NEXT week, England’s rugby players depart New Zealand’s South Island (and if you ever get the chance to visit then most certainly do so).
They play their final game in the deep south tomorrow in Dunedin and more’s the pity that the final group game against Scotland isn’t there too considering the Scottish ancestors who pitched up there and the city’s background with the name taken from the Gaelic for Edinburgh, namely Dun Eideann.
Anyway, geography lesson over. Martin Johnson and his squad travelled back to Dunedin this week after their rather notorious break in Queenstown which has now rather infamously become known as the dwarf-tossing HQ of New Zealand, that’s if you wish to believe all the tales.
Unfortunately for Johnson and his squad, they elected to spend about 15 minutes in the air between the two places rather than undertake a picturesque and often spectacular road journey of about three hours between Dunedin and Queenstown (I can vouch for it as someone who’s had the good fortune to drive it).
What they would have seen, of course, among the views would have been plenty of sheep. But not just any old sheep in this rugby-obsessed country.
One farmer had certainly got into the spirit of the World Cup.
There were his sheep munching away and sprayed in the colours of the competing teams down in that part of the country.
So, you had sheep sprayed sky blue to denote Argentina (in hoops, of course!)
As England wear all-white - or are supposed to when not donning that ridiculous all-black kit - did he simply leave the sheep untouched?
No, they sprayed the cross of St George on the backs of the ‘English’ sheep. As for their own country they didn’t need to do anything. The odd black sheep sufficed!
My money is very much still on the black sheep by the way.
It almost seemed like a wind-up when BBC Radio Sheffield commentator Rob Staton told his hotel tale at Rotherham United’s game at Torquay last weekend.
Rob turned up at his Torquay hotel on Friday (no such luxuries for the Star’s intrepid reporter by the way!) and really didn’t think much was amiss even when they incorrectly addressed him as “Mr Stanton”.
But an apology followed because the bedroom allocated to him was unusable. The ceiling had collapsed.
So, move to another room? No, they’ve found him another hotel a bit further down the road.
No problems there - and it’s only later that he learns the original hotel was the one on which they based Fawlty Towers!
You can imagine the scene can’t you as Sybil goes up to the bedroom?
“Basil ... Basil ... have you seen this bedroom, Basil?”
“Yes, dear”... (and then the whispered aside - “a pity you weren’t in it at the time!”)
It’s not the worst miss ever but the one by Fernando Torres at Old Trafford is, to use footballing parlance, right up there.
One of the jokes doing the rounds is that he’s now an addition to the Mr Men ... he’s Mr Sitter. Yes, by all means groan!
Before his Davis Cup tie last Friday, GB’s James Ward felt sick and deposited some of his pre-match meal outside Glasgow’s Braehead Arena. He did likewise during his match.
Not a rare occurrence in Glasgow on a Friday, I should imagine.