News filtered through today that Aaron Cruden has been omitted from the All Blacks squad for the All Blacks' final games of The Rugby Championship.
After the squad's flight was delayed from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning, Aaron decided to take in a few wets in downtown Auckland, but after misjudging his alcohol intake, he missed the All Blacks assembly time and therefore his flight to Argentina! Steve Hansen took immediate disciplinary action, and axed Cruden from the two match tour of Argentina and South Africa.
Obviously in the world of amateur rugby this would delight any team member and the ribbing would be quite horrendous, however at the top level this is obviously totally unacceptable – as ever our brains started to whirr....
1. Who – England RWC 2011 Squad
Guilty of – dwarf throwing competition, revelry and flirting
The story – The England RWC 2011 squad made their way to Queenstown for some relaxation following their Pool Match with Argentina. Martin Johnson, England Head Coach at the time, gave his players the evening off to unwind as he believed in there being a level of trust. What ensued was a night at the Altitude bar which included a dwarf throwing competition and rumours of captain Mike Tindall on the pull – he had recently married in to the British Monarchy! The British tabloids of course went crazy for the story.
The punishment – Tindall was kicked out of the Elite Player Squad and fined £25,000 after a Rugby Football Union investigation.
2. Who – Manu Tuallagi – RWC 2011
Guilty of – jumping from a ferry
The story – Like any testosterone filled rugby player, it looked like Manu accepted a dare to jump from the Fullers Superflyte ferry as it was about to dock. Tuilagi - reportedly egged on by team-mates - jumped off the boat and swam to the pier before clambering on to the terminal before the ferry docked. He later said ‘It was a silly thing to do and I apologise to everybody for any inconvenience caused.’
The punishment – Manu was detained and questioned by the Auckland Police and given a pre-charge warning for disorderly behaviour. He was also slapped with a £3000 fine from the RFU.
3. Who and when - Andy Powell, 2010
Guilty of - Driving a golf cart drunk on the M4
The story - Welsh rugby star Andy Powell was charged with drink driving after he stole and drove away a golf buggy just hours after Wales beat Scotland in the 6 Nations. The flanker was arrested at 6am on the Sunday morning at services off junction 33 of the M4 near the team hotel in the Vale of Glamorgan. His breath-test had 58mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35. He later said ‘I took the buggy as a prank but decided to attend the services for some munchies with some friends.’
The punishment - banned from driving for 15 months and fined £1,000, kicked out of the Wales Rugby Union squad.
The Also Rans - Rugby union has its fair share of colourful characters with strings of misdemeanors and unusual behaviour under their belt, although lacking the headline grabbing moments of our top 3.
So as not to let them feel left out, our special roll call goes out to Danny Cipriani and Gavin Henson - the media darlings of rugby union in the UK - and from Australia, James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale seem to have a taste for the wrong publicity too!
So that sums up some of rugby unions most sensational off field moments. Next time we might cover rugby league but we’ll need to make it our Top 100! If you have any moments to add just let us know.