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The Rugby World Cup 2011 starts tomorrow... BOOM!

Good times... GOOD times.

Will South Africa become the first team in the tournament's history to successfully defend the title? Is 2011 a few years too early for Australia's team of gifted youngsters? Can this New Zealand side finally put a 24-year hoodoo to rest on home soil? Most importantly, will Stickman's cable subscription hold out and provide the coverage he deserves needs to stay in touch with all the key games... despite his residing in a far-off land where the primitive locals are ignorant of the intricacies of the scrum, the savage beauty of the crash tackle, the deft touches required to put the inside man into space... and where combining the words "hooker" and "prop" in a sentence is likely to only invite accusations of sexual depravity? (Uncivilised boors!)

My tentative answers to the above questions are: 1) "I fear not"; 2) "probably"; 3) "well, they won't be staying on home soil otherwise";... and 4) "by God, I hope so!".[*]

Really, all other sports are just for laughs. This is what I'm talking about:

[*] Actually, on question four, I've found a nice Irish pub down the road — there's one in every city! — that screens all the rugby games for desperate expats like me. It won't be quite the same vibes as the last World Cup, when I actually travelled to (then hosts) France to watch some games... but we'll have to make do!

Last time around.