AS the years stagger by, the barometer for measuring youth constantly changes. It used to be judged on whether someone remembered Live Aid or the Bishop Casey scandal or stone-washed jeans. Now you have to fast-forward to the Millennium Bug and the "Wasaaaaap?" ad -- as evidenced by a chat with Ireland's new kid on the block Conor Murray yesterday.
Asked for his first World Cup memory, it was suggested it might be the 1995 tournament, Nelson Mandela, Jonah Lomu, food poisoning, all that memorable stuff?
"I don't remember 1995," said Murray. "Where was that? South Africa? Oh yeah, wasn't there a film ('Invictus') about that a few years ago? No, 2003 was my first World Cup memory."
It makes you want to turn up the heating, drink a cup of cocoa and book an early bird dinner.
Aussie jokes -- They love ripping on the Aussies over here, particularly with their predicted meeting with New Zealand in the World Cup final. Here's a couple heard since arrival last week:
Q -- How many Aussies does it take to change a lightbulb?
A -- Two. One to say "she'll be right" and one to get the beers.
A man went to his doctor and asked him to remove half his brain because he thought he was too intelligent. After the operation was carried out, the patient woke up to find a horrified look on the face of his physician. "I'm really sorry," said the panicked doctor. "I accidentally took out your whole brain by mistake and not half like you asked."
"Aw, no worries mate," said the patient.
"It's an obsession and it is bordering on unhealthy, we need to get this gorilla off our backs, we really do." -- World Cup-winning All Blacks out-half Grant Fox on the nation's tournament frenzy.
"Ireland play with fire and brimstone but often can't keep it going for the 80 minutes." -- The 'Southland Times' reworks their 1987 profile.
Number of the day
232 The number of World Cup tries scored by the All Blacks since 1987 -- 50pc more than closest rivals Australia.