Home    Videos    Photos    Root-Stat    Scrapbook

Blogs      About Us



Following visits to two national parks, a wildlife sanctuary and numerous wild sightings, the urge to compare man and beast was too great for Global-Slacker to pass up. What follows is the Safari XV, with the conditions that all animals have to have been seen on the trip, or heard, or just be impossible to exclude.

In the front row the cauliflower-eared elephant and toothy hippopotamus - quelle surprise - bracket the warthog at hooker. Previously a runner for a Rob Henderson style inside centre, the Shane Byrne mullet made his insertion here a certainty. In the thick of it, in the second row, in the engine room, in the middle of things, the giraffe’s towering lineout presence overcomes his awkward scrummaging technique and liability with ball in hand. Here he is partnered with the versatile waterbuck - comparatively small in stature but a veritable tour de force in getting around the park, getting on with it, getting it done. The back row features the punishing white rhino at blindside flanker. Weighing two tonnes and hitting rucks at 42 km/h, his power is outdone only by the lion, mauling out-halves his modus vivendi. The most controversial selection is undoubtedly the ostrich at 7. Standing at as little as 63kg, his ability to turn over loose ruck ball will go a long way in determining the wisdom of the pick.

The back line begins with the crafty hornbill at scrum-half, a selection coming down almost entirely to vague connections between Zazu being a messenger and delivery at the base of the scrum. And something Eoin said about whispering to rhinos. Partnering him at 10 is the zebra, the only animal deemed stylish enough to drop a goal and not look too delighted with himself. How he fares against opposing lions attacking his channel is set to be one of major headlines of the tour, the zebra’s tackle count a key Root-stat to stay tuned in to. In the centre the cheetah demonstrates the evolution of the game beyond the bad-old Rob Henderson days, while Brian O‘ Driscoll unsurprisingly makes it in. Regardless of zoological parameters, if a team is picked, Drico gets his place., And the Toyota lads saw Bryan McFadden on a safari holiday, which is basically the same thing. Rounding out the team on the wing is the gazelle, his spritely joie de vivre complimented by the John Kelly/Wendell Sailor composite wildebeest. Finally, the revelation of the trip - the oryx, the only contender to the zebra for grace under pressure and sexiness - is moved to 15 for his counter-attacking speed, as witnessed in his man-of-the-match performance at Samburu National Park.

The most notable absentee is of course the superstar leopard, who left the stork and management at large unimpressed by failing to come out and play in front of scouts. Also unavailable for selection was the impala, rendered hors de combat after being seen getting eaten by the cheetah while on holiday in Ibiza. The gazelle slots in comfortably as a result, while the cheetah has been warned about future misconduct. The first test for the Safari XV takes place against the Coco Pops All Stars, pending an olive branch offering between Coco and the alligator. Should the fixture fall through, Willie John McBride and Ginger McLoughlin are said to be rounding up the troops to crack a few heads. Either way, a test must take place to curb the unrest of 80,000 baboons, who didn’t shell out 500 Euros to see Samoa come to town.

Forecast: Munster by a whisker.

Gerry Thornley

Surprises abound as Stork unveils Test XV

Stork was pensive this afternoon amidst wide-scale media criticism of his decision to bench veteran centre, Leopard

Selection Process: Behind the Scenes

Faicho ponders over whether the lads can make it over the water in the Jeep

Barry wakes up in a field full of zebra and warthogs, completely unsure if their bush-camping was brilliant or insane

Gelada baboons in the Ethiopian Highlands

Horn-bill wins his spot as scrum-half with solid stare

Hippo works on core strength with breast-stroke routine

Flamingos flock to watch pre-season training session

Herd of gazelle sheepishly queue for Lions autograph

Impala cleans up in bleep test

Home > The Scrapbook > Safari XV

Safari XV