Crisis Country Wales was hit by a rugby bombshell that’ll take weeks to put back into its scabbard. Warren Gatland, whilst out drumming up support amounst the B Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot for the up and coming international against South Africa, was heard to refer to brave war hero Shenkin the goat as, quote, “A can eating, goaty beard wearing, rancid, four legged, hairy, wannabe sheep, bigoted old goat”, unquote.
The comment, sent by telegram by Gatland from the back of the WRU’s own Morris 1000, was according to the WRU’s press office “not, not taken out of context.” Further comments of “why is he allowed onto the pitch but not me? At least I’m not likely to eat the grass. And I bet I could shoot a gun better than him” were also not firmly denied.
Gatland was last seen searching on google for hits to the words ‘goat’, ‘Welsh’, ‘home address’ and ‘Shanklin’.
Orange part-time rugby sensation Gavin Henson is back in the headlines this week following his late bid to stand as Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the West Pencoed constituency. Henson plans to juggle his reemergence as a top-class rugby player with modeling commitments, doing the school run, and driving a manifesto for educational reform, economic stimulus and finding a sustainable replacement for the Trident nuclear programme.
“Sean Holley will forever be my guiding inspiration, but I’ve always had a soft-spot for those outstanding politicians who have shaped our world view like David Steele, Lembit Opik and Shirley wassaname,” confessed Henson during a no-holes barred photoshoot for Shiny Orange Liberal Man magazine. “Charlotte is backing my political aspirations all the way. She’s a Cleggian girl…in a Cleggian world.”
In related news, the Ospreys are playing down suggestions linking them with a move for under-fire Worcester coach Mike Ruddock. Rumours are rife that the Ospreys have been grooming Ruddock for a back-room position as Mike Cuddy’s official lookalike, by sending him free cakes, oversized button down shirts, and orchestrating a losing streak designed to make his face look like a slapped arse.
Warren Gatland has announced a one off test at the start of May against a giant cloud of Icelandic volcanic ash. “It’s an excellent way to increase revenue, flog the players a little more and cash in on a major media event” explained the happy (for a New Zealander) Wales coach, yesterday.
“The scandinavians are traditionally a fierce opponent. They are very strong and pillagey.” explained Gatland. When asked where the cloud would cause most problems he replied “in the commentary box, mainly. Although it is very good in the air and will cover the pitch better than Martyn Williams. Which is why we must not let it settle.” The Western Mail, after reading around several chatsites, believes that Wales are to close the roof thus giving the home side a distinct advantage. The winner of the match then goes onto play an away game against El Niño in the Autumn.
Welsh rugby’s fastest players stepped into another dimension yesterday and declared ‘anything Habana can do I can do better’.
Wales’ international stars went one better than their South African counterpart Bryan Habana, who famously raced a cheetah, as they took on a Peregrine Falcon, at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium today (Thursday 1st April).
Habana, whose World Champion Springbok side travel to Cardiff to play Wales at the Millennium Stadium on 5th June, faced the world’s fastest land animal in a foot race – a South African Cheetah which reaches top speeds of up to 70mph – in one of the most famous pieces of internet video footage available for download on youtube.
So, with this summer’s clash with the South Africans at front of mind, Stadium bosses decided to put the players to the test and race them against the Millennium’s very own Falcon.
Harry, the Peregrine Falcon who is housed at the National Stadium and flown around the main bowl area to keep the pigeons away, can dive headfirst down through the sky at speeds of up to 200mph when he decides to pounce on prey – making his species the fastest on the planet.
“The Falcon obviously has the added advantage of being able to make full use of gravity,” said Joe King, a sports scientist from the Llewbacha University in North Wales who officiated on the race with the Millennium’s Falcon.
“So we rigged up a special ramp running from the roof of the Millennium Stadium to the centre of the pitch for the players to run down.
“We clocked some speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour and actually it was some of the larger forwards who recorded the fastest times.
“It’s all to do with the equation between terminal velocity, size and gravity, it helps if you get a good jump on the Falcon at the start and put a good slide in towards the end.
“Once it started to rain two props actually came down at speeds which were off our scale, so we have recorded them as hitting light speed as they definitely came down faster than the human eye could see.
“In the end everyone beat the Falcon, Harry wasn’t really interested in racing and just sort of flapped a bit when we told him we thought Shane would have beaten him easily.”
Tickets for Wales’ clash with the world champion Springboks on Saturday 5th June at the Millennium Stadium are available now via a pre-registration system at www.wru.co.uk and are priced at £25, £40, £50 and £65.
The world’s fastest living things:
- If there were a flying race, the Spine-tailed Swift would win (106mph).
- If there were a running race, the Cheetah would win (70mph).
- If there were a swimming race the Shortfin Mako shark would win. According to the ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research, ‘It has been reliably clocked at 31 miles (50 kilometres) per hour, and there is a claim that one individual of this species achieved a burst speed of 46 miles (74 kilometers) per hour.’