Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Blogging All-Star XV

Blogging XV
A team of all the talents?
As the Rugby World Cup moves into its knockout stages I thought it was a good idea to announce the line up of probably the strangest fantasy team that I will ever assemble. Let it not be said that I have too much spare time on my hands!

I know someone has probably done this theme before, more likely for soccer, and that people are probably a bit fed up of blog lists after Iain Dale's prodigious efforts in recent weeks. It seems to be the right time for this list though, and it does have the merit of being based on absolutely nothing sensible whatsoever.

So here are my picks to feature in the Blogosphere team at Rugby World Cup 2011. As many have chosen to remain behind the mask of anonymity the selections make no allowance for physical suitability to play in any particular position.

Props need to be tough and aggressive, often some of the most grizzled players on the field.

It's always handy to have a prop who can play at both sides of the scrum, so clearly a Lib Dem is called for, especially as I've opted someone in the other propping berth that would never play on the right side of the scrum regardless of whether he was playing tight head or loose head:
1 - Bob Piper
3 - Quaequam

Many of the same characteristics as props are required, with a greater mobility and a need to lead the pack. It's also a physically very uncomfortable position to play, so it's nice to award it to someone who wrote a somewhat scathing blog post about the sport:
2 - Iain Dale

The lock is the backbone of the scrum and the primary source of ball at the lineout. In the English game they are also tend to have a disciplinary problem that comes from single minded determination:
4 - John Redwood MP

I was a little bit stuck so I will also remind people that they are the tallest players on the pitch, so err…:
5 - Stephen Tall

Blindside Flanker
The blindside flanker is vital to the securing of ball at the breakdown, even if they have actually caused that breakdown themselves. They also need a solid tackling game to guard the blindside channel, and I can think of only one blogger who I've seen concrete video evidence in this department, even if he was playing the wrong sport at the time:
6 - Boris Johnson MP

Openside Flanker
The chief practitioner of the dark arts round the fringes. Just ask any Irishman his opinion of Neil Back. Someone who loves a bit of plotting and subterfuge then:
7 - Guido Fawkes

Number 8
Always one of the more vocal members of the pack, mainly because half them don't bind properly into the scrum these days leaving them free to hurl abuse at their team mates to get them moving. Plenty to chose from here:
8 - Mr Euginedes

Scrum Half
One of the more thinking positions on the pitch, and an ability to pass off both hands is a major advantage. Most important of all though these days seems to, how should I put it? The requirement to be the most image conscious of the team:
9 - Shane Greer

Fly Half
The most important role on the pitch to most minds. Looking at the team sheet we'd better have the only blogger that I know is currently actually playing the game then, especially when it is one skilled in use of the boot when called for:
10- A Very British Dude (Captain)

Inside Centre
Probably the hardest working position in the backline, often needing to put in a very high tackle rate while still looking for the smallest of gaps to sprint through:
12 - Thunder Dragon

Outside Centre
With a little bit more time and space to work with, the outside centre needs the ability to find the unexpected running lines to stun the opposition. A risky pick here, as I'm sure 10 minutes in the sin bin, alongside this team's number 8 for backchat to the referee is pretty much a certainty:
13 - The Devil

Left Wing
There are mixed strategies with wing selections, with some coaches favouring wings who can come off their own wing and pop up anywhere on the field. I am though going to stick with specialists:
11 - Dave's Part

Right Wing
I worry about the left wing's ability to remember to stay the right side of the touch line, the same applies to his counterpart over on the right, but I will go for the Jonah Lomu figure nonetheless, hoping to see some opponents trampled:
14 - Donal Blaney

The fullback needs to be able to take the ball wherever it comes from and put some pace on it, often finding dizzying running lines which pretty much gives the game away:
15 - Dizzy

With the likelihood of the entire front row being sent off in the first half for fighting amongst themselves and number 8 and outside centre both being sin-bin candidates replacements will be essential.

The front row replacements would need to have at least one common element that could bond them so I'll go for a thinking eurosceptic line-up of England Expects, Daily Referendum and An Englishman's Castle, with Tom Paine as loose forward cover.

Tim Montgomerie is always well turned out, so he can cover at scrum half. Norfolk Blogger shows an ability to cover a wide range of positions so comes into the team as a utility back, and while there is a lot of debate about webcameron counts as a blog, so can David Cameron, so he takes the final bench spot.

The coaching role would be a tough one, especially with the challenge of making your voice heard over that team. Unfortunately Yasmin Alibhai-Brown doesn't blog as she could probably handle the job, so I'll go for Helen Szamuely who from her 18DS performances seems able to able to make her voice heard in the same way, as well as being able to ensure team harmony, or erm…maybe not. At least the hair dryer performance at half-time should be impressive.


Daily Referendum said...

Excellent, and very topical.

Dusanne said...

Thanks Steve,

Still considering the 30-man squad after a few pints. His Grace has the Chabal beard, but in his current state would not add a lot of weight to the scrum. I've also had an e-mail suggestion of Jon Worth as stand-in fullback, but it seemed to be based on a wish to see him taken out in the air, high and late which I do understand, but doesn't seem that sporting.

Liked the conference updates - there really hasn't been a weak showing so far - only been able to see most of them on re-run so far but it needs saying. They are good messages and any fair minded person should stop and listen to them!

Anonymous said...

Amaze Westminster. Vote already now online about the EU at www.FreeEurope.info. Vote Yes or No to Free Europe Constitution!

Jackart said...


I'm very flattered, but I'm a donkey No. 4. I'm no use at all with the boot....

Devil's Kitchen said...

Ha! When I played rugbby, I did indeed play outside centre or flyhalf. I was tall and skinny, but I had longer legs than everyone else...

Very nice post, and thanks for the inclusion. Alas, I must go away now, and call the ref a total bastard...


Tom Paine said...

I am 6'7" and was pulled aside by the sports master as I walked into my secondary school the first day with the words "You, boy, were designed by God to be a second row forward."

Still, at my age, I am glad to get a theoretical game even if out of position and as a reserve!

Norfolk Blogger said...

I'm more of a football man, so appreciated the lesson in Rugby positions.

In footbal terms you seem to have described me as Phil Neville (England and Everton), so I don't know whether to be pleased or upset.

A good post all the same.

ThunderDragon said...

What's an Inside Centre? I'm not sure whether to be pleased or not!

Matt Wardman said...

Best piece of political linkbait I've seen for a bit.


However, I hev plans for Mr E on Friday morning.

Matt Wardman said...

Best piece of political linkbait I've seen for a bit.


However, I hev plans for Mr E on Friday morning.

Mr Eugenides said...

That last comment from Matt is a little ominous.

I was a poor-to-appalling blindside flanker, just to keep me away from the ball. Flattered to be included in a squad that has more than 15 available and fit [sic] bloggers.

Dusanne said...

Thanks for the interest all:

Jackart: was after more of a metaphorical boot but I know how an inability to kick the real ball feels. Got the range, but at worst I can hit a 270 degree arc without having a clue which bearing I've selected.

DK: Glad I got close on one real world position before you get stuck in to the one-armed bastard.

Tom Paine: Had a similar experience early on but then everyone else caught up and I put weight on, so did everyting 1-8 plus a very painful and indistigished end to my career at 12 when the weight came off.

Norfolk: Very considerate not to mention the other club Neville was associated with to a Yorkshireman. I probably know less about football than you do about RU but we Yorkies know what we like, and we certainly know what we don't like.

TD: From my experience, it's the hardest working position on the pitch...Also I'd know I'd subtly worked in Irish and Scottish connections, and I hoped that the mention of the word 'Dragon' would pacify any disgruntled Welsh support. Hope the job's going well.

Matt: We are all intrigued now.

Mr E.: If it was based on known physical fitness I'd start again from scratch and I still wouldn't even make the bench.

It's a shame that the 7's tournement sponsored by Computing magazine that I played in twice doesn't seem to be running any more, otherwise I could really raise the stakes. It's true that it was intended for the hard core IT industry, but somehow included the Metropolitan (PC Psycho once used the Police National Computer) Police, and Durham University's (we are sponsored by Accenture) First XV, so I'm sure a blogging team could have gone and shared the pain.