by Harry Exclusive
Paddypower Managing Director Reilly O'Reilly in his work clothes
England have been made the bookmakers favourite to retain the Rugby World Cup, which they won in Australia 4 years ago, being held in France - and due to a little palm greasing, Wales, Scotland & Ireland - this autumn. Paddypower managing director Reilly O'Reilly (pictured above) spoke to me exclusively via googlemail earlier this week. "Ah, sure to be sure, Harry, there's been some dicking about going on. I reckon it's the bloody Kiwis and the Welsh on the wind up. Apparently, they've got the entire population of both countries - that's about tree million each - to put a fiver on England to win in Paris. So, that's about turty million pounds they've put on England. It's pushed the odds of the All Blacks right out to 20-1. We could be feckin' ruined if they don't choke like they usually do this year."
Ashton tries to convince Robinson to not give Dallaglio his pocket money
England coach, Brian Ashton, said "I assume all these people putting money on us are having a laugh? Have they seen us play this year?! Piss poor in Dublin and even lamer in Cardiff. Yeah, and don't even mention South Africa. To be honest, we haven't got a hope in hell. Thank fuck we have an easy draw, imagine if we'd been drawn with Argentina as the third seeds in our group!".
A 'moon bastard', yesterday
However, not all Englishmen share Ashton's defeatism. Back from the wilderness because the coaching staff are clutching at straws ex-skipper Lawrence Dallaglio believes England fully deserve their favourites tag. In a worldwide exclusive to this newspaper, he told BBC Sport earlier this week "Look, we won it 4 years ago and we'll win it again. Now, you can say that we've lost a lot of world-class players: Johnson, Hill, Dawson, Greenwood etc. and that Kay, Robinson, Tindall, Wilkinson etc. have all gone downhill, but I'm back in the team so we're bound to win. I'm amazing. Did you see me against Bay of Plenty before I got injured on the Lions tour? I was amazing! For 20 minutes. Plus we've been training with the Marines and they keep telling us we're the best and you don't want to argue with them!". Then why don't you put your money where your mouth is? Put a few quid on yourselves to win it? "Already done, Harry. I managed to convince all the squad, all the coaching staff - with the exception of Brian Ashton - and the entire British Armed Forces to put their annual salary on us to win it; it's about £30 million pounds in total. If we win, I mean when we win, we'll be raking it in. I've already booked a seat on Dickie Branson's flight to the moon so we can show those moon bastards that England are not only the best on the earth, but the best on the earth and the satellite that goes round it. The earth, that is".
Henry looking away whilst Richie McCaw gets away with murder, again
I attempted to contact All Blacks coach Graham Henry for his opinion on this story. Unfortunately, due to me getting confused because of the time zones - are they 12 hours ahead or behind? I can never tell - I was unable to speak with him. Although he did leave me an e-mail message which consisted only of the internet acronym 'LOL'.
Look out for my preview of the Rugby World Cup coming soon, where I'll correctly predict the victors in 90% of the matches. Another exclusive. Remember, you read it here first.