PlanetRugby

 

Brotherly love. That won't be quite the case at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, more like the battling siblings. There will be two sets of brothers representing different countries in Australia: the Cockbains, Brent (Wales) and Matt (Australia), and the Yachvilis, Dimitri (France) and Gregoire (Georgia).

Sibling rivalries continue

Brent Cockbain may have been born in Coffs Harbour but he is returning to the country of his birth with Steve Hansen's Wales squad. Elder brother Matt, who has won 59 caps for the Wallabies and was a member of the 1999 World Cup-winning side, will be hoping to help his country to back-to-back successes.

Former French hooker Michel Yachvili won't know which way to turn at the World Cup, because Dimitri will be representing France at scrumhalf while Gregoire will be in the back row for Georgia.

This follows on from the 1999 tournament when the Bachops, Steve and Graeme, opposed each other when playing for Samoa and Japan respectively. It was similar for the Umagas, Tana lining out for the All Blacks against his brother Mike, who was playing for Samoa. Tana and Mike had played together for New Zealand, as had Graeme and Steve.

Brothers who played for different countries:

Hancock: Francis Escott (Wales) 1884 v Ire; 1885 v Eng, Scot; 1886 v Scot.

Hancock: Phillip Froude (England) 1886 v Wales, Ire; 1890 v Wales.

Jordan: Henry Martyn (Wales) 1885 v Eng, Scot; 1889 v Scot.

Jordan: Charles - may have played for Ireland v Wales 1884 (Irish sources claim it was Henry Martyn Jordan, as Ireland had arrived short of players. But some Welsh historians believe it was not the tiny wing who played in the pack, but rather his brother, Newport forward Charles Jordan) .

Aston: RL (England) 1890 2 caps.

Aston: FTD (South Africa) 1896 4 caps.

McEwan: WMC (Scotland) 16 caps 1894-1900; (South Africa) 2 caps 1903.

McEwan: MC (Scotland) 15 caps (1886-1892).

MacDonald: Dugald (South Africa) 1 cap 1974.

MacDonald: Donald (Scotland) 7 caps 1977-78.

McCahill: Bernie (New Zealand) 10 caps 1987-91.

McCahill: Seán (Ireland) 1 cap 1995.

Many New Zealanders of recent seasons, including:

Umaga - Tana (NZ) & Mike (Samoa). Alatini - Pita (NZ) & Sam (Samoa). Bachop - Graeme (Samoa, NZ, Japan) & Steve (Samoa, NZ). Gordon - Stephen (NZ) & Robert (Japan). Cooper - Greg (NZ, Croatia) & Matthew (NZ). Mealamu - Keven (NZ) & Luke (Samoa). So'oialo - Rodney (NZ) & Stephen (Samoa).

One in the eye for Anderson

Leinster's assistant coach Willie Anderson enjoyed an excellent playing career, including 27 caps and a Triple Crown win with Ireland in 1985, and has since gone on to became a successful coach. One incident for which he is renowned was his decision when captaining Ireland against New Zealand at Lansdowne Road in 1989 to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the All Black Haka.

While the Kiwis were in mid-flow, Anderson marched the line right up until he came nose to nose with the New Zealand captain, Wayne Shelford. In one of yesterday's many Rugby World Cup magazine supplements the incident was recalled.

Under the heading "How to face the Haka", it outlined three ways. The first recalled a game in 1905 when a Wales team burst into a rousing rendition, accompanied by the crowd, of Land Of My Fathers. The second cited the case of Australian legend David Campese, who used to ignore the Haka and continue his warm-up, while the third recalled the Anderson incident.

"In November 1989 at Lansdowne Road, Ireland captain Willie Henderson led his whole team forward to face the Haka."

See, gone but not forgotten. Well, your surname might change, but hey, at least he left an impression.

Jones falls into asthma trap

It seems that Ireland hooker Frankie Sheahan is not the only player to be guilty of a clerical oversight in relation to form filling. An independent Judicial Tribunal met in London recently to hear a case brought against Caerphilly player Paul Jones as a result of an anti-doping test conducted following the Parker Pen Shield final against Castres on May 25th of this year.

The test showed Jones had an estimated 450ng/ml of the prohibited substance salbutamol in his system. The Tribunal, which consisted of Roy Manock (England, chairman), Dr Barry O'Driscoll (Ireland) and Michael Dickinson (England), accepted that the player is an asthmatic and medically requires salbutamol.

The player was deemed guilty though of inadvertently failing to disclose this medical need on the Player Consent form to the European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC) before the tournament started. The panel also noted that the player's club had not provided sufficient guidance and help. Jones was banned for three months, from July 29th to October 29th, and ordered to pay the costs of the hearing.

Don't think there'll be many players who forget to tick the appropriate boxes next season.

Raed tihs at yuor peirl

This next item is strictly for front-row forwards.

Your brain is wired in such a way as to recognise potential matches to familiar objects, this is how optical illusions work . . .

But did yiu konw taht aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy,it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but he wrod as a wlohe.

Next week: counting with the back row.

Hookers set to dominate

It seems Aussie brothels are desperately trying to hire Ms Whiplash-style hookers to meet demand from upper-class English rugby fans during the Rugby World Cup. Sex-industry experts Down Under expect business to rocket by up to 30 per cent as more than 100,000 foreigners travel to watch the tournament.

Eros Foundation co-ordinator Robbie Swan explained that bondage and domination isn't popular with Australian kerb-crawlers - but rugby union fans love it.

"It's not something that's very big in Australia, so a lot of the brothels are looking at lining up a dominatrix for the tournament," he said.

"If you look at where the game came from, the English public schools, they're very much into correction and all that.

"You'll get your beer-drinking yobbos but at the higher end of the scale, rugby union has a clientele that you just don't get with rugby league - the judges, lawyers and big decision-makers who are into all this."

Champagne rugby ensured

Those looking for an alternative vantage point while at the same time helping a good cause might consider a champagne breakfast at Jury's Hotel in Cork for the World Cup game between Australia and Ireland. There will be match analysis by former Wallaby and current Munster captain Jim Williams. The package includes a champagne reception and a full Irish breakfast with a big screen on which to watch the match. The proceeds will go to the Mick O'Connell appeal and those interested should contact either Norma Murphy (086-8354005) or Eimear O'Reilly (086-8593658).