It’s Always The Quiet Ones

Greetings, mortals.

So, last week I was enjoying some WORLD CLASS TEXTUAL BANTER with none other than Dan Cole of England. You may have heard of him. And yes, I hear what you’re shouting at your laptops right now, “James, why would you associate with the likes of him!?”, but rest assured Haskolytes because for one of the morbidly obese Dan is actually an all right human being. No brand to speak of and inside I die a little every time I have to play seven and touch his lard in the scrum but he’s alright despite all that.

The banter was flowing as I texted him to call him “Pan Cole” due to how much he eats. As expected he couldn’t deal with my RAPIER WIT and instead tried to appease me by asking me about my favourite subject – ME. I took pity on the grease-trap and indulged him. He wanted to know what my middle name was and was interested to learn that it is Welbon. After humouring him with a few more questions I ended the conversation by telling him I was bored now and had a more important use for my thumbs (giving myself mirror-thumbs-ups if you must know).

Yesterday I got a call from Dan saying he’d come across something called ‘The Welbon Conference’ and had signed me up as the guest speaker. “Pan”, I says to him, “Pan, what in the name of Me is that and why would I want to speak at it?!”. He informed me that it’s an annual get together of people with the name Welbon from across the globe and as the most famous Welbon they’d be honoured to have me speak about what the name means to me and regale them with tales about when my middle name has benefited me and the like. Pan lacks my KILLER SALES SKILLS and he’d sold the gig pretty badly to me up to that point until he spluttered the magic words through a mouthful of chips (probably), “James, think of it as a branding opportunity – the chance to announce yourself as the world’s Alpha Welbon”. I hung up the phone and quietly whispered, “Oh. Hell. Yes.”.

So I show up this morning at where this gig is on. Pan had arranged everything with the organisers so all I had to do was show up and take the stage. As befits my status I rocked up late and missed whatever dross they had on before me. Fortune had rested her heavy bosom on my face again as I had showed up just as it was my turn to speak. I took to the stage, sporting a biz-cas look – t-shirt and tie – and a USB key that I whirled into the laptop running the overhead projector.

The crowd looked to be a few hundred strong but I couldn’t spot a looker among them so I only flashed them a Grade III smile as I launched into my opening, utterly ignoring the notes left on the podium for my convenience. “Mortals – hello! You obviously know me and you’ll be happy to know that I am one of you. But better, obviously. I was asked here today to speak about my experiences of being one of us and how it has impacted on my life. The first thing I say to you is to do what I have done and embrace it! Grab it by the gonads the way that guy in New Zealand grabbed me by the gonads! Embrace it, harness it!”, then I slammed my fist into the podium and roared, “USE IT!” and you should have seen the fuckers jump. Straight up, every last one of them, that’s how much I held them spellbound. From somewhere in the crowd someone called out, “Animal!”, and I couldn’t help but grin. These people got me, they really got me – I am an animal. I AM A FUCKING BEAST!

I carried on with my speech. “Never think there aren’t others like us. There are. They’re everywhere. One time at an England training camp Johnno had us do the whole boot-camp thing at Sandhurst. There I met a Rupert who was one of us, he was called Nigel or St. John or something, I don’t care, and he was telling me that we have a long history as warriors. I mean, obviously, just look at me for fuck sake. But he meant as soldiers, like himself.”


This is how a gentleman would go to war.

At this stage I hit play on the laptop with the USB and the sound of artillery blasted through the speakers. The place went mad, they jumped sky-high again, mouths agape. They loved that shit. When I stopped the sound effects one old Scottish dear down the back shouted up, “You’re a monster!”. Even through her cataracts she could see that I was a monster, A SPECIMEN, a thing forged of the Gods, and just for her I made my pecs dance through my business t-shirt. So impressed was the old dear that she burst into tears and sat back down. Now why the fuck can’t the opposition ever respond correctly like that, I ask you?! I made a mental note to ask her afterwards if she had a grand daughter.

I normally don’t dip my wick that far north, you understand, but there wasn’t many fillies here and any sort in a storm, or something.

As usual my dancing pecs took over and I felt the pump come on. I decided I might as well give the old bird a show and moved aside from the podium and started doing push-ups. After a few dozen I got so fired up I jumped up and hurled the table the other speakers were sitting at off the stage and into the audience as I screamed, “WELBONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!”. After plenty of deep breaths I shackled my INNER BEAST and returned to the podium for my well-deserved standing ovation for having DOMINATED the shit out of the speech. As I gazed out at the crowd expectantly the only sound was that of the rozzers coming in the back of the auditorium. Puzzled by this turn of events my eye caught the notes left on the podium that I had ignored earlier. It read:

 The Wellbeing Conference – Lifestyle And Meditation Tips On How To Live A Normal Life With Extreme Chronic Nervous Disposition

Cole, you colossal, fat, bastard …

 As told to CrashSharkKoctopuss

About sagmog

Just the facts, man.
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632 Responses to It’s Always The Quiet Ones

  1. HairBearHero says:

    Can we have a “Looks can be Deceiving” XV?

    2. Rory Best – he looks like a fat goblin, he’s actually really mobile and generally awesome
    8. Thomas Waldrom – looks like your chubby neighbour, but surprisingly quick and fit

    10. Stephen Jones – anaemic, hunchbacked, graceless, yet effective. Vastly underrated player IMO.
    11. Shane Williams – 5ft 7, 12st 8. Was told he was too small to play at a high level
    14. Rupeni Cacaunibau (sp?) – complete lard arse, complete magician.

    This is supposed to be players who really don’t look like they should have a career in professional rugby, yet are surprisingly good despite this. Other options considered included Neil Back (too small), Andy Goode, Jason Robinson etc etc

  2. laraxwell says:

    You’ve already admitted you think POC should be “given more of a chance” to prove his fitness etc, which is exactly the same as saying he shouldn’t be on the plane currently because he hasn’t done enough!
    no it’s not you feckin’ ape

  3. RedWyrm says:

    @Moriarty — just for clarity, I feel it is necessary to state explicitly that I was being facetious about Phillips. I know some people rate him, but I would much rather a thinking scrum-half who could intuitively read the game; who didn’t get involved in clearing out rucks; who threatened the line occasionally with well-timed breaks; and who got the ball away quickly with clean, flat passes to the right player at the right time. Someone like Genia (that bastard).

  4. rugbywreckage says:

    The other FB place is between Foden, Hogg, Goode. I’d take Goode.

    Goode has to be on the plane for me, such a natural and gifted footballer. Reminds me very much of the best Aus backs actually.

  5. killerline says:

    Lawes doesn’t even justify inclusion in the locking debate.

    You really think so?
    He offers something different to all the rest, I think if FIT he will probably go for that reason.

  6. RedWyrm says:

    *Presses F5 to refresh the page* Hee hee!

    Completely agree about Goode: he’s a very exciting prospect. Are you sure he isn’t Welsh?

    (I kid!)

  7. laraxwell says:

    re AWJ (last time)
    I was the one ripping in to him after last Lions…waste of meat and bone etc.
    I just think he may be at last following through on his earlier promise.
    He formed a strong last 6N partnership with Ian Evans too.
    We’ll see

  8. rugbywreckage says:

    Still I wished her a merry Christmas which threw her somewhat..


    Sorry to hear about your predicament, particularly at this time of year. The above though was a touch of class.

  9. killerline says:

    The Aussies would try Goode at 10.

    Obviously England won’t do this…

  10. RedWyrm says:

    @HairBear — how about Leo Cullen for lock?

  11. @Lara

    Yes, but Wales have since lost 7 in a row, their lineout has been a shambles for a long time, and the Ospreys are inconsistent at best. I’d not take him.

  12. killerline says:


    Fuck’s sake mate. I’d have dodged the meeting, I’m not allowed near anyone HR-ish.

  13. LarryMilne says:


    Mark Ella was awesome, but he revolutionised fuck all.


    Not with some hagiography written by a fan on Wikipedia

    Cite both when and where he was sanctified, and where you read the author was a single person and that he/she/it is a fan.

    It’s source was Gareth Edwards and David Campese.

    …and Bob Dwyer, the Hootsman, the Observer, even Eddie frigging Butler…

    And even a load of Aussie Simple Rugby merchants think he’s the “best”, or whatever.

    He was also the youngest player out of all the initial (1997) inductees in the International rugby Hall of Fame.

  14. sagmog says:

    Obviously England won’t do this…

    And rightly so.

    Has Larry gone to get more ammo to back up his enormous claim?
    Or have I won?
    It’s Christmas after all, he could let me have this one.

  15. On the other hand, though, I would seriously consider Evans.

    There should be a fairly even balance of nations this time, and I’d be disappointed to see one country dominating selection.

  16. RedWyrm says:

    It’s Christmas after all, he could let me have this one.

    Too soon you have spoken, young Sagmog, hmmmm.

  17. laraxwell says:

    What does Lawes provide then?
    great physique…athleticism..sure, but he hasn’t followed through on the promising form of his first full Saints season. I can’t even see him getting a starting slot for England

  18. Larry-

    He’s right. You made the claim and then used Wikipedia (notoriously unreliable, look at what we did to SSBB’s page) as a citation. I read it, and it was a touch hagiographic. If you’re going to claim that he “revolutionised” back play, then it’s up to you to find the proof.

  19. LarryMilne says:

    <blockquoteCan we have a “Looks can be Deceiving” XV?

    Great idea… but nothing’s going to beat (the already-selected) Agen-era Caucau. Man, look at that blancmange fly!

  20. sagmog says:

    He’s gone to get more ammo.

    I don’t have to justify my position Larry, it’s neutral.
    You’ve made the claim he revolutionised back play.
    Back it up.

  21. CupidStunt says:

    Agree Lawes is behind Parling and Launchbury for England after the AI’s, but he could also cover 6 and is a beast when he is fully fit.

  22. rugbywreckage says:

    I think Goode could probably perform in pretty much any position you wanted him to, to be honest.

    I still think England should try him at 12 at some point.

  23. MichaelVaughanMyLord says:

    I would add Nick Evans to the looks can be deceiving XV. Looks like a short, weedy, pasty bloke. Has incredible gethsemane and skillsetz if slightly lacking in defence.

  24. CupidStunt says:

    I’d love to see Goode given a run at 12, but it would be unwise to play him there at international level unless he gets regular time there for his club (which he won’t).

  25. I’d like Goode in an England line of Youngs, Faz, Wade, Goode, Manu, Ashton, Foden.


  26. RedWyrm says:

    I still think England should try him at 12 at some point.

    He would certainly fit the “thinking man’s centre with good distribution skills and play-making ability” and defensively he must be strong if he plays at full-back… What are the arguments against trying him in the centre?

  27. sagmog says:

    I would add Nick Evans to the looks can be deceiving XV. Looks like a short, weedy, pasty bloke. Has incredible gethsemane and skillsetz

    And plays for……

  28. Principally that he doesn’t play there for his club, and isn’t likely to because he’s behind Faz, Tompkins, DCB at minimum.

    Talking about which- Tompkins as bolter?

  29. Angry Pirate says:


    It’s not too bad in all fairness get a months notice and I’ve just got a better paid job so I feel pretty lucky considering what other people are going through..

  30. rugbywreckage says:

    I’d like Goode in an England line of Youngs, Faz, Wade, Goode, Manu, Ashton, Foden.

    Very much along the lines I was thinking of, and yes, “Tasty”.

  31. Baldy says:

    Come on Lara, tis the same. Great player that POC has been in the past, he’s hardly played in the last 9 months!

    If he comes back into form in the 6n like last year, fair nuff, otherwise currently, no.

    Furthermore, your comments can’t be taken remotely seriously when you are trying to suggest that the England forwards may be too callow based on one performance vs aus, ignoring their performances vs much superior packs of SA & aus..

    … And then you are putting forward AWJ based on the rabo final, a club game, and ignoring 6 international loses in just over a year to the Aussies!!

    Really, you can say that with a straight face?!

    Ha! And AWJ is meant to be a senior welsh player, ex captain (droppe from the role for club & country) he has shown such inspirational leadership in all Thoses loses eh!!

  32. rugbywreckage says:

    Talking about which- Tompkins as bolter?

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see him named in the new EPS squad at the start of Jan. If he gets to play in some of the 6N’s who knows?

    He still looks a bit green in certain areas of play but he’s certainly a talent… and he’s beginning to show it.

  33. RedWyrm says:

    You’ve made me go and watch some highlights of Caucau. Unbelievably talented.

  34. HairBearHero says:

    Isn’t this supposed to be the shitter Tompkins as well? Can’t wait for when the brother makes his inevitable move to the big leagues.

  35. Baldy says:

    So basically, good has shown he is a class operator at fullback. He has spent a longtime at sarries working really hard, extra practice, on being a fullback. He is at home there, the role suits him, he can use his vision and his reading of the game (from fullback) to join the line & dictate play…

    And you want to move him to 12, where he has never played, and where his is not gonna play for club at any time?! Wtf!!

    I know I talk about moving Manu, but manu’s particular skillset is not goin to be compromised by moving from 13 to 12 – I am not, for example, suggesting moving him to 15..

    Goode is a brilliant 15, and will be a brilliant 15 for a long time in the future!

    And tackling at 12 is very different to 15.

  36. RedWyrm says:

    Ha! And AWJ is meant to be a senior welsh player, ex captain (droppe from the role for club & country) he has shown such inspirational leadership in all Thoses loses eh!!

    I can’t have been the only one who imagined Baldy actually getting louder as he typed that message and actually standing up to do a fist pump once he’d sent it?

    (Ok, I probably was. Back to work Wyrm.)

  37. LarryMilne says:

    I appreciate this merry dance is chiefly a result of sag’s boredom, thankfully for him I’m bored too. However, if citing rugby people of note saying just that isn’t enough, then it’s going to be pretty hard for me…

    …but, as it’s Xmas, I’ll give you a present: go on Youtube and watch everything you can find on the Aussies from 1980-1984. Then everyone will be happy.

    And, just to piss you off even more, I’ll drop in some Eddie ‘Edward’ Butler quotes. From an article in 2002 listing the ten greatest fly-halves ever, the author Mr Butler, talking about Ella (sitting pretty as number one) said:

    …he brought to the game a unique vision and a wonderful passing game. The Australian team of 1984 rewrote the manual, and Ella was the author of its most imaginative chapters…

    To get sag’s bum chirping in ever more faux horror, I’ll point out that – according to Wikipedia – Mr B also wrote that:

    …[Ella was] by a long way the most influential player of his generation. Just took the passing game and the support game and the reading game and just stretched, stretched them into new areas.

  38. HairBearHero says:

    Wyrm – Cacau was fucking magic. I could just watch videos of him in full flight all afternoon. Even when weighing 17st of chubby at 5’10, he was so fast, balanced, graceful. Unbelievable player and I wish he’d been about 5 years later so I could have seen him.

  39. laraxwell says:

    Did any Aviva team make even the semi final of the 2012 HEC
    No..none of them good enough
    Leinster battered Ulster in the final
    Ospreys beat Leinster in Dublin so it is a valid point I make regarding intensity levels.
    Did cupid or Baldy even watch the Rabo final?

    Baldy -you need a new drum for Christmas

  40. sagmog says:

    I’ll repeat:
    Ella was awesome, I don’t need Youtube to tell me that, I watched him as a nipper.
    But revolutionised back play?
    Maybe, at a push, redefined fly-half a bit, but back play?

  41. None of that revolutionised back play though Larry.

    It’s like $BW Revolutionising the offload.

    (PS, I’d also have him as number 1)

  42. rugbywreckage says:

    And you want to move him to 12, where he has never played, and where his is not gonna play for club at any time?! Wtf!!

    This would be the same Alex Goode who has played, 10, 12, 13 and 15 at various levels including England U20’s?

    Just want to be sure we’re talking about the same bloke?

    He has the skills required to play 12, without question. The only issue is whether we would want to play him there which is open for debate.

    Not sure quite what Manu playing at 15 has to do with the suggestion? (Non-starter as he doesn’t have the required skills.)

    I’m starting to wonder if you know anything about back play at all? Ever played 12? It used to be my position so I do have some basic grasp of it and what’s required.

    Obviously you may have played there at a much higher level than me, if so then I’d be interested in a reasoned argument as to why you think he couldn’t play 12?

  43. Lara- you’re talking about 1 game in 12 months. You’re also pretty much ignoring everything else about him.

    This isn’t a dig at anyone other than AWJ, I just honestly wouldn’t put him anywhere near the plane.

  44. killerline says:


    other Tomkins is the finest attacking rugby player I think I’ve ever seen.

    He’ll never switch codes though.

  45. LarryMilne says:


    The fatman was something else when he wasn’t so podge. This try is shown briefly in the video you posted. Don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look so, I dunno… anyway, that speed, that acceleration. Unreal, truly.

  46. killerline says:


    Good to hear. You reacted with grace and class; which is how we do things here at the Haskell Diaries…

  47. sagmog says:

    He’ll never switch codes though.

    But I’ve got his fez all ready and everything…

  48. flair99 says:

    Since I still believe that nesting is bad, I’ve decided to unsubscribe from the Breakdown I just received in my email. I know we are not many but if everybody here did the same, the same day, wouldn’t it appear somewhere on the Graun radar?

  49. Yup. He’s coming. It’s only a matter of time.

  50. killerline says:

    Where would you play him? They don’t teach you to field high balls in rugby league so full-back’s a nightmare.

    Ball in hand he’s a devastating weapon.
    The pace and angles he runs at terrify whomever is stood trying to stop him.

  51. laraxwell says:

    Ryan Jones -another Welshman who should definately travel -big player in the win at home to Toulouse.
    Yes Cat -agreed -Wales have had a shit run and the Ospreys are hugely inconsistant. But I think the worm has turned for them since Hook, Byrne and Phillips left. They’ve more backbone than they had.
    Anyhow -WTF am I spending my whole morning making cases for the Welsh players
    Where’s me Welsh back up???

  52. rugbywreckage says:

    I think Sam Tomkins will be playing Union before his current contract in league runs out which is in a couple of years I believe.

  53. sagmog says:

    They don’t teach you to field high balls in rugby league so full-back’s a nightmare.

    JR learned.
    I believe he practiced it in something called “training”.

  54. killerline says:


    I don’t think so.

    See also: Rob Burrow, Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock.
    Incredible players but none would dream of switching to the better code.

    If he did we really need him now.
    Not when his legs are gone like how we got older Farrell.
    Forget it.

  55. Lara would you honestly take him before POC, Ryan, Parling, Launchbury, Gray, Evans, RJ,

    and I could keep going.

  56. killerline says:

    I believe he practiced it in something called “training”.

    Facetious? Sag?

    Now the world’s gone mad…

  57. Killer- he’s already dipped his toe in playing for the baa baas. I don’t believe any of the other ones you mentioned did.

  58. LarryMilne says:

    OK fellas, I grew up a rugby nerd, my dad was a fan. He always told me the early ’80s Wallabies changed the game. I used to read loads of rugby books. If ever the early ’80’s Wallabies came up, there would be an inevitable conversation about how they, led by the chief tactician (or whatever) Ella, changed the way the sport is played, in terms of backplay. My dad also supplied me with loads of VHS tapes, etc, back when I was a kid which I would watch, including stuff with Oz/NZ/SA beating the crap out of each other through the ages.

    So, having watched as much of him (and that Wallabies side) that I can get my hands on, having read numerous views (from plainly stated opinions to actual analyses of what they did and how) saying as much, I, too, formed the view that Ella changed the sport. A view held by fucking loads of people.

    While I appreciate the tongue in cheek nature of this whole discussion, which I myself am indulging too, this is the end of my input. I’d like another tangent.

    By the way, the following videos are (from memory, it’s been a long time) brilliant pieces of rugby history, if you can ever find them cheap and in good working order. We had several but these two I remember being particularly excellent:

    Having gone to look for both, can only find one… there was a sister tape with the self-explanatory name of “The All Blacks vs the Wallabies – their Greatest Encounters”, or something.

  59. killerline says:


    he had a nightmare in that game under the high ball *frowns at Sag*.

    In my opinion he won’t switch. If he did I hope it’s now while he’s young.
    And frankly the most fearless player I can think of…

  60. sagmog says:

    A view held by fucking loads of people.

    Fucking loads of people are of the view that the world is six thousand years old, doesn’t make it so.
    But in Christmas spirit, I’ll make this my last word on the subject.

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