The Reuters global sports blog
Colin Meads, regarded by most New Zealanders as the greatest All Black of them all, delivers a diverting after-dinner speech in a self-deprecating “aw shucks” hill farmer’s style with a bottle of beer firmly clutched in a large fist.
It is only after the laughter subsides that the listener realises with a twinge of unease that the majority of the anecdotes involve Meads using one or both of his large fists to thump a member of the opposition. Illegal then and illegal now, it’s worth recalling now amid all the hot air spouted over the Harlequins fake blood scandal.
The saga of a Harlequins winger biting on a fake blood capsule in order to get a goal-kicking replacement on to the field in a Heineken Cup quarter-final has gripped the English media.
It follows revelations that young men who happen to play rugby for a living can be tempted by recreational drugs (see the Justin Harrison story), not unlike their contemporaries in other walks of life.
If Renault are found guilty of the race-fixing charge they face in Paris next week — and the Formula One team announced today they would not be contesting it — the incident will go down as one of the most brazen attempts at rule-breaking in sport.
As our F1 correspondent Alan Baldwin asked on this blog last week, What would you do if someone asked you to drive into a wall?
On Saturday Dean Richards, a former policeman and stoic rugby stalwart for three decades, resigned as director of rugby at Harlequins in the wake of the London club’s shenanigans in their Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat by Leinster last season.