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Boris goes off piste – World Cup Draw

December 9th, 2012 by · No Comments · Features

This week’s draw for the 2015 World Cup groups seemed to pass without a hitch, even if the question of why it was being made nearly three years before the event was not asked.

The answer, given that world rankings this month may be vastly different come September 2015, was that maximum time is needed for planning the event: it will, for example, take four months to decide who plays where and then comes the inspection of hotels, training facilities, travel organisation for teams and supporters.

The draw could probably have been held this time next year with the minimum of disruption. That has nothing to do, of course, with the fact that none of the home unions is embarking on a major tour of the south next summer, although they are all acting as hosts next November.

The Lions are in Australia and, as far as the rankings are concerned, the home unions will have a potential advantage next year of not playing southern hemisphere teams away, not that home proved much of an asset this year.

The draw itself was notable for the contribution of the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who judging by what he said has never made an effort to clamber aboard England’s chariot. His speech had been agreed in advance with the International Rugby Board but the written version bore little relation to what he actually said, leaving the organisers with a rising sense of panic.

Faces were turning the colour of Will Greenwood’s garish tie when Johnson started talking about rearranged noses and faces . Was he going to declare his belief that Andrew Hore was innocent? There was relief when he kept his offering to a few minutes.

 

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