Planet Rugby

Gifts under Planet Rugby's tree

25th December 2011 07:05

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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

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