A few wishes for the New Year:
That the Lions do not let a blade of grass grow under their feet before offering Joe Schmidt the ultimate accolade – head coach for the four-Test series in South Africa in 2021.
That referees stamp out the growing practice of players asking them to give an opponent a yellow card. It’s easily done. Give the yellow card to the one who wanted it given to someone else.
That Leinster win the European Cup for a record fifth time, not so much for their sake as for head coach Stuart Lancaster’s – rising ever higher from the ashes of England’s last World Cup since his arrival in Dublin, a city famous for its own Phoenix Park.
That players are given red cards at the scene of their crime not several days later via a disciplinary tribunal. Referees cannot possibly see everything but, despite two assistants running touch and the all-seeing TMO, how come they have failed to such an extent that 20 who avoided being sent-off have already been cited this season on the basis that they should have been. The verdict on all 20: guilty as charged.
And, finally, would someone somewhere ensure that the ball is fed into the scrum as the law requires, straight down the tunnel between the front rows, not straight to the No.8. If that’s asking too much, then World Rugby ought to stop the pretence and remove the law from the book. Happy New Year.
Tagged Joe Schmidt