NOVEMBER 2016: THE STORIES THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE HEADLINES

by COLIN RENTON

A few miles left on the clock

Jonathan Best, the Grenoble flanker who will be out of contract in the summer, is desperate to find a new club. So desperate, in fact, that he placed an advert on the website Le Bon Coin, the French equivalent of Gumtree.  The 33 year old, who has featured rarely in the current campaign said in the ad: “In the garage for more than a year…Doesn’t consume too much salary but likes to devour opponents…Doesn’t travel as quickly as in the early years but retains an endurance and optimal perseverance.”

Dan Carter v Ronan O’Gara – who is your money on?

This is rugby golf and the pair went head-to-head in a charity event at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club.

Rucking all over the world

Boroughmuir may be struggling at the moment in the BT Premiership, but the Edinburgh club should take pride in the sprinkling of old boys who featured for their countries in the autumn internationals. While Magnus Bradbury (with a big nod to Oban Lorne) made his Scotland debut, Andy Rose was turning out for Zimbabwe, Fin Field featured for Hong Kong, and Sep Visser was in the Netherlands line up.

And, it wasn’t just Boroughmuir who were adding to their list of capped players. Edinburgh Accies prop James Pearse earned selection for Belgium, while ex-Stirling County scrum-half Gordon McRorie added to his collection of appearances for Canada, who also had former Glasgow Warriors trio DTH Van der Merwe, Connor Braid and Taylor Paris in their ranks.

Making the most of it

Shirts have been used as posts for many years but here’s a novel use of your rugby top when the ground is hard and there are no kicking tees…

Not giving up the day job

Taylor Paris, mentioned above, has agreed a move from Agen to Castres next year. His pre-season is sure to differ from his unorthodox build up to the current ProD2 campaign. The 24-year-old spent two weeks at the end of the summer completing his training to be a fireman. Paris hopes to make it his profession when he eventually returns to Canada. He is now a fully qualified volunteer and, as he is serving France, will not count towards the foreign player quota at Castres.

A different ball game

Germany following up a win over Uruguay with a success against Brazil is a sequence of results that, until now, would only ever have happened on the football field. However, a Chris Hilsenbeck penalty with the final kick of the match saw the Germans home 24-21 against Uruguay, moving them to a highest ever world ranking of 23. Against Brazil, the Germans led 8-0 at half time (a score that was only marginally higher than the 7-1 result when the countries met at the last FIFA World Cup) before going on to post a 16-6 victory.

About Colin Renton 210 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!