Sport

Logical and obvious but won’t there be shrieking about it?

World Rugby has recommended that transgender women do not play elite women’s rugby following a review.

New guidelines have been drawn up to cover the participation of transgender athletes in men’s and women’s contact rugby where it is possible to do so safely and fairly.

As a result, transgender men are permitted to participate in men’s contact rugby but the same does not apply to transgender women in women’s rugby.

“Given the best available evidence for the effects of testosterone reduction on these physical attributes for transgender women, it was concluded that safety and fairness cannot presently be assured for women competing against transwomen in contact rugby,” said a World Rugby statement.

Muscle mass makes this the only sensible outcome.

Do note the asymmetry too – it’s you possibly damaging others that matters. You want to put yourself at risk well, it is a contact sport. Thus F to M, your look out, M to F it’s the external effects that matter.

Prizes will be awarded for the spotting of the first claims of how transpohobic this decision is.

Oh Lord

In 2018 he graduated in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London

Maro Itoje is not going to have a healthy and balanced view then…..

Werl, it’s Christian, innit?

Can;t sing that in the modern Britain:

England rugby fans could soon be banned from singing ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ at international matches because of its origins as an anthem for American slaves.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Thursday that it was conducting a review into the ‘historical context’ of the song over concerns it is inappropriate.

A well-placed source said: “One option after consultations is to stop this being sung at matches.”

The use by the RFU on social media of the slogan “Carry Them Home” taken from the song’s second line has been suspended with immediate effect, the organisation said. Official merchandise using the slogan, including on children’s t-shirts, is still available for purchase pending the review….

Angels, heaven? Grossly divisive. Even the CoE doesn’t believe in that any more.

When is racial equality not racial equality?

This is fun:

When the NFL first was made to formally address the embarrassing lack of diversity in its coaching and front-office ranks back in the early aughts, a scant three of the league’s 32 teams were helmed by minority head coaches. Seventeen years since the introduction of the Rooney Rule, which requires all clubs to interview at least one minority candidate for its openings at head coach and general manager, the grand total entering the 2020 season has inched upward to four: the Dolphins’ Brian Flores, the Chargers’ Anthony Lynn and the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, who are African American, and Washington’s Ron Rivera, who is Hispanic.

Lately it feels like we’re moving backwards. Only three of the 20 head coaching gigs that have opened up since the end of the 2017 season have been filled by minorities, an unacceptable outcome in a league where more than 70% of the players are African American.

Management of American football must reflect the society which is being managed. But the player roster of American football does not have to match the wider society.

Fun, eh?

How lovely

Prompted by something in the comments, cricket at the Olympics. Only done once, at the 1900 games.

only two countries competed, Great Britain and hosts France.

The French came second of course. But this:

The match….did not attract first-class status.

So, it was possible – in fact it happened to most of the team – that they were reigning Olympic champions, gold medal holders, for a however much of the century they lived and yet the’d still not played a fist class match. I rather like that….for the bloke who turned out in 1923 for Oxford V Cambridge has played first class cricket.

This is shocking, shocking

It’s like finding gambling going on in a Tangiers boozer:

Kings Cross Steelers, the world’s first gay-inclusive rugby club, have said that the shocking levels of homophobic language revealed by a study conducted by Harlequins shows the need for clubs like theirs.

Ahead of hosting the world’s first ever professional LGBTQ+ Pride match against London Irish in the Premiership this weekend, research commissioned by Quins among clubs in their catchment area has revealed that that the majority of male rugby players, 69 per cent, had heard their teammates use homophobic slurs in the last two weeks, while 42 per cent of those same players admitted to using such language themselves in the same time period.

Hearty male sporting society uses language to shock maiden aunts? Tell us all it ain’t so!

That history sure does echo

SIX NATIONS | STUART BARNES
Robot rugby is squeezing out free spirits like rebel Finn Russell

Well, yes. Barnes, when playing, was rather the free spirit and was markedly short of caps given the manner in which Rob Andrew, a more robotic player (his excuse being that he played the way he was told to by the coach) gained many more caps.

This being something that Barnes himself notes of course:

I empathise with Russell. It’s a lifetime ago but I recall an England team meeting. I was asked what I would do when we threw a ball to the back of the lineout and crossed the gainline with a battering-ram runner. I suggested I might look up and see where the opposing defenders were before making any decision. Wrong answer. A few of the lads laughed. I hadn’t been paying sufficient attention to the pre-ordained plan.

That year I walked out on England and missed the first World Cup.

Well done that man, well done

And back in the clubhouse, Collins asked his team-mates for the day if he could wear their club socks while playing for Barbarians against South Africa at Twickenham a month later.

“There is Jerry Collins of New Zealand and Barnstaple,” said commentator Stuart Barnes as the Kiwi strode into challenge wearing red socks.

Hmm, not sure about this

From studying just under 1,000 student athletes, around half at the elite Division One level, the athletes were able to ignore electrical noise in the brain in order to better process external sounds such as a teammate or coach giving instructions.

The study’s author, Nina Kraus of Northwestern University said: “No one would argue against the fact that sports lead to better physically fitness, but we don’t always think of brain fitness and sports.

“We’re saying that playing sports can tune the brain to better understand one’s sensory environment.”

“A serious commitment to physical activity seems to track with a quieter nervous system,” Kraus said. “And perhaps, if you have a healthier nervous system, you may be able to better handle injury or other health problems.”

College level athletes in the US are usually pretty good. This is a lot more selective that peeps turning out for the college third team in the UK.

How much of this is going to be because people at that level of anything are pretty good at concentrating?

So, Saracens have just been dinged

For breaching the salary cap. Anyone know the details?

Rough reading around says arrangements with layers involving Companies House and the Land Registry.

So, what were they doing? Here’s a shareholding in a nice little earner to top up your wages? Here’s a reduced rate on your mortgage? What?

Nigel Wray as always been very – what’s the word I’m looking for, canny? – in his stock market dealings.

Ordeal?

New Zealander adrift in tiny dinghy in Aegean survived on boiled sweets during 40 hour ordeal

Well, not fun I’m sure but ordeal seems a bit strong. 40 hours without fresh water is indeed a strain but again, ordeal seems a bit too strong a word for it.

Ah

That’s a surprise then.

And that’s even without counting two tries*.

*Well, sorta. One probably.

A dangerous policy

Why the All Blacks’ ‘no dickheads’ policy is simply a New Zealand myth

If adopted elsewhere, would leave the Saffas* team sheet a bit short, wouldn’t it?

*Insert whoever you don’t like to taste here.