You look like a Sad Clown Hooker…

 
 

Prophetic. Inspired. Ahead of my time. Mainly just plain old right. Yes, right. I was right. Right. Right. Right.

And it seems to have caused undue cockiness, gloating and a serious case of know-it-allism. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s return to the beginning…

Exactly one yearish since we opened the Fantasy Six Nations diary (and just under that since said Fantasy Six Nations ended in a haze of James Hook, broken wine glasses and fourth place) my team and I are back and ready for rugby action once more. Well we were ready two weeks ago when the competition actually started, now we’re just actioning – I’m very busy and important you see.

This year will be different, this year is already different in fact. Gone are The Big Gay Beards. Gone. I have a new team now and they’re bigger, faster, prettier, hairier, shinier and just plain betterer than anything that has come before. Say oh hai to the Sad Clown Hookers.

Six English, four French, two Italians, token Scot, token Welsh and token Irish.

Yep, token Irish. You see unlike certain otwo editors, I firmly believed that England would be this year’s winners and that Ireland would struggle. Firmly believed, not sort of believed and then backtracked, then straddled the Welsh/French fence then jumped ship to the French. No no, I believed. (Still do obviously) And honestly, the WELSH???

See, here’s the undue cockiness and know-it-allism rearing its head. Cast your mind back eleven to twelve months and I was reading Rugby Union for Dummies (haven’t finished it yet) Wikipediaing the entire French team for someone called Aaron Orducy (never did find him) and picking Scotsmen at random to fill the hole in the pack…oh wait. Anyway the point is that I seem to have grown – not as a person obviously otherwise there would be less gloating – but as a rugby fan.

This year I knew names, I knew stats, I knew that T-Bo, lovely, lovely T-Bo was injured. I love you Tommy. And I knew that England would be the team to beat.

How did I know? Oh please, there’s only one player I even remotely follow the career of, and we all know what team he plays for.

And so we’re back to the being right. I. Was. Right.

Toby the Tiger is not only playing at ten, but OWNING at ten. Now I don’t look so stupid for picking him in that spot almost one year before he was allowed play there. Who’s laughing now eh? You see some things haven’t changed this year despite my earlier protestations to the contrary. My first team pick was to gloriously slot Toby the Tiger into that number ten position and know that there he shall remain. I even took a few minutes to be smug that he was really, really expensive. So expensive it meant I couldn’t afford BOD, but who needs BOD when you have a Tiger at ten? MJ had finally come to his senses and woke up to smell the roses (I shall mix metaphors if and how I choose) some time around June. Jonny was out, Toby was in and England were winning. (And losing but the important thing was the occasional winning.)

Then in the Autumn, when Ireland were floundering at the Aviva, Toby & Co were beating Australia again, and St Jonny was nowhere to be seen.

So yes, Floody is in and playing like a gem. And you can’t have Floody without Ben Youngs scampering about the pitch with him. You see I have learned from my mistakes with the BGB and one of those lessons was never to underestimate the scrum-half. He’s not just the little one destined for the American Smooth with Erin, he’s a real person and he has skills (unless he’s Welsh). So my half-back pairing basically picked itself and if it happens to be a Tigers half-back pairing, well you can’t fault my loyalty. Or my rightness. Right!

I’ll be honest , I had considered picking more Irish lads than my token, but the ones I wanted were injured – T-Bo, Heaslip or too expensive, and I really didn’t fancy Ireland to be scoring many tries. So it came down to who I could afford in the end, and I could afford Luke. I like Luke, he’s a nice guy, last time I saw him in person he was surrounded by 23 schoolchildren begging for autographs outside the Student Centre. And he was graciously obliging them all. So yes, a nice guy. Probably wont make the next round with the Hookers, but nice doesn’t get me many points in this game.

BFFs

As for the rest of my backs they were fairly easy to choose – it had to be Ashton and Foden really. I expected great things from Ashton after that try, and he seemed to be crossing the line every week for Northampton so I was seeing the try points mounting. I can’t be breaking up such a beautiful partnership either, so Foden was in too.

I have no idea why I chose Medard. Actually none. Awesome though.

That left one slot in the backs and around four imaginary Guinness rugby currency to fill it. Desperate times called for an Italian, and so I picked the Australian. Another Luke, go figure. I honestly didn’t expect much, so colour me surprised when he crossed the line against Ireland. Go Luke!

The forwards, oh the forwards! I might know the difference between tighthead and loosehead, but I still sometimes forget what the four and the six are called, and I’m not always sure what they’re at in that ruck, but Guinness demanded eight forwards so

He's 23!

choose I did. I went for the Leicester props, they’re the only ones I knew to be honest, and Dan Cole lives with a certain other Tiger and provides very entertaining stories about fake tan and Christmas trees. Also he scored that try that one time. Last year. Against…us? Supposedly.

On the other side, the BGB may be gone, but they’re not forgotten and neither is their poster boy. He is hairier now than ever before – except for that bald patch at the top, and he still wears his socks rolled down, and he still seems to come and go from the pitch whenever he pleases, but every Sad Clown Hooker needs a poster boy and ours was still Castro. It’s a shame about the discipline problem, there will be words. And hopefully free Italian food at Timo.

Other than that, I fancied a French affair. Harinor(like the soup)doquy was back, as was Dusautoir (so pretty). Domingo came in as actual hooker. No Heaslip this time around and Mad Dog is injured along with Tom Croft, which meant it was token time. Barclay reprised his role as token Scot and Bradley Davies was the chosen Welsh representative. I’d learned my lesson from Lee Byrne, this would be no Welsh outfit. One was the maximum, you can’t depend on them. Look what happened last year with the Ballerinas, Hook or Jones, Jones or Hook. NEITHER, that’s the answer. One Welsh man and one only. Except Adam Jones, he doesn’t count because he has such lovely hair.

And so only one choice left to make, and it was simples. Three of your imaginary Guinness rugby currency left and only one player who fit the bill. Louis Deacon, step on up and get your Sad Clown on, for you are now a Hooker.

So that’s that, the team is built and with considerably less confusion than last time. The gloating and cockiness began in earnest some time around Saturday evening last.

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Oh did I not mention who’s winning?

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