Excitement is reaching fever pitch, people: three more sleeps until the Rugby World Cup starts! This time last year I was hoping that I might somehow manage to afford a trip home for a couple of weeks of the tournament, although I feared that it would be too expensive. Now, I’m here for the whole thing – all 48 games – and a happy side-effect of my current bout of unemployment means that I’m going to be able to watch it all unfold. And I’m going to one pool game (South Africa vs Samoa, which is a sell-out and should be amazing) and one of the quarter-finals – it should be the one featuring my beloved All Blacks.
When I watch rugby I do actually understand what’s going on and can talk about the game in a reasonably knowledgeable way. This is considered a bit freakish in the Northern Hemisphere and English men of A Certain Age were so unaccustomed to the spectacle of a woman knowing about rugby that I was able to build valuable relationships with senior managers and law firm partners (and sometimes get hold of tickets to sold-out games, which was fantastic). However, in New Zealand it’s far more normal for women to know about the game, so it’s nice to be able to pop into a shop and talk about the Springboks’ chances or whatever without running the risk of being burned as a witch.
I know that there are some female blog readers who have a passing interest in the game, or who are married to people who take the game seriously and who might want a good reason to watch it occasionally. As a valuable service to these readers – and as a little treat for me – here is a totally unnecessary gallery of hot All Blacks.
He’s a legend of a player and he looks pretty decent. He’s Captain Fantastic.
He’s not exactly my type, but there’s no denying that he’s easy on the eye. And he is sensational on the field.
He’s the player that my whole family can get behind. And I’d have him in my starting XV because he runs all day and tackles like a champ.
Sonny Bill Williams
He should be encouraged to go shirtless at every opportunity. He might not be an All Black forever, so let’s enjoy him while we can.
Now, get yourself in the RWC mood with this awesome flash mob haka in an Auckland mall: