Wives, partners and girlfriends of rugby fans across the UK, who are hoping that things will calm down from Thursday onwards, look like being sorely disappointed.
Many ‘other halves’, whose loved ones spend a lot of time moaning about the online rugby opinions of others, were expecting that once Warren Gatland named his 37-man squad to tour New Zealand, there would be an end to petty squabbling and nationalist self-righteousness. However, it looks as though Gatland’s choice will not carry the weight it once did, and keyboard warriors will continue to take to message boards to argue their point.
“I’d circled Thursday 20th April on the calendar on the fridge as a date when things might start to get done around here again.” said Denise Thurston, a mother of two, and wife of an anonymous contributor to website rolling-maul.com. “I have shelves in the second bedroom that need sorting. But Shelia two doors down tells me her Brian says that Gatland will pick too many Welsh. It’s going to be very difficult.”
Things north of the border seem most incendiary. After the independence referendum and Brexit, Scottish people are reportedly going to turn ‘proper Begbie’ should neither of the Gray brothers get named in the squad. One Glaswegian, The Crooked Feed spoke to, was pretty much incoherent but obviously very upset about what (we think) he referred to as an ‘Anglocentric bias’. “Something something that prick George Ford something Six Nations something something fucking Finn Russell,” our reporter wrote down.
“Quite how Gary thinks he’s going to support this team come June is beyond me,” continued Thurston, who is now thinking about getting a man in about the shelves. “It’s got to a stage now where he won’t even go into our local newsagents because of Stuart Barnes. He came back last Sunday and told me Mr Singh had asked him to leave. I had to send our son down to help clear up. We ended up having to buy all the copies of the Times as Manir said they were now unsellable. I can’t see how Wednesday is going to solve anything. I’m pinning my hopes on players getting injured in the European Semi Finals, if I’m honest.”
Warren Gatland names his 37-man squad live on Sky Sports at Midday on Wednesday 19th April. Viewer discretion is advised.