Fairy Rugby @rugbyworldcup @rugbyworldcup #RWC2015

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Chess is a great game, perhaps impossible to improve upon. Yet chess players will sometimes decide to mix things up, just for fun, by playing to different rules. They might introduce new pieces, or new powers for current pieces, or even change the point of the game. This is called “fairy chess”.

Likewise, Rugby Union is a wonderful game, perhaps impossible to improve upon. But, just for fun, here’s a few rules that you might want to muck around with. So without further ado, I present to you the somewhat unfortunately named “Fairy Rugby Union”.

  1. All rules are the same as in Rugby Union, except where stated below.
  2. Scrums are great, but they also slow the game down. Replace with free kick for the team which would’ve had the put in.
  3. Line outs are great, but like scrums take up time. Replace them with a throw in (under-arm or two-handed overhead) which can be in any direction. Which leads me on to…
  4. Forward passes are allowed. The lack of forward passing renders Rugby unintelligible to people from largely non-Rugby-playing nations (in my humble experience). Which also leads to…
  5. No knock-ons.
  6. The offside rule, just like the forward pass rule, is unintelligble to many from largely non-Rugby-playing nations. Do away with offside altogether.
  7. Now that tries will be relatively easy to score, change the ratio of points. For example, goals are still worth three, but a try is now two and a conversion five.

And there we are. Have fun!

*dons flame-resistant jacket*

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Most Offensive Advert Ever? @gareththomas14 @GuinnessGB #madeofmore #RWC2015

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I think I’ve seen the most offensive advert of all time (or, at least, of recent times).

Gareth Thomas, rugby player, stony-faced gives the voiceover, his voice breaking with emotion as emotional music plays.

Everything I went through out there [on the rugby pitch] was nothing compared to the demons inside.

In my darkest hour, I turned to my teammates.

Telling them I was gay, was the toughest thing I’ve ever done.

But when I needed them, they were there for me.

Gareth Thomas emerges from the tunnel onto the rugby pitch, head held high and chest out, walking proudly to face the masses.

Subtitles fade up:

GARETH THOMAS.

Thought he was alone.

Always part of a team.

Fade to black.

Now fade in… a pint of Guinness(!?) and the words Guinness: made of more.

Sorry, but what the f***!?

Gareth Thomas overcame sporting prejudice to say, “I am gay”. Even footballers, who play a much less manly sport, won’t come out. And when they do, it doesn’t end well: just look at Justin Fashanyu.

I’m sorry, but even by advertising’s slack standards, that is a disgusting advert. The struggle and turmoil of one man, the fight for LGBTI rights worldwide in the face of continuing violent opposition. All reduced to flogging Guiness.

What a load of offensive and cynical sh*t. It’s like nothing in this world has any worth anymore. Disgraceful.

See the YouTube version of this post here: https://youtu.be/saiUlN0hKy0

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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No Rugby World Cup 2015 Sticker Album? @rugbyworldcup @England2015 @RWC2015 #RWC2015

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I used to love collecting stickers as a kid. But despite being an avid sticker collector, we were pretty poor, so the only album I ever completed was the Rugby World Cup 1999 album. It was (kinda still is) my pride and joy.

I may now be 31 years of age, but in female years that is about eleven. So I’m pretty excited to buy the Rugby World Cup 2015 Official Sticker Collection.

One problem.

This seems to be the first RWC with no official album. What the hell!?!?!?!?

Someone tell me I’m wrong! I NEED MY STICKERS!!!

PULL YOUR FINGER OUT, MERLIN AND PANINI!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Rugby World Cup 2015 @rugbyworldcup @rugbyworldcup @England2015

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The Rugby Union World Cup 2015 kicks off this Friday. I’m really excited about it, even more excited than usual — probably because it’s being held in England.

Bit of a confession-cum-sob story to tell you, though.

I was born in ’84. My first World Cup was South Africa 1995. I have eagerly followed every World Cup since then, even completing the 1999 official sticker collection! (The only sticker collection I ever completed without having to order missing stickers)

Yet I went through a difficult period in late adolescence (of about five years) when I almost totally went off all sport. Just happened to co-incide with the 2003 World Cup.

Yeah, the one that England won(!) The only World Cup I didn’t avidly follow and watch. (The only World Cup England won, for Rugby newbs out there).

I’m hoping for a dream home win for England, a win I might actually experience this time! And I’m hyped. Especially so given our tough pool (including, as it does, Wales and Australia): but I say, Bring it on!

Another confession (of sorts) to make.

The Spring Boks, The Wallabies, the mighty All Blacks, The Frogs, Semis and Final. Meh. My favourite time of the tournament is the pool stages. That’s when we get to see plucky teams with plenty of heart that we don’t normally: the Japans, USAs, and Fijis (what’s left of their team that hasn’t been pinched by other nations, that is *cough* Tuilagi *cough*). I just can’t get enough of those minnows!

Which leads me to a novel and, though I do say it myself, genius idea.

After the pool stage, when the top two teams from each pool progress to the Quarter Finals, there should be a parallel Losers World Cup, where all the eliminated teams duke it out for the title of “Best of the Rest”™. A kind of Bronze Final for the entire competition, if you will. Or a Europa League type competition (for the association football fans in the room). You like?

All of this is to say: I’m bouncing up and down and giddy with excitement. Friday can’t come soon enough!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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