from his ageing, aching body.

Messi quit in an apparent fit of temper, aged 29, after missing another penalty in Argentina’s Copa America final shoot-out defeat against Chile at the weekend.

You get the feeling that international football was life’s calling for Maradona but perhaps a bit of a chore for Messi – despite his brilliant 55 goals in 113 internationals over 11 years. To his credit Messi knows his plac: “Even if I played for a million years,” said the Barcelona star. “I’d never come close to Maradona. He’s the greatest there’s ever been.”

Apart from Pele of course…