The Sin Bin
Quade makes himself at home
September 6, 2012
@Kiel_Henry rolled out the welcome mat to Wallabies Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper and Digby Ioane for a spot of gaming earlier this week © @kiel_henry
Welcome to the latest edition of The Sin Bin - our regular feature offering you some of the quirkier stories to emanate from the game we love.
There's not a ruck we will not delve into or a hospital pass we will avoid in a bid to bring you some of the more bizarre, humorous and downright daft stories, videos, pictures and soundbites from around the rugby globe. Got anything you think warrants a mention? Let us know.
Knock, knock. Who is it? Quade Cooper
You're an international rugby player on your day off ahead of a big Rugby Championship showdown - what do you do? Well, if you're Australia's Quade Cooper you challenge one of your Twitter followers to a game of FIFA - not online, but in person. This may come as a surprise to some but this is the same Cooper who turned up for a game of touch in Cape Town when the Reds were on their Super Rugby travels in 2011. The random fan in question was @Kiel_Henry who rolled out the welcome mat at his Perth home to not only Cooper but his team-mates Kurtley Beale and Digby Ioane only to be on the wrong end of a 4-1 drubbing.
Haskell fails in bid to ditch losers' medal
Word reaches ESPNscrum HQ that Wasps flanker James Haskell has failed in his audacious bid to ditch his losers' medal from the 2011 Amlin Challenge Cup finale that saw his then Stade Francais side lose out to Harlequins in dramatic circumstances - or that's what we think anyway. The Fulham Chronicle sees it slightly differently and has hailed the "eagle-eyed" man who spotted it after it had "been dumped in a park by thieves."
Roberts gets some wind in his sails
Jamie Roberts' return to full match fitness continues to gather pace and the good news he is expected back on a pitch in the near future - as soon as he had completed his rather enviable re-hab programme. The Wales international, who will surely have his eye on a second tour with the British & Irish Lions next summer (if he is not sitting re-takes of his medical finals), has taken a convoluted route on his return from knee surgery that has already seen him take in the Monte Carlo for a dose of F1 action and most recently he has opted for a spot of catamaran racing around Cardiff Bay. With that kind of lifestyle, he may need some convincing that he is fully fit.
DC joins the ranks of Twitter
Watch out world. All Blacks playmaker has finally joined the ranks of micro-blogging site Twitter. The all-time leading Test points scorer wasted no time in causing a stir with 20,000 followers in one day and he was closing in on 50,000 before the week was out. He has gone out of his way to answer his fans' questions with 'Dan Carter Press Conferences' (#DCPC) from which we have learnt many things - including the fact he celebrated his All Blacks call-up with "a big fist pump", he would rather be able to fly than be invisible and prefers Marmite to Vegemite.
Brace for impact
Rugby may still have to wait four more years before it returns to the Olympics programe with 7s set to grace the 2016 Games in Rio but the wheelchair-based version of the game is already packing them in at the 2012 Paralympics in London. Sometimes known as 'Murderball', there is no doubt the physicality of the sport is part of its appeal but there is much more to a game that has also been described as 'chess with violence'.
Former Saracens star Smith eyeing NFL bow
The NFL season has kicked off in the United States with a former Premiership star hoping to complete a conversion more impressive than any landed in English rugby's top flight. Hayden Smith swapped Saracens for the New York Jets earlier this year and has since defied the odds to earn a place in their practice squad - the seven players who back up the 53 strong unit that starts the regular NFL season at home to the Buffalo Bills in New Jersey on Sunday. The Australian-born Smith, who moved to the US in 2002 to play college basketball at Metropolitan State in Denver, before switching to rugby. He found his way to Saracens prior to the 2008-09 Premiership season, helping them win the title in 2011. "It is incredibly tough because there were initially 90 guys in the camp and to be in the squad is fantastic," he told the Evening Standard. "It's been a long couple of months and when I do step back, I realise it is pretty amazing and I am very fortunate to be in this position."
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