Nothing gives me butterflies like the Six Nations. I guess I’ve been watching it now for 30 of my 38 years with knowledge of what the competition means. I remember, as a child, sitting in the chair nearest the tv in my parent’s back room with big butterflies flapping around my gizzard waiting to hear AmhrÃ¡n na bhFiann. I feel the same little butterflies belting away already. Class.
Right now I presume I’ll be watching all the Ireland games in pubs between NYC and New Jersey as I can’t find Setanta Sport’s other live offerings anywhere (if anyone knows please comment below).
Paul O’Connell will be back for the Scotland game according to Eddie O’Sullivan. I hope he finds some form during his recuperation or maybe like BOD he was playing injured during the RWC – I hope that is the case as Ireland can’t cope without a player of his class. Worryingly EOS still appears to be dilusional.
In other injury news Marco Bortolami will miss the Ireland game on February 2 having fractured two facial bones playing for Gloucester against Ulster last weekend.. He should be fit for the Wales game on February 23. England will be without Paul Sackey (mumps), Peter Richards (torn bicep) and perhaps Simon Shaw(soft tissue dameage – ankle) for their game with Wales. Brian Ashton is not worried.
Eleven of the twenty-two players Marc Lievremont has picked to face Scotland on February 3rd were not in the French World Cup squad. Several players have retired but Sebastian Chabal is surprisingly left out – I’ve no idea why except that it is obvious he can’t last 80 minutes at that level. I’d use him in the back row as an impact sub – his charisma and charm scares opposition halfbacks to death.
The RFU has decided to shaft the poverty stricken Pacific Islanders by not giving them an appearance fee or profit share from their Autumn meeting with England in Twickenham. However the RFU will give the All Black’s wads of cash for playing later on November 29 as that game falls outside the IRB’s international window and so required consent from the IRB and a different financial deal. This assures the All Black’s a tilt at the grand slam and a share of Â£3m sterling – stay classy RFU.
The All Blacksâ€™ international schedule for the fall is:
Nov 8: Scotland v New Zealand
Nov 15: Ireland v New Zealand
Nov 22: Wales v New Zealand
Nov 29: England v New Zealand
Midweek games are to be added.