The Sin Bin
Beer and naked women - have we got your attention?
July 13, 2012
Saracens' Andy Saull got in the Olympic spirit before entertaining the crowds in St Albans earlier this week © @AndySaull
Welcome to the latest edition of The Sin Bin - our regular feature offering you some of the quirkier stories to emanate from the game we love.
There's not a ruck we will not delve into or a hospital pass we will avoid in a bid to bring you some of the more bizarre, humorous and downright daft stories, videos, pictures and soundbites from around the rugby globe.
Taking the p***
Word reaches us at ESPNscrum Towers of an alarming incident in an Australian club game between the Wollongong Vikings and Avondale. An unnamed Vikings player was accused of urinating in his shorts in a bid to put off would-be tacklers but has since been cleared of such skulduggery. "He had wet shorts, but there's no evidence to back up claims the wetness was urine," said Illawarra District Rugby Union chairman Peter Woods following an investigation. The player claimed he had poured water around his groin region in response to taunts from spectators during the game - make your own mind up.
Are you hard enough?
Heard the one about the beer-vending machine that will only serve you if you tackle it? "A beer company in Argentina has produced a novel way for drinkers to get their drink - if they are strong enough," teases the Daily Mail. "The vending machine, which serves a brand called Rugbeer, needs to be 'tackled' before it provides both a drink and possibly a dislocated shoulder." If you were ever in any doubt about Argentina's passion for the game - check out the video below while we see about getting one for ESPNscrum Towers.
Madagascar on the march
We are delighted to report that Madagascar's dreams of playing at the 2015 Rugby World Cup are alive and well after an astonishing 57-54 extra time victory over the relative powerhouses of Namibia that not only wrapped up the Africa Cup Division 1B title but also sent them rocketing up the IRB rankings to 42nd spot. The tournament may still be several victories and a few thousand miles away but try telling that to the incredible 54,000 crowd that delighted at witnessing such a thriller!
It's not funny!
Japan coach Eddie Jones ripped into his team following their 40-21 loss to the French Barbarians and amazingly the video managed to evade us until recently. His skipper bore the brunt for daring to smirk as Jones apologised for his side's display - check out the video below from around the 2m 45sec mark. Great straight-talking from Jones - long may he reign.
Wales' very own Prince of Wales
Gavin Henson returned to the headlines this week by signing for Premiership newcomers Oxford Welsh, sorry, London Welsh. The move didn't exactly come out of the blue but still got the internet buzzing and Richmond's tanning shops celebrating the end of the recession. His return to the limelight was also hailed on Twitter by his highly-entertaining parody - @UnrealGavHenson.
And finally, rugby's return to the Olympics may still be over four years away but Canada's women already have their eyes on Brazil. They have produced a calendar aimed at raising a little cash to fund their Olympics bid but also to 'promote positive body image'. They are not the first to pose in various states of undress in the name o a good cause, but we're not complaining. "Every woman on this team works so hard at being physically fit and eating properly," said Barbara Mervin, a flanker on the squad and spearhead of the calendar initiative. "It is a reward to have these pictures taken so we can see our bodies in a beautiful light." Here, here.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel