Refugees fleeing the political violence in the Ivory Coast have been drafted in to help the Newport Gwent Dragons clear their snow covered pitch in time for Monday’s derby game against the Blues.
With efforts to clear the pitch floundering head coach Paul Turner yesterday made an impassioned plea for supporters to help with the pitch clearance. Sadly, noone heeded the call and the match was likely to be cancelled till Turner suddenly made a breakthrough.
“I was taking a walk round the docks area late last night” said Turner, “when out of nowhere this boat pulls up and a load of guys jumped off. It was difficult to understand them but one of them was clearly wearing an Ebbw Vale top from the 92/93 season and I realised they were here to help. I took them straight back down the Parade and got them shovelling snow.”
When asked about their recent ordeal one of the refugees said, “the situation is terrible, totally 3rd world. There’s widespread violence, looting, a lack of basic amenities and virtually no rule of law. I never expected Newport to be this bad.”
Once work on the pitch is complete its likely that the refugees will then start work on the proposed £200m John Frost square redevelopment. “I thought Bouake was bad” said one sporting a Newbridge 2nd 15 replica shirt “but at least we’ve got a Woolworths.”
In a SHOCK move that is set to BLAST the rugby following world the IRB has announced a new version of the Rugby Union Code – Rugby Ones ™. This bold, and some say idiotic, move has been placed under the control of one man walking success story, Paddy O’Brien. “Sevens may be an exciting way for a load of ex-pats to get hammered in the midday sun, but it does create a lot of problems. Not all the players develop the all round skills of total rugby from this game. Also, the referee has to keep his/her eye on 14 players. You really have to be on your feet to make sure you ignore the blatent knock on that any one of them could have carried out.”
O’Brien went on to outline the rationale for this new ‘winnovation’. “Well we all like to see tries and we all like to see one on one match-ups where the ebb and flow of the contest is developing this way and that over a prolonged period of time. Many people have complained that the one problem with Sevens is that it’s over too quickly. So we want to add to the try scoring ability while ignoring the possibility that quantity and quality are diametrically opposed. We aim to match all the scoring action of modern day basketball with the tense nervous headache of test cricket. Therefore Rugby Ones will involve lots of tries over 5 day long matches. Spectators can start the day off with a cheeky half, have a few pints over lunch and then start throwing empty vodka bottles at strangers towards the close of play. We’ll have special Crowd Cameras. It’ll be televisual gold. ITV 3+1 are already interested. Admittedly they are interested in Poirot not this, but at least that’s a step in the right direction. Wibble.”
WRU Rugby One’s expert ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-ex-Llanelli-Llanelli Scarlets-Llandovery-Swansea Neath Ospreys-Cardiff Blues-Tonmawr-Wales-Wales Sevens and GWENT Dragons player Tal Selley, was unavailable for comment. However Gwlad was able to get hold of someone who sounded like Ritchie Pugh on the phone. “Um…no, I didn’t play basketball for Wales. You’re thinking of someone else. On the subject of 1s, this is great news. It’ll be end-to-end-to-end stuff.”
Some “Johnny Negatives” have pointed out that all this would do is lead to loads of kicking to touch and that scrums would take almost as long as the 15-a-side code. The WRU have responded enthusiastically to the news that each side would have 130 substitutes. “Great! We can send all the up and coming squad players from Essex Pirates, London Welsh, 1404 North Wales and most of the Scarlets’ squad out to Qatar for each pointless trophy” shouted David ‘Dai’ Pickering, the day before yesterday.