Planet Rugby

Gifts under Planet Rugby's tree

25th December 2011 07:05

Share:

Christams cheerleaders

Three cheers for Christmas: Have a good one!

We took the liberty of sending Father Christmas a note requesting a few special presents for some special rugby folk.

It's all tongue-in-cheek, so please don't get too hot under the collar. Merry Christmas everyone!

Bismarck du Plessis - The Springboks' number two jersey. Du Plessis is arguably the world's best hooker but was left kicking his heels on the replacements bench for most of the World Cup.

The groundskeepers at the Toulouse de Stadium - Some lawn feeder after the pitch was torn to pieces at most scrums during the Top 14 champions' Heineken Cup match against Harlequins in December.

Sonny Bill Williams - A box set of Rocky Balboa DVDs ahead of his fight for the New Zealand Heavyweight title.

Aurélien Rougerie - A Gray's Anatomy textbook to show him exactly where human eyes are and why you shouldn't poke things into them.

Mike Tindall - A tree house where he can continue with some of the childish games he dished up during England's World Cup campaign in New Zealand.

Rob Andrew - A bullet proof vest as he continues to defy the odds by clinging on to a position at the RFU, while other officials like Martin Johnson, Brian Smith and Martyn Thomas have all resigned from their posts. Adding to that, John Wells and Mike Ford were also forced out of the RFU but Andrew is still standing.

Sebastien Chabal - A whistle to referee rugby matches. Although there is still life in Chabal's 33-year-old bones to play the game he could consider an alternative career as a referee. The French international was ordered to write a referees' exam after he criticised Top 14 officials in his biography and passed with flying colours.

Bryce Lawrence - Some bodyguards for his next visit to South Africa. Lawrence came in for heavy criticism from Springbok fans for his officiating during their 11-9 quarter-final defeat to Australia at the World Cup. To say that Lawrence is unpopular in South Africa would be an understatement as a Facebook campaign entitled "Petition To Stop Bryce Lawrence Ever Reffing A Rugby Game Again" was organised by South African supporters.

Martin Johnson and Marc Lièvremont - An all-expenses paid trip to a player-management seminar.

Blue Bulls - Two new locks to replace the retired Victor Matfield and Toulon-based Bakkies Botha, who were arguably the best second row combination of the modern era.

Steve Hansen - A new enforcer in his pack. Although Hansen has the luxury of choosing between at least two players for every position in his side, few will argue that replacing 36-year-old lock Brad Thorn is almost impossible. The veteran lock, who is one of the toughest players in the game, retired from Test rugby after winning the World Cup.

Peter de Villiers - The man known in some circles as "the Richard Pryor of rugby" can do with a gig as a stand-up comedian.

Mark Hammett - A big name player for the Hurricanes. Apart from World Cup winners Conrad Smith, Victor Vito and Cory Jane, the 'Canes have a relatively unknown squad. This after the departure from the franchise of stars like Andrew Hore, Ma'a Nonu, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden and Neemia Tialata.

Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu - A year's supply of hand lotion for the calluses on his fingers from all that tweeting.

Mathew Tait - Enough Band-Aid to help with all his injuries. Tait has only played two matches since joining new club Leicester Tigers from Sale Sharks. Currently struggling with a recurring groin problem, he was also out of action with shoulder and knee injuries while at Sale.

Simon Shaw - Accommodation at a retirement home for probably the oldest player in world rugby!

Crusaders - A brand new stadium for the Christchurch-based franchise who played the entire 2011 Super Rugby season away from home in places as far afield as Nelson, Bloemfontein and Twickenham. This after their home venue, the AMI Stadium, was devastated in an earthquake during February.

Stormers - A fit fly-half. The Cape Town-based side's used five different pivots - including first-choice scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenhage - during their 2011 Super Rugby campaign.

Jaque Fourie, Ma'a Nonu, Brad Thorn, Fourie du Preez.... and all the other southern hemisphere players who are experiencing their first Christmas in the land of the rising sun. - Free Japanese lessons.

Zac Guildford - Nothing...because he was too naughty in 2011.

Compiled by David Skippers

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411