All posts by James B

How the IRB World Rankings Work

People often wonder how the IRB world rankings work, well, it’s fairly simple. I was fortunate enough to once witness an IRB world rankings meeting take place, and this is exactly what happened:


1. First, the IRB inner sanctum (herein known as the Council of the Inner Sanctum) all gather in a great hall. They all dress in black, with a sort of silver fern thing on the front of their clothes.

2. Next, they start doing a funny dance which involves them pulling silly faces and slapping themselves.

3. The funny dance summons the spirit of Austin The Rude, who rises from a pit of fire, and has a ginormous forehead

4. The Council of the Inner Sanctum then make sacrifices to Austin The Rude, in the form of insults which are no more than 140 characters long.

5. They all have a 5 minute break

6. Austin The Rude logs on to twitter and randomly dishes out the insults to Welsh rugby supporters.

7. For every angry response Austin The Rude receives, England are rewarded 10 points, and Wales have 10 points deducted.

8. England and Ireland are also awarded 10 extra bonus points if Wales do better than them in any competition

9. If Wales beat any team more than 2 times consecutively, that team is automatically promoted above Wales in the IRB world rankings.

10. Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are each awarded 100 points, regardless.


And that’s it really. The process for selecting the World cup pools is equally simple:

1. Wales are placed in a pool with the World Champions and any team with a successful record against Wales in the World Cup

2. England are drawn in a pool with Papua New Guinea, The Vatican, The Nags Head Sunday XV and Scotland

3. The remaining pools are drawn randomly.

Scottish Independence Not “Just a Desperate Bid to Improve Rugby Team”

Scottish First Minister Lochmuir Salmon has denied reports that Scotland’s bid for independence is simply a means to allow them to swear allegiance to New Zealand, and pick more foreigners in their side. “Och no” He said.
Rumours began after it emerged that Scotland had picked Welshman Steve Shingler in their squad, but were subsequently told by the IRB that he was ineligible for Scotland on account of the fact that he was completely not Scottish. Scotland coach Andy Robinson was upset at the IRBs ruling saying “All we ask for from the IRB is consistency! Consistency, and the right to select whoever we like regardless of nationality. They’ve never complained before when we’ve picked non-Scottish players, so why start now?”
Asked why he was persisting with his policy of selecting mainly non-Scottish players for the Scotland team he replied: “Selecting foreigners is a rich tradition that I’ve bought with me from my time with England. The idea is this: once we’ve capped every single player from the rest of the world, the rest of the world will have nobody left to pick, and if they do try picking someone who’s already played for us, we’ll complain to the IRB and kick up a right stink”.
However, it is understood that the decision to not allow Steve Shingler to play for Scotland wasn’t simply based on his nationality. An IRB spokesman had this to say: “While we usually don’t mind Scotland or England picking any Tom, Dick or Manu Tuilagi, on this occasion we felt that we had to step in. There’s only so many pisspoor outside-halves that a national team can have, and Shingler would have exceeded their quota”.

“England” to Unveil New Haka At World Cup

After unveiling their new black kit for this year’s World Cup in New Zealand, the RFU has announced that the “England” team has been hard at work practicing their new haka in preparation for their return, sorry, visit to the southern hemisphere.

“We wanted something that would accurately reflect the cultural history of the majority of the team, eh” said John Lomu, a spokesperson for the RFU “and so the obvious choice was the haka”.
When asked what this new haka would look like, and whether it was a closely guarded secret, Lomu replied “Oh no, sorry, you misunderstood me bru, it’s *the* haka. We figured if we’re going to wear the kit we might as well steal the dance eh?”.

“England’s” strategy for the forthcoming World-Cup is quickly revealing itself as an exercise in subterfuge. The latest revelation about the haka, along with their new black kit, as well as the number of Kiwi and Pacific Island players on the team, has added extra weight to the rumour that Martin Johnson is planning on changing the team’s name to The Real All-Blacks, and moving the team’s headquarters from Twickenham to Wellington.

“Listen bru, those are just rumours which may or may not be completely true” Said Lomu. “There will always be an England team, of sorts. Where else are all the London-based ex-pat kiwis going to get their international caps?”
Former New Zealand schoolboy international and current “England” manager Martin Johnson was unavailable for comment.