English rugby was cleared for take off the day the Cumbrian PT teacher reappointed me Captain.
I was literally delighted to be reappointed. Not that there was ever any doubt. After all, I spent my formative years preparing for leadership at school. If there’s one thing you get from an elite education it is reassurance that you’re Officer Class.
Some in the media touted eye-gouger Dylan Hartley for the armband. I ask you, Millfield or some rough-and-tumble school in Rotorua? Have you ever been to Rotorua?
What’s more, as required under Clause 3(iv/b) of the RFU’s Captaincy Obligations, I have the requisite gorgeous girlfriend for public occasions.
Mind you, I did have a nano-second of self doubt last autumn. After her Dad said she’d be better off going out with him, Camilla Blu-tacked a 7-storey poster of Dan Carter to our bedroom wall.
More worrying, at Twickers, she was swooning all over him when not serenading him.
While it’s not always easy to be leader, it’s proven that I have what it takes. I can absolutely make decisions, as I showed late in the autumn matches against the Colonials and Boers. Northerner Farrell minor was out of line but I have resolved that now.
But uneasy lies the muscular bicep that wears the armband. It’s claimed that I’m not a proper openside flanker. I don’t understand what that means. I carry and I tackle. I make sure my stats in those disciplines are always the best. It’s plain common sense to let Daniel Cole scrabble on the floor in the mud. He doesn’t have my hair gel bill.
Then there are the usurpers. Thomas Wood has been giving me grief. MOTM against Captain Underpants and Co? I don’t think so, that was all me. And he wants my armband. I don’t know why they’d prefer an Academy school chap to me.
Then there are the would-be usurpers. There’s a promising young Worcester 7 with a name I can’t pronounce – Karsick? – training with the squad. Obviously from behind the Iron Curtain, I’ll have a word with the Border Agency.
In closing, last Saturday’s demolition of Caledonia in the Six Nations opener was proof positive – if ever it were needed – that the Cumbrian PT teacher knows his leadership selection onions. So onwards to the Six Nations Grand Slam, followed – as surely as port and cigars follow the ladies leaving the dining room – by the skipper’s armband for the Lions tour.
Memo to self: delete my Tweet in which I somehow substituted an F for the G in Gatland.
Now you’ll have to excuse me as the hairdresser wants to discuss colour tints.
As overheard by Coddfish at the hairdresser