England vs Australia
Yesterday Martin Johnson announced the England squad to face Australia on Saturday, and with a whole raft of his first choice players keeping BUPA hospitals in business up and down the country, his selections included a few uncapped players along with a couple of blasts from the past.
I'm really pleased to see ex-Leeds Tyke Jordan Crane win his first cap, along with Northampton's Shane Geraghty and Courtney Lawes who will start on the bench.
However, most of the talk has surrounded the players returning to the England fold in a blaze of glory after reigniting their careers across the channel. From all the interviews I've read, Jonny Wilkinson is loving his new lifestyle in the south of France, and who wouldn't? Sun, sea, a hatful of points in the French Top 14 competition, no injuries (so far), oh and the unlimited salary cap which means he got a whacking great pay rise. Somehow, training on a drizzly Wednesday afternoon in grey and chilly Newcastle doesn't seem quite as appealing.
Steve Thompson is another player who has risen back to the top of his game like a modern day Lazarus. Thompson retired from rugby in 2007 with a serious neck injury, but after a second opinion and the lure of all that French cheese, Thompson has put his shorts on again and is now playing for Brive. I never really rated Thompson that much when he last played for England, as his line out throwing was wonky and he's not the most agile in the loose. I fully expect him to be replaced by Dylan Hartley when he shakes off his hamstring injury.
Anyway despite all this, Steve Thompson's inclusion in the England squad is the reason why I've written this blog entry, as I wanted to reveal that I have found Steve's doppelgänger out there in movie land.
Brace yourselves people: the resemblance is uncanny:
Yeah, I know. They're twins.
I'm looking forward to some Aussie bashing on Saturday. Don't let me down boys.
Queen of the Castle
21 hours ago