Under new rules announced by the IRB, specially trained medical staff will be required for all future rugby matches to guarantee the replacement process does not allow a repeat of Bloodgate.
To ensure each game is conducted in the proper Corinthian spirit, an independent team of vampire, butcher and coroner will be appointed to support the referee and his two linesman (and in the case of Nigel Owens – his collection of Right Said Fred LPs).
The new medical troupe will consult on any player wishing to leave the field: tasting their blood for authenticity, determining the integrity of muscle injury using a tenderising hammer, and – if necessary – sanctioning the embalming process. Players will not be allowed to leave the field unless they meet strict medical criteria, or alternatively agree to undertake a ‘dare’ proscribed by the opposing head coach.
IRB guideline 77, subsection E, paragraph 2, states:
“A ‘dare’ can be any jape or tomfoolery (note Welsh players may be more familiar with the term ‘playing silly buggers’) which seeks to denigrate the personal emotional and physical wellbeing of the player in question. Examples might include: having one’s own flatulent gases ignited by a drunken spectator, eating a prop forward’s nasal mucus, or being naked for a prolonged period of time. In the sport of Australian Rules Football, where the rule has been in force for many years, extreme cases necessitate the watching of ‘Neighbours’.”
Dean Richards was unavailable for comment. In fact he sounded really, really angry when we rang him up.
Softly spoken, black-gloved WRU enforcer Dai “With Your Boots On” Pickering has come within a gnat’s bumcrack of being embarrassed into relinquishing his discretionary match ticket allowance for a forthcoming Autumn international.
As WRU Group Chairman Executive Managing Principal Director Head, Pickering is legislatively entitled to first dibs on just 35,000 tickets for each Wales home game. These are normally taken up by Pickering himself and ‘assorted VIPs’.
In the case of the Australia match, a mysterious individual called “T. Master” was to be provided with around 34,995 of the total number. However, a junior Millennium Stadium administrator – since killed in a freak hedge-pruning accident – found a minor oversight with the ticket registration process: WRU rules clearly state that the full name of the ticket holder be printed on the ticket stub, making Mr. Master’s tickets invalid.
“I have identified the error and taken steps to rectify it, OK?” whispered Pickering, threateningly. “Mr Master, and his associates Mr Tickets, Mr Cheap and Mr Dotcom are all valued friends of myself and the union committee sub-group technical development team office committee group. I have persuaded the PLC board to amend the rules, and they are now petrified…er…I mean committed to the new process moving forward.”
Asked if Dai did indeed do any diddling, WRU Co-Head and General Executive Chairman Director Group Chief Leader Roger Lewis was eager to gloss over the affair. “The vaccination has no basis in tact,” quivered Lewis, reading from a prepared statement. “Er… let me see…this next bit… er… the allegation is not blue, and we have found no eminence of in-podiatry.”