Damn You Cipriani…

Posted on March 10, 2008. Filed under: Rugby | Tags: , |

Last Thursday Brian Ashton, England’s rugby union coach, dropped one of his promising young players from the team due to play Scotland later in the week. “Somewhat unremarkable” you may think, “Mr Sarcas, why the hell should we care?” What, not even if I say he was originally announced as being on the starting XV for the first time in his life, and was then dropped completely out of the 22? No?

Well, I suppose you’re right.

But no. Apparently not. According to the English press it is hugely important. And I agree with them, although probably not for the same reason as anyone else.

As far as we understand it, from the copious media coverage, all the members of the 22 were informed that they should get an early night before travelling up to Edinburgh the next day, and for comfort’s sake they could go home and sleep in their own beds (though what this meant for those based outside of the London area, one can only guess). Young Danny (for it was he) went out to a club around 23:30, and left about half an hour later, photographed by hovering (one presumes ‘called to the scene’) press photographers.

Coach Ashton didn’t think much of the behavior and dropped him. I say fair enough – he wasn’t partying or drinking according to most parties, but the coach has a final say in such things. I can see both sides of this argument, and many have rushed to Cipriani’s defense but despite the fact that he plays for the club I support, I was OK with the decision.

That’s not to say I’m not angry at Ashton. Sure as a Scotland supporter who thinks that Cipriani would provide more of a cutting edge at full back than the boy Balshaw, I was more than happy with the outcome.

However, I have a special reason to be displeased with both Cipriani and Ashton. And the reason is this: Fantasy Rugby. For the first time ever, I have decided to put together a team for the official Premiership fantasy league. Cipriani is my usual choice at fly-half, but being an international weekend where I knew he was scheduled to be starting, I took him off the team on Wednesday. His replacement? Sale’s in-form-again Charlie Hodgson, who has been playing fantastically for them recently. Done, and with a good number of points beckoning

And then what? Despite the fact that Cipriani was going in at fullback, he is in fact England’s back up fly-half. So Ashton had to replace him on the 22 with somebody and he chose – you’ll like this – Charlie Hodgson.

Well that’s just great.

The situation on Saturday then – Cipriani put back into the Wasps 22 where he can get points, and Hodgson is taken out of the Sale squad, where he can get none.

/me smacks my forehead.

That’ll teach me to micro-manage my team. Pssh..

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