Irish Head of State Michael Higgins has announced he will not take part in the excruciatingly drawn-out 25 minutes of official pre-match bollocks planned for the forthcoming Ireland vs. Wales rugby international, having given his ticket to diminutive white-haired lookalike Bernie Ecclestone in exchange for 3lbs of gout ointment and a minor percentage of Ireland’s national debt.
President Higgins is among a minority of Dublin intellectuals who oppose the overindulgent traditions associated with every home Ireland game, as well as the rain: “An umbrella is never enough, and I find neither is three glasses of Bushmills,” quipped the political powerhouse and part-time Mr Magoo impersonator. “I’d rather be watching the fecking game than wandering about making small talk with a bunch of overweight coal miners, country bumpkins and sheep shaggers. And I don’t care very much for those Welsh players either!”
The Higgins snub comes at the optimum time to stoke up pre-match tensions already reaching fever pitch on the back of “Dropping O’Driscoll-gate” and today: “Ireland’s Call-gate”.
Anyone not paying attention to international news events may have overlooked the shocking revelation that the acclaimed Calon Lan will not be played on Saturday as Wales’s ‘second anthem’, though the IRFU-commissioned ‘Ireland’s Call’ – and its charmingly sophisticated harmonic refrain – will. Indeed, extra consignments of bright-green Guinness-sponsored vuvuzelas are being shipped in to Dublin to hammer home the point.
In other news, the Welsh training camp has been boosted by rumours that ace Irish second-row Devin Toner is running low. Unwieldy, single-purpose and presenting a minor health risk when broken, Ireland’s Toner is extra large. “We’d fookin love to see to him run out on Saturday,” quipped enamel-coated Welsh coach Shaun Edwards.