Kevin Myers: It's quite obvious that the Pacific Islanders have genes that make them outstanding athletes
AT this point, I bid farewell to most of my female and American readers, as I turn to the subject of the Rugby World Cup. I'll just give you all a moment to get your coats and go. Oh, and shut the door behind you, if you please. Thank you.
Right. Do you know that one fifth of all players participating in the world cup are from the Pacific Islands of Tonga, Samoa and Fiji? Pacific Islanders, who are bigger, stronger and faster than almost any other peoples, are being rebranded in the colours of the All Blacks (eight), the US (seven), Australia (seven), Japan (three), and England and Wales (one each). The population of the islands is as Munster's -- around one million.
The late and charismatic Patrick McGoohan, playing a British agent in the film 'Ice Station Zebra', memorably intoned to an American: "My job is to get the camera made by OUR German scientists, from the satellite made by YOUR German scientists, before it is captured by a Soviet rocket made by THEIR German scientists." Well, that's pretty much the way the Rugby World Cup is going. Except, of course, the issue now is not the technical brilliance of the Third Reich, but the extraordinary DNA of the Pacific Islanders, which, largely because of the opening clause of this sentence, cannot be discussed without readers gazing nervously over their shoulders, in case someone sees them reading "racist" material.