Following recent controversies about the discipline being imposed on inter-county squads From The Stands has been supplied with the following player contract:
Top Secret. For Your Eyes Only. Disciplinary Code for Players of (REDACTED). Inscribed in the Year of Our Lord 2015. He that revealeth these measures to the press let his right arm wither and drop off. Sign at the bottom in your own blood and that of a trusted, non-drinking team-mate.
1 Players shall refrain from getting fancy haircuts. Basically anything that looks like you think you're a groovy dude or some sort of a cool fella is out. It should look like your mother did it using a bowl and a blunt scissors. Players are also reminded that wearing jewellery is only for nancy boys.
2 Male grooming products are detrimental to the manliness required from a county player. Members of team management will be empowered to carry out raids on the bathroom cabinets of players. If you're worried about exfoliation, a sheet of sandpaper will be made available.
3 Players will be asked to abstain from sex for the duration of the championship season so that their energy is not sapped. Requests for the viewing of pornography should be submitted to an eight man sub-committee of the county board who will investigate the websites involved in depth.
4 Players are not to bring wives or girlfriends to games. If this cannot be avoided, we ask they wear a burqa to avoid being a distraction.
5 None of that fancy soft effeminate toilet paper. Maybe none at all. This will discourage your opponent from marking you too tightly. If you're worried about hygiene, see point number two.
6 Players must submit their music collection, whether on CD or MP3, to the management. No wimpy acoustic stuff, hip-hop or anything to do with love. We would ask players to limit their listening to ballads about shooting Brits which will put them in the proper martial mood for the campaign ahead of us.
7 Players are entitled to give one interview a year with a journalist who must be approved by a panel of 12. During this interview players must limit their answers to a list of clichés supplied by the management. Remember, there is no 'I' in team.
8 During the season the panel will be releasing several statements praising the brilliance of the management. Don't worry about these, we'll write them.
9 Ideally players should dispose of their television sets in order to concentrate more fully on motivating themselves. However we are aware that some of you live with women who might complain about this. Do not watch soap operas or costume dramas with them. Limit yourself to stuff about hardy bunches of men engaged in a common enterprise. Game of Thrones is good, also re-runs of The Sopranos and Love/Hate.
10 Players are only allowed to make one phone call a week. This phone call will be cleared by a seven-man panel. Permission should be requested in writing three weeks before the phone call is to be made.
11 Smiling is forbidden. A grim manly countenance which lets everyone know the sacrifices you are making is recommended instead.
You will deny the existence of this code if questioned about it. Memorise this list, then eat it. (REDACTED) abu.
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When we look at our own shortcomings on the international stage, one of the countries we are often compared with is New Zealand. The question is, how can a country similar to us appear to be so far ahead? It's a good question.
New Zealand have the best rugby team in the world and the second best one-day cricket team. New Zealand has hosted the Rugby World Cup and the Cricket World Cup and is a lesson to countries like Ireland in getting things done without complicating matters.
Watching the recent Cricket World Cup there was a noticeable difference in the grounds in New Zealand and Australia, but venues like Nelson and Dunedin were memorable for their simplicity and quaintness.
Ireland is desperate to host RWC2023, and would do an excellent job, but as New Zealand keeps on showing, there is no need to over-egg the pudding.
Sunday Indo Sport