The first thing I do on the morning of a game is look out of the window to see if the trees are blowing. As a kicker I would much rather play in a torrential downpour than in gale force conditions. It gets ridiculous when you can hoof the ball the length of the field with the wind behind you, but struggle to get it 25 metres if it’s against. I don’t think the wind plays on your mind mentally, it just makes it very difficult to judge how much effort you should put into kicks out of hand. Goal kicking is different because you can chose to go for goal or not, depending where you are on the pitch and the direction of the wind. We played at Connacht the other day and that’s got to be one of the windiest grounds around. In the Premiership Exeter is pretty bad.
TRP verdict: Maybe its nature way of telling fly-halves they should run more with the ball! You’re out.
2. Benefit cheats
I was brought up with a strong work ethic so people who think everything should be given to them on a plate really wind me up. There’s a programme on TV at the moment about what the Welfare State was like in the 40s compared to now and one of the ladies who was interviewed thought it was an achievement just to get out of bed in the morning. Needless to say it didn’t seem like she’d ever done a day’s hard work in her life. In this country we make it easier for people not to work than work. Thankfully the current government is trying to change that.
TRP verdict: It’s a vic-TORY…you’re in.
3. People who get in your way
This applies to middle lane drivers who refuse to move over or pedestrians who unnecessarily block the pavement because they are walking at snail’s pace or are oblivious to the people behind them. I’ve been doing a fair bit of commuting over the summer from Cheltenham to our training ground in Ealing, which is a fair old way, and my journey time there and back could be a lot quicker if people didn’t hog the middle lane.
TRP verdict: Fast-forward into Room 101