All aboard the post-virus rugby fun bus

ROG’s Fun Bus: Who better to spend a night with than the Munster team-mates/soulmates I spent 15 years alongside? Picture: Jen Murphy
ROG’s Enjoyable Bus: Who higher to spend an evening with than the Munster team-mates/soulmates I spent 15 years alongside? 

These are difficult instances, powerful instances.

It’s our fourth week of lockdown in France and, after all, we’re all aching to get again on the market. So, we move the time any method we will. Like, if I used to be placing collectively a 26-man enjoyable bus of my former rugby colleagues to vent a little bit of steam and to rejoice the top of this extraordinary hiatus, who’d make the reduce?

I began with a special record as a result of I believed Munster and Eire team-mates was too simple.

However then I parked the worldwide record as a result of I started considering ‘who higher to spend an evening with than the Munster team-mates/soulmates I spent 15 years alongside?’

The standards: What they’re like on an evening out by way of craic, wit, stamina and common good firm? Taking part in capacity has nothing to do with this!

We may all do with a little bit of that.

I checked out Jason Leonard of England on the unique record of internationals, a extremely high fella, however let’s name a spade a spade. He’s not getting on the bus at No. 1 forward of Claw.

Peter Clohessy is an apparent choice for the primary seat on the bus. Hassle with Claw although is we’d want an early sub when the oul fella falls asleep at seven o’clock. He can’t deal with the tempo too nicely now. Nevertheless, for so long as he’d be with us, he’d be breaking his arse laughing and along with his sidekick, Gaillimh, they’re like a pair of scampy schoolchildren. They arrive as a pair, so one of many lock positions is stuffed accordingly. Marcus and Killer to battle it out as a affect sub… bother is with Claw gone so early, we’d want the pair of them.

Frankie Sheahan. A vastly aggressive slot. Woody will get a point out however he was solely in Munster for one season. Damian Varley excels in lots of disciplines. The 2 Fogartys additionally, John and Denis, have been nice craic and could be important for any enjoyable bus, to allow them to battle out with Jerry Flannery for the sub hooker slot. Jerry brings a lot to an evening, however Frank the Tank’s stamina wins him the seat. Frankie was a born messer, the kind that will be appearing the mule with out even having to strive.

Don’t need John Hayes on the bus, as a result of he wouldn’t wish to include us. He’d slightly be trying over the hedge into the sector of cows. He truly most well-liked bovine inventory over people. I’d carry Freddie Pucciarello, a mad Argentinian who’d begin a sing track in three completely different languages and wouldn’t have a clue himself what he was belting out. His damaged English by no means stopped him believing singing was a misplaced vocation. His spouse is Italian, so that you’d have a cocktail of Spanish, English and Italian all in the identical verse. Head-wrecking however hilarious.

I’ve obtained Mick Galwey already within the second row of the bus, however the competitors to sit down alongside Gaillimh is brutal. Donncha O’Callaghan is the plain selection, however what are we doing with Paul O’Connell, who has a depraved sense of humour, or with Mick O’Driscoll and Donnchadh Ryan? We gained’t disqualify Donncha for the truth that he doesn’t drink however he may need to maneuver down the again with Micko and Shkin (DR) to accommodate Paulie.

The entire great thing about POC is how completely different the fact is to the notion. There’s this caricature of him as this brooding, intense, humourless head, however the reverse is the case.

He’s deadly, lethal with the reducing slags, go away you in a heap in two seconds. And really droll doing it.

Gaillimh would drive him demented too with the pale moon rising from the Rose of Tralee.

I’d must carry Denis Leamy. He’d ate the glasses and all for you. Pips Jim Williams to this spot which is a few doing! Quinny would drive all of them mad if we introduced him. Possibly we’ll stuff him within the boot?

Able to go 1 / 4 of an hour earlier than the bus departs could be David Wallace, one of the best dressed award a formality, the hair completely gelled. Wally is deadly, an amazing little bit of craic. With the Covid-19 virus carried out and the date booked, you’d be getting excited on the considered who’d be on the bus. I’d need Wally on that bus, not least for the
rollover the next day…

I considered whether or not to carry Axel or not, certain you’d hardly know he was on the bus.

He’d be sitting there, and never a stir out of him both within the first or second port of name. Speaking to his pint, good ‘n aisy. Round midnight he may determine to hitch us. I obtained on nice with that man. It wouldn’t be proper if he wasn’t on that bus. He’d some diesel engine on him when it got here to those nights out. Not a budge out of him til late on, after which warmed up, he’d come calling.

I’d like a spot for Nick Williams on the bench.

Tomás O’Leary. Born messer. By no means a boring second. He was nice for group morale, getting caught into fellas with lethal (and correct) feedback. First off the bench could be Mike Prendergast as Tomás firmly believed in ‘go onerous or go house’. Conor Murray was a darkish horse and warrants critical consideration.

Ronan O'Gara and Jason Holland with the Heineken Cup after the 2008 final. Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland
Ronan O’Gara and Jason Holland with the Heineken Cup after the 2008 remaining. Picture: INPHO/Billy Stickland

So Jason Holland, the delight of Midleton — or so he insisted — will get the 10 slot and I’ll park myself down again listening to Donncha’s tall tales. Dutchy was one of many squad’s hottest guys. He’s higher craic than me too.

The captain of the bus, Anthony Horgan. Ants in his pants. He’d be seeking to name to each pub on the primary pit cease, wherever that was. The polar reverse to Axel. ‘C’mon lads, drink up, we’re transferring on’. He’s a kind of guys who needed to preserve transferring the place quite a bit us wished to only cool down and have the craic. Keith Earls would wish his arm twisted to get on the bus however as soon as he warmed up, he’d be breaking his balls laughing at us and it wouldn’t be lengthy earlier than he’s entrance and centre with the yarns. Useful if Ian Dowling may meet us in Kilkenny as there’s a excessive chance the enjoyable bus may find yourself there. (Fairly just a few enjoyable bus journeys appeared to finish up down there with devastating penalties for all.)

Now issues begin to get tough. How do you inform a fella he’s not making the enjoyable bus? Occasion animal Rob Henderson is a certainty and I’ve to suppose Rua Tipoki is simply too, particularly if one thing was to begin getting angsty later within the evening. Rua would kind that.

However how do I not carry Jean de
Villiers? Jess and I had simply began a household however that by no means stopped Nick Williams, de Villiers, and Dougie Howlett arriving at my home at half six within the morning searching for a bottle of whiskey. Jess beloved that… ‘Come on we’ll return to Rog’s, he’s an early riser’. I met Jean on the World Cup final 12 months in Japan, and have stayed in touch with him. He left an enormous impression on plenty of us.

Trevor Halstead, his compatriot, could be appalled on the prospect of a enjoyable bus. His physique was a temple. He’d use the time to do calf raises.

PS: Anyway can I sneak in Barry Murphy (of Hermitage Inexperienced) and his great voice?

The aforementioned Dougie. What a legend. The Tongan torpedo. I used to be considering of a few our former Rugby League boys like Brian Carney, Gary Connolly, and Will Chambers however they have been dominated out on the premise that NRL boys are too practiced with their Mad Mondays. We wished to return house alive. Honourable point out for John O’Neill and John Kelly, two effective males on an evening out.

You’d must carry Zebo. He sees issues in a different way. He’s his personal man. However the principle purpose he’s on the bus is so we will hear Gaillimh and Claw critiquing his strikes on the dance flooring. Speak about a era hole. They’d pretty get caught into his shapes on the dance flooring.

Down the again of the bus (bear in mind it’s solely a 26-seater), you’d must carry Quinny to thoughts me and in addition so everybody may have a slag off him when there’s a lull in dialog. Ken O’Connell is an automated choose (a World Rugby Enjoyable bus Corridor of Famer). I’ve to discover a spot for Mossy Lawler as a utility again. Nice fella. Already booked in are Denis/John Fogarty, Jerry Flannery Donnchadh Ryan, Mick O’Driscoll, Ian Murray (to regulate the Shannon lads), Donncha, de Villiers, and Nick Williams.

Thoughts us, Mr Driver.

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