Did anybody know that the All Blacks aren't allowed to swap jerseys with their World Cup opponents after games? Lu reports in Allez Les Noirs that he ran into Portugal front-rower Andre Silva after the game in Lyon, and the big guy was disappointed:
No doubt a special day for them. Just a pity they don’t get much in the way of souvenirs. That night we bumped into two of their forwards in town, speaking to Andre Silva and he said that they could not get the All Black jerseys at the end. It seems Henry’s All Blacks can only give out socks and shorts to opponents. Doesn’t quite look the same, framed on the clubroom’s wall does it?
Indeed. So, are the hi-tech Adidas jerseys just too expensive to replace for each game? Do they contain secret stuff that can't be shared? And aren't socks and shorts a bit smelly?
The rest of Lu's post is worth a read too. Apparently Byron Kelleher -- who so desperately wants a job in TV, I think -- has been wowing French TV with his serviceable, if limited, Francais.
My sources also tell me that Jerry Collins is scaring all and sundry in the All Black party with his intensity and level of training. It would appear that he is keyed up for the tournament.
Meanwhile, Tracey Nelson sums up the response to England's miserable performance against the Boks:
There are now calls from many over here that it's time for England to have a Southern Hemisphere coach, some are even suggesting Graham Henry - but the truth is that it will take more than a Great Redeemer to remedy the cancer that has spread into English and UK rugby. It's not so much a coaching dilemma but a lack of understanding and feeling for the game that has made it'\s way into rugby on this side of the world. Until they get their heads around this, even the best coaches in the world are not going to be able to change it.
Oh, and the New Zealander who has been uploading games to YouTube has been DMCA'd. The clips are gone and his account is suspended. So it's almost impossible to see any meaningful coverage on the internet, Even TV3, as the local broadcaster, doesn't seem to be able to show anything -- in this news clip, supposedly about the Portugal game, there is literally one second of the match.
Naturally, there are high-quality torrents of nearly every game available from the usual sources. Given that, the IRB obsessing over news clips and YouTube seems self-defeating. One day, major sports bodies are going to have to come to terms with the internet and the fact that it's actually an important way of engaging the public.