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

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.


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.

Dr. McKinnon and the Paralympics

We have the Paralympics. Which have complicated classes for disability. Cognitive lacks play over here in one class, limb lacks over here in another, sight there and so on. There are even classes within classes to that we get swims where everyone is called Bob.

We already classify by the exigencies and happenstances of genetics and accident. Because it is entirely obvious to all that those without the brain to tie their own shoelaces aren’t going to do all that well against Magic Johnson. That those with the one and only functioning limb will, by the very nature of these things, paddle slower than Duncan Goodhew. Even at the ages of those two sportsmen.

There will, in fact, be no sport unless we do classify.

None of this is about righteous nor just. It’s about this simple point that sport requires uncertainty. It must be possible for there to be the race.

Male musculature as against female? What race? Therefore we should indeed distinguish and classify.

And don’t forget that by drawing a line there will always be some unfairly on the one side of it. Internal testicles making one not a woman for the purposes of racing? High testosterone levels in an Indian sprinter?

OK. The alternative being the demolition of women’s sport as a category as the male physique conquers.

Someone’s going to get screwed, sure, but who should it be? Probably the few, right? Not the all?

Bravo gentlemen, bravo

There was no such reprieve for the northeastern town of Kamaishi, where flooding had left the organisers with no choice but to cancel the lunchtime game between Canada and Namibia.
With their match at the Recovery Memorial Stadium cancelled, Canadian players grabbed shovels and helped clear the mud from Kamaishi’s streets.

Nowt larger than that, just well done, vry well done those men.

Tee hee

England cricket: an apology from The Times
We may have given the impression in Saturday’s Times that Joe Root’s England side had “No fight, no idea, no hope” after they were bowled out for a dismal 67 in their first innings.

We now recognise that they are among the finest, battling sides this country has ever produced. We are happy to make this clear.

Not really, no

Two face jail after watching footage of Emiliano Sala’s post-mortem

They face jail for stealing the footage, not watching it.

Sherry Bray, 49, and Christopher Ashford, 62, appeared at Swindon Crown Court on Friday where they admitted accessing CCTV footage of Sala’s post-mortem examination.

Ashford, of Calne, admitted three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between February 9 and 11 this year.

Bray, of Corsham, admitted three counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material between April last year and February this year.

Tiger at Augusta

Yesterday’s man is today’s Masters champion. Impossibly, ridiculously, Tiger Woods is back on top in golf again, with his fused back, his pile of lost years and his talent somehow back from the dead.

I guess we could say he’s back….