Saint Deano, sleeping and school dances
August 24, 2012
Dean Richards shows off his halo at the RFU Championship launch © Getty Images
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.
You just couldn't write this one. Just back from his three-year ban following Bloodgate, Dean Richards has dusted off his halo. Credit to the mischievous photographer who captured the image during the launch of the new RFU Championship season - where Richards will attempt to drag Newcastle back into the top flight after relegation last time out.
Steve Hansen goes fishing
The new All Blacks coach wasted no time in lighting the blue touch paper in the rivalry between New Zealand and Australia prior to their match last Saturday. When Hansen was asked about the potentially intimidating atmosphere awaiting him and the rest of his side in Sydney, he responded: ''There's a lot of Kiwis living over here now…and Robbie's picking half of them already." Deans, who's already under enough pressure, responded with "Steve is a very good fisherman. He loves fishing" and avoided taking the bait.
Time for Henson to get serious
At the launch of the new Aviva Premiership season on Monday, Lyn Jones faced the usual barrage of questions about Gavin Henson. Never one to shy away from saying exactly what he was thinking, Jones, to the delight of the watching press, said: "Gav has had three or four years of fannying around and not being serious about his rugby. He has grown up and he realises now he has four or five years left in the game and he wants to give it his best shot. He is training hard and he's enjoying himself.'
Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher wasn't all that impressed with some of the fare served up by South Africa and Argentina in their Rugby Championship opener last weekend.
Dave Denton tries out water polo © PA Photos
A different kind of ball game
Scotland flanker Dave Denton tries a different type of sport last week and kept the Olympics-good feeling going. Denton journeyed to Glasgow to try out the pool that will be used in the Commonwealth Games and had a crack at water polo.
Catching 50 winks
The start of the new season of Premiership rugby is nearly upon us but at Harlequins, it looks like they are still in the midst of a savage pre-season. Aficionados of Quins-based Twitter will notice that a few of their posts this week have been photos of their team-mates asleep. George Lowe was captured in the changing room, Joe Gray back in his flat, while Seb Stegmann looked like he was using their day out at QBE headquarters to catch up on some kip rather than learn about the City.
Letting his rugby do the talking
Quade Cooper will be in the headlines one way or another this weekend with him back in the green and gold of Australia for their match with the All Blacks. But he kept his pre-match chat to an absolute minimum...just six seconds in fact.
Quade Cooper does not hang around
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin