The spectre of O' Stunted continues to
blight Irish Rugby.
this will be the last Six Nations championship
presided over by Eddie O' Stunted.
Living up to his name, O' Stunted's selection policy has moved
Ireland forward not one jot. Indeed O' Stunted has made his selection
in an unbelievable attempt to place the blame for Ireland's World
Cup fiasco firmly at the feet of the players. "If they
can play well now then I was entirely right to select them for
the World Cup", is his mantra.
With England, France, Italy and Wales re-building and Scotland
trying to consolidate on their recent improvements it is possible
that Ireland will do reasonably well considering that they have
been largely unchanged for the last three years. Win the homes
and catch one of the big boys off guard away from home and Ireland
could walk away as Six Nations champions without doing very much.
This would be a disaster for Irish Rugby with O' Stunted's spin
machine going into overdrive and the slavering Blazers only too
happy to bend over and be shafted yet again. Anything other than
face the truth appears to be the IRFU motto.
If anyone is indeed putting the pressure on O' Stunted, as the
Blazers have claimed in their attempt to justify the absymal "Genesis
Report", then winning this Six Nations should be his
minimum requirement. After all he is the only team manager that
has put short term gains and meaninless win records before the
development of the national team!
For the sake of Irish Rugby let's hope we don't win too many!
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Ulster Rugby To Cease Playing Rugby
now on we'll focus on the commercial side." says CEO.
Marketing Department restlessness and an overwhelming
urge to demonstrate his powerful financial acumen Ulster Branch
CEO Mike Reid has expressed a desire to "focus exclusively
on what we do best - making fans part with their money."
Reid added, "This means that we must cease playing rugby
in order to devote ourselves to the creation of a hugely successful
commercial organisation. Over the last few years it has just become
impossible to maintain a high standard of profitability while
faced with the daily distractions of playing rugby. By stopping
the entire playing side of Ulster Rugby we will be in a position
to ensure that Ulster Rugby becomes one of the most profitable
rugby clubs in the world and can remain so well into the 21st
It is expected that up to 95 per cent of the
current Ulster Rugby staff will be made redundant, along with
all the players and support staff. Only some Marketing and IT
staff will remain to take the club forward.
The first big idea from the new regime will
be to launch a new jersey every fortnight for the fans to purchase.
This will be accompanied with a blaze of publicity at the Ravenhill
ground. Season tickets will be sold, colour denominated, to allow
fans to book, in advance, their place at the launches. Also for
sale at each new jersey launch will be a full colour catalogue
showing the entire range of Ulster Rugby merchandise from copper
toe rings with the famous red hand logo to Ulster Rugby sink plungers.
A giant screen will also be employed
at Ravenhill in the build up to the sale of the Ulster Rugby jerseys.
But as CEO Reid says "When the jersey appears dramatically
on the screen we are not just saying 'Buy
it !' We are saying, 'Live Your Dreams In An Ulster
Jersey You Sons and Daughters of Ulster. Make It Happen, Children
of the Earth...Find the Courage To Go Out and Make the Most Out
of Life.' I don't want that message of hope and inspiration
to be tarnished by crass commercialism."
The digital effects and hyper-realistic alien space battle sequences
in the new jersey presentation are said to represent a major breakthrough
in special effects and also require the construction of a new
Quantum MX5 amplifier and 15 kilotons of pyrotechnic explosives.
In the presentation's climactic finale, Reid said that the Cregagh
Estate could be completely destroyed !
"In the past with so much of our resources going into
things like player's salaries, the Academy, etc., a project like
this would not have been feasible. Now, from a financial standpoint,
our ability to convert our support from being fans into being
consumers through a barrage of arresting images and high volume
rock music is limitless. Let's just say that my ambition is to
make Ulster Rugby the most profitable rugby club in the world.
First of all I've got to get the Ulster Rugby credit card launched,
then start charging for paying by debit card, then..."
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Did You Know?
Referee Colonel W S D Craven was so unhappy with
the scrummaging in the France-Wales international in 1920, that
he fed the ball into the scrum himself to ensure a straight feed.
The French crowd were also unimpressed when Craven overruled
his own award of a try, following the intervention of the touch
judge - who was Welsh. Wales won by a single point: 6-5.
From THE TRIVIA LOVERS' GUIDE TO
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News From The
are setting up a new page for Panther News so check
back later in the week.
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Rugby on TV
Friday 1st February
19:30 England Saxons v Ireland A International Sky Sports 2 (19:30-21:30)
19:30 Perpignan v Montauban Top 14 British Eurosport 2 (19:15-21:15)
Saturday 2nd February
14:00 Ireland v Italy Six Nations BBC1 (13:00-16:30)
16:30 England v Wales Six Nations BBC1 (16:15-18:35)
Sunday 3rd February
15:00 Scotland v France Six Nations BBC1 (14:55-17:00)
Friday 8th February
19:10 Wales v Scotland U20 International BBC2 Wales (19:00-21:00) BBC Interactive (19:00-21:00)
19:30 Stade Francais v Brive Top 14 British Eurosport 2 (19:15-21:15)
Saturday 9th February
14:00 Wales v Scotland Six Nations BBC1
16:00 France v Ireland Six Nations BBC1