Writing On Literature

  • Munster Munched Heineken Cup Quarter Final 2007 Yup, it’s on.  You the Munster faithful have the tradition, the genial company, the unyielding quest for (forward-based) excellence.  But I suspect the real reason Munster is most people’s second favourite European team lies with the Irish Pub. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, a Paddy Foley’s or a Molly Malone’s or a plain old Irish Pub will be showing the Munster games.  Support Edinburgh or Calvisano if you like (and I’ve a soft spot for both of them) but you’ll never get to see them on the telly abroad or, for that matter, in the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup. For the European Cup quarter final 2007, I’m

    Apr 13,
  • from www.theeastterrace.com 02/9/05 In a surprise move, Sir Clive Woodward unveiled Neil Back, Richard Hill, Ben Kay and Will Greenwood as his first official signings for the Southampton Academy football team.  At yesterday’s spontaneous press conference, Woodward said he was disappointed by the lukewarm reaction to his first meaningful act in football.  In particular, he said he was astonished by the criticism that his new players were too old for the game at academy level.  ‘That’s such a conventional way of thinking,’ Woodward admonished reporters.  ‘At my first training session I immediately identified the major weakness in age-group soccer.  Basically, the players are too young.  It’s like boys against boys out there, and the likes of Backy and Kayey can

    Sep 12,
  •   Programme Notes for Guam vs India 18/06/05      To meteorologists, Guam’s region of the Pacific is known as Typhoon Alley.  Occasionally, a big wind comes and blows everything away.  At the end of 2002, Super Typhoon Pongsoona devastated Guam, but somehow the rugby posts on the miraculous Wettengel Rugby Field remained upright.  It was a sign.  Rugby was here, and it intended to stay.  Guam’s Wettengel Rugby Field, with its impeccable grass, its stands and scoreboard and lights, has become an island landmark.  It provides a focus for all those drawn in by Guam’s remarkably inclusive approach to rugby.  This international-sized arena, fringed with palm trees as a natural barrier against the jungle, features in the sharpest memories

    Jun 18,
  • Times Column 02/04/05 The Heineken Cup is back, though if you live in mainland Britain none of the glamour or vigour is happening near you.  French clubs earned home advantage in three of the four quarter-finals, but because the French remain generous in providing most of the tournament’s exoticism, one of those matches is actually taking place in Spain.  Olympique Biarritz host Munster tomorrow afternoon in the Basque city of San Sebastian, adding an even newer sound to the tournament’s many bells and whistles.  Despite ten years of familiarity since Toulouse first dominated the competition, French clubs retain their talent for the unexpected.  Thankfully so.  Rugby has always needed the French.  They have a habit of seeing things differently,

    Apr 03,
  • Times Column 19/03/05 The main event this weekend in Hong Kong is the IRB World Cup Sevens.  Less well-known is the fact that over the last few years Hong Kong’s international week of rugby has been developing a fringe, like the Edinburgh arts festival.  While the main tournament can be spectacular, it can also drag as surely as choreographed fireworks and pipers in the castle.  For the full, glorious range of rugby achievement, look to the wonders of the fringe. Wednesday and Thursday at the Hong Kong Indoor Sports Hall saw a three-match series of International Wheelchair rugby, in which the New Zealand Wheel Blacks took on England.  Over the same period at the Hong Kong Football Club, 24 teams

    Mar 19,