Time to crowd out the PA announcer


ALL IN THE SCRUM:Stadium PA announcers; you can’t listen to them and you can’t shoot them.

On Saturday evening at the Aviva Stadium the tannoy announcements were particularly intrusive, both if terms of the decibel levels and also the fact that the spectators were treated like crèche goers.

Asking people to cheer is the lowest common denominator in trying to create an atmosphere unless you’re appealing to five-year-olds and even they are likely to be less than impressed. Shrieking into a microphone with an intensity completely at odds with the message is just plain irritating.

People will involve themselves vocally based on what they see on the pitch; not because a microphone tells them to. This column is thinking of starting a petition to limit tannoy proclamations to team announcements, replacements, the man of the match award, an attendance figure and any safety issues. All together now . . .

Collins a hooker

Speed, fearlessness, stamina and pugnacity are obvious qualities that will stand to the modern rugby hooker and will allow him to thrive in the the set piece and the breakdown.

Lansdowne hooker Steve Collins might not have any direct rugby bloodlines but there’s no doubting both his sporting pedigree and the suggestion that he is capable of dealing with the rough and tumble of the sport.

His father Steve is the former super-middleweight world boxing champion. His uncle Roddy is of soccer renown and another uncle Paschal, has also fought and now trains boxers.

Young Steve is doing well in a Mike Ruddock coached Lansdowne side that has made an impressive start to the season.

Saracens and South Africa hooker Schalk Brits merely confirms that sportspeople often excel across a number of sports and he proved this recently when playing in the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship over the St Andrews, Kingsbarn and Carnoustie courses.

Brits in the swing

Amateurs play with professional golfers and this allowed the five handicap Brits to team up with his childhood pal, the former US Masters champion and fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen. Brits spoke warmly on the experience – nerve racking and exhilarating – in the build-up to Saturday’s game between Ireland and the Springboks.

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