Pippa Middleton and the broken nose
April 12, 2013
England's new Sevens kit © Canterbury
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. Got anything you think warrants a mention? Let us know.
A fresh take on the English rose
The England Sevens team have never shied away from pushing the boundaries with their on-field wear. Who can forget that 'Tequila sunrise' shirt? This was quickly followed by a purple offering with a green stripe down the centre. They have now gone for a more scatter-gun approach which looks as if an infant has been let loose with a paint brush. Apparently it is meant to resemble the DNA of the rose.
Hey All Blacks, check this out
Most of the rugby-watching public will have seen the All Blacks' skills video which came to prominence nearly two years ago. Recently Jonny Wilkinson has been showing off his kicking precision in and around Toulon.
Step forward 12-year-old George Morgan from Dublin. He posted a video of his own skills and to date it has received over 165,000 hits. One of these interested viewers was All Blacks No.10 Dan Carter who Tweeted: "Just got sent this. Future AB??? Actually he is Irish so he might be wearing the Green Jersey one day #FutureStar". The youngster was clearly delighted and posted a picture of himself holding a sign which read: "Hey Dan your tweet meant the world to me".
Sushi, royalty and rugby
Pippa Middleton - another one of rugby's supporters © Getty Images
So I bet you always wondered what Pippa Middleton, sister of England's very own Duchess of Cambridge, did in her spare time while at University. Well she liked watching rugby and making sushi at the same time. Writing in her column for the Waitrose magazine, Middleton offers advice for meals and she suggests starting the weekend with a "relaxed, Asian-themed night in with friends".
And if you were worried about the rice-cooking aspect of making sushi, fear no longer readers. "The first time I made sushi was at Edinburgh University. I convinced my flatmates to help, promising we'd prepare it in front of the rugby on TV that afternoon," Middleton wrote. "The trickiest part was cooking the rice but even that, once we got a feel for the right stickiness, was easy, while the rolling just required patience. Keep the layer of rice fairly thin and be generous with the filling. If you don't have a bamboo rolling mat, just use clingfilm."
Keep on truckin'
Last year the Rugby Writers' Club honoured John Goldman, the man who could be Britain's oldest rugby player. Aged 72, Goldman has twice beaten cancer, has undergone a heart bypass and a back operation but still runs out for Mill Hill's rugby club. He is still playing the game and was recently the subject of an ITN interview - the man's a hero.
Let the plum see the pudding
The ever-popular television show Take me Out was adapted for Gloucester Rugby's specific needs as four of their players hoped to find love at a charity event. England's Freddie Burns played host to the evening while Matt Cox, Dan Robson, Tommaso D'Apice and Yann Thomas faced 17 'lucky' ladies. Instead of a trip to the Isle of Fernandos which those on the television show can enjoy, the couples will be off to the 'Isle of Nandos'.
Ernst Joubert's re-arranged nose © Jacques Burger
Each of the players were asked to show off a talent with D'Apice and Thomas turning to singing while Cox made balloon dogs. The evening was a huge success and it looks as if they have met their target of £1000 for The Fold, an orphanage in the Limpopo region of South Africa.
We always knew rugby players were hard but Saracens' Ernst Joubert has taken this to the next level. Saracens are now in the Heineken Cup semi-finals but the win over Ulster came at a cost - namely Joubert's nose which Jacques Burger Tweeted a picture of.
So now we know how much it costs to have a date with Mike Phillips - two women from St Clears in Wales have forked out £570 to go out with the star scrum-half. Nathalie Thomas' boyfriend was the winning bidder and he agreed to share it with Caroline Anthony who narrowly missed out.
The girls will now have to get their frock ready before meeting up with the British & Irish Lion No.9. The occasion was in aid of the Carmarthenshire Children's Centre plans at Glangwili Hospital and the night raised over £10,000 for the cause. Credit to Phillips for helping out.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9