AoD: Reverend Webb Ellis, good morning and thanks for agreeing to talk to Art of Domination.
WWE: It’s a pleasure. It’s morning there where you are?
AoD: It is. What time is it where you are?
WWE: Half-time. It’s perpetually half-time in the afterlife, a breather after the jolly first half, oranges with the chums, a shared medicinal brandy, japes. No bare pink buttock is safe from Tomkinson with his rapier-like wet towel. On the whole, I wouldn’t be alive again for anything.
AoD: I must say you’re coming through loud and clear, Reverend.
WWE: We move with the times in the afterlife. Skype has been a boon.
AoD: And ouija boards lack a certain …
WWE: Je ne sais quoi.
AoD: You died in France …
WWE: I did indeed. In 1872.
AoD: Your thoughts on French rugby at the moment?
WWE: I showed more intelligence when I picked up the ball and ran with it in 1823.
AoD: Ah. Speaking of which, it’s now acknowledged that you didn’t originate rugby in 1823 at Rugby School by picking up the ball and running with it during a game of Association Football.
WWE: I’m flabbergasted! No one has ever questioned it before!
AoD: Reverend, the story that you picked up the ball and ran with it didn’t emerge until 1876 – four years after your death – reported by someone who couldn’t have witnessed it because he left Rugby School three years before it was supposed to have happened.
WWE: Your point being?
AoD: That no one actually watching on the day – who witnessed it – ever mentioned it. You don’t find that odd?
WWE: God witnessed it. We still chat about it.
AoD: Given that He’s probably unavailable to talk to us –
WWE: He doesn’t give interviews. My boy, if I didn’t originate rugby, why did the IRB name the game’s most prestigious trophy in my memory?
AoD: The IRB keep appointing Alain Rolland. Their credibility’s up there with Bashar al-Assad’s.
WWE: Very well. I have proof that I originated rugby.
AoD: Art of Domination would be pleased to see it, Reverend.
WWE: Just let me find it.
AoD: We have all the time in the world.
WWE: I do, my boy. You don’t. Here –
WWE: You’d like more proof?
AoD: I haven’t seen any proof!
WWE: Here –
WWE: (sighs) What a Doubting Thomas you are …
AoD: My name’s dermott.
WWE: Whatever your name, my boy, faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.
AoD: Now you’re quoting Hollywood movies to me. That’s from Miracle on 34th Street. The 1947 version. Reverend, I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on the origins of rugby. But we do have some Skype credit left. Would you be prepared to stay around to answer some questions from our Art of Domination BTLers?
WWE: What sort of questions?
AoD: Well, for example, do you have a favourite biscuit?
WWE: Oh, that’s easy. A communion wafer. I’d be delighted to answer your friends’ questions. Are they Doubting Thomases too?
AoD: Let’s find out …
BTLers, post your questions for Reverend Webb Ellis to answer live – in the technical sense – and exclusively before our Skype credit runs out