Anorak News | War Of Words

War Of Words

by | 18th, November 2003

‘EVEN if England do win the rugby World Cup, it’s unbelievable that anything will replace football as the papers’ most favoured sport.

Quids in

But until England win or lose, even the Sun leads with news of the boys Down Under.

And that means more news of Jonny Wilkinson. The Sun can promote rugby to the lead sports news but only if the story is about Wilkinson, that most marketable of players.

The paper’s front page reports on how Wilkinson is being protected from overzealous fans by at least six security men.

But jumping up and down, he just about makes himself heard over the din of heavy marching boots.

“Each time I practise it’s like putting a little investment in the bank,” says Jonny. “If I miss a kick, I know what I’ve got in the bank and can knock the next one over.”

And if England win the World Cup, Jonny can put more than kicks in his bank, what with the endorsements that will flow his way.

Of course, even the success of England’s rugby team has its limits.

The Star is the only paper to lead with a football story, reporting that Ryan Giggs will not miss Wales’ Euro 2004 decider with Russia.

While the Russians want him banned for his petulant reaction to what the paper calls a “horror tackle”, the Welsh FA are fighting to keep their best player in the team.

How the paper can call a tackle horrific when we’ve all been watching the rucking and mauling that is rugby union for the past few weeks is an oddity.

But this is football, and football is so often about hyperbole.

The Mail reminds us that, if we want to see a real fight, then next Sunday’s World Cup final is the place to be.

“Grudge match?” asks the headline. “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” comes the reply. “The fur will really start to fly once Jones and Woodward cut loose.”

It’s not the players who will be scrapping but the respective coaches of Australia and England, Eddie Jones and Clive Woodward.

And it won’t really be a fight, more of a name-calling session. Although the only name to really upset the opposite number will be “loser” come Sunday morning.’

Posted: 18th, November 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink