TV pundits make play for acting honours
February 1, 2013
Magician Dynamo paid a visit to the England squad ahead of their Six Nations opener against Scotland © @DylanHartley
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. Got anything you think warrants a mention? Let us know.
Now that's magic
England produced a fair bit of magic in their last outing against New Zealand in December and it appears they will soon be creating a fair bit off the field after renowned magician Dynamo paid them a visit ahead of the Six Nations. He clearly made an impression on Chris Ashton Dylan Hartley with the hooker taking to Twitter to show off his newly-found skills that would work a treat if you were stuck at the bottom of a ruck.
Is there no end to Austin's talents?
Those concerned that Austin Healey may disappear from their TV screens when ESPN's coverage of the Aviva Premiership draws to a close at the end of the season need not worry as it appears he is intent on carving out a new career as an actor. The former England international cropped up in the BBC drama Waterloo Road this week just in time for the acting awards season. Will he be dusting off the dinner jacket for the BAFTAS?
Richie still gets his kicks thanks to Black Stix
Clearly struggling to fill his time while on his well-earned sabbatical, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has found the perfect way to fill those endless hours when he would normally be on the training paddock - a girlfriend. The New Zealand Herald broke the news that New Zealand's most eligible bachelor was off the market with the lucky lady reportedly 22-year-old Gemma Flynn who has a busy sporting schedule herself due to the fact she is a member of the Black Sticks hockey squad and played at the recent London 2012 Olympics.
'What can we do you for Dooey?'
We're not averse to giving our rivals a bit of credit - especially if they make us laugh in the process. The new Super Rugby season is almost upon us and UK broadcaster Sky Sports have roped in their big guns - pundits and former internationals Michael Lynagh, Sean Fitzpatrick and Thinus Delport - to help promote the big kick off - with fellow Sky Sports regular Dewi (or Dooey) Morris brought along for the ride.
'I'm more scared of singing than facing Scotland'
Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees will make his England debut this weekend against Scotland and you would think he would be more than a little nervous about facing down the auld enemy - but no. The Scottish pack hold no fear compared to his initiation that requires him to sing a song in front of his team-mates. "When I joined Gloucester I was offered a choice of initiation: drink eight pints of milk or have my head shaved," he told The Sun. "I took one look at the milk and sent for the barber. This time I must choose a song - and I haven't got one. I'll focus on Scotland first, then worry about the singing."
Party time at Chez Shaw
Anyone for a slice of cake? © Getty Images
It was party time at the home of veteran Toulon lock Simon Shaw earlier this month with his daughter turning three-years-old.
To celebrate the occasion Mrs Shaw baked a cake in the shape of her child's favourite cartoon character Peppa Pig. But apparently it was a bigger hit with the parents present - can't think why?
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland