After sweltering sun filled days and sticky sleepless nights in tropical temperatures, I have arrived back in the UK, to find the rugby season in full swing.
After only the second weekend of action, injuries are already taking their toll.
A member of the press commented, prior to last weekend’s opening games, that Taulupe Faletau never gets injured and never misses a game, after 12 minutes of his debut for Bath both statements were well and truly confounded.
In France Toulon coach Diego Dominguez looked like he would be receiving his P45, following a home defeat to Brive, in week 3 of the Top 14, but a convincing 32-15 win away to Toulouse yesterday has certainly given him some breathing space.
Mourad Boujallel, rugby’s answer to Alan Sugar, has categorically denied that Fabien Galthie is primed to take over from Dominguez, so we can expect the former France scrum half to move in sometime soon.
Warren Gatland was revealed as Lions coach last week, surely the worst kept secret in rugby history, a situation made even more embarassing when social media plastered photos of Warren, at a photo shoot on the streets of Edinburgh, dressed in a lions polo shirt, the night before the announcement was due to be made.
The forward pass has hardly been rugby’s blot on the landscape , but it has now suddenly become an enigma wrapped in a riddle, with refereeing directives focusing on hands pointing forwards or back or is it up or down ?, let’s just go back to allowing the man in the middle to make the call as he sees it.
The directive has created more problems relating to the forward pass rule in the space of a week than I can recall over the last forty seven years added together.
Finally it was on this day, September 12, in 1981 that one of the most bizarre rugby international matches took place, between New Zealand and South Africa, at Eden Park Auckland, refereed by Clive Norling.
A match marred by violence outside the ground, and flour bombing from a light aircraft on to the field of play during the match.
As for the result ? Home Pride won in the end 25-22