As the Rugby World Cup enters its semifinal stage, some players have hit the headlines for reasons other than rugby. Rugby Rugby highlights those bad boys from RWC 2011 - both in the lead-up and whilst in New Zealand.
From naughty tweeting, to having the wrong branding during matches and, erm, 'watersports' gone wrong... we bring you our RWC Naughty XV - highlighting the men who have made the 2011 World Cup worth remembering... and not for rugby reasons!
The Rugby Rugby RWC Naughty XV:
15 Paul Williams (Samoa):
One yellow card and the only red card at the 2011 Rugby World Cup sums it all up. His behaviour against the Springboks in their Pool D finale was apalling which was sad given his outstanding performances up till then.
14 Cory Jane (New Zealand):
Jane's booze cruise - along with injured teammate Israel Dagg - was so, so badly timed. It had him in the dog box with headmaster Graham Henry in light of his team's injury list and the small matter of a quarterfinal match a few days later and rightly so. Stumbling around drunk and trying to light up a smoke during the week... yet he produced a blinder against the Pumas in Sunday's quarterfinal. Damn, this kid is good!
13 Manu Tuilagi (England):
Young Manusamoa faces two charges from us - wearing a mouthguard with the wrong branding on it (which, frankly, we could not care less about) and jumping overboard from a ferry which was about to dock. It was a childish prank... but dangerous nonetheless and it could have gone horribly wrong. He was fined £3,000 for his efforts; the one good thing to come from it, however, is that the money was paid to the RWC Christchurch Appeal!
12 Mike Tindall (England):
To be fair, Tindall should be applauded for getting out there and making an effort to meet the locals. Trouble is, planting one's face in the bosom of a mystery blonde - that while your newly-married royal wife is sitting at home back in Blighty - is not quite the way to do it. (Not to mention lying about half the incident!) We will, however, give him ten out of ten for effort and for hogging headlines for weeks... and weeks.
11 Alesana Tuilagi (Samoa):
Like his (not so) little brother, Manu, Alex also found himself in the IRB's dock for wearing branded mouthguard... but his incident came before Manu's. He, too, was fined and clearly did not get the message to his brother in time. Tsk, tsk!
10 Quade Cooper (Australia):
A self-confessed public enemy No.1 in New Zealand, Cooper has - so far - been booed from Albany to Wellington. It seems many have not forgiven him for his rough-house tactics on Kiwi skipper Richie McCaw... with his grandmother having been forced to defend her "lovely" grandson. 76-year-old Millie Cooper said: "They said Quadey kneed Richie McCaw's head. They see the bad part but they didn't see who was pushing him... build a bridge and get over it." Really... getting your granny to defend you?
9 Mike Phillips (Wales):
Phillips's pre-RWC antics very nearly cost him a ticket to NZ with the Wales squad. As the former Ospreys star contemplates his biggest game in a Welsh jersey this coming weekend, he will do well to think back to June 16/17 when he tasted a pavement in Cardiff's City Centre and, subsequently, found himself suspended from official pre-RWC training. It was, of course, not his first run-in with the law, after hours, and one can only imagine what he would get up to should Wales go all the way at the World Cup. All that said and done, however, Phillips has been well behaved in New Zealand (so far!) and he is arguably playing some of his best rugby too.
8 James Haskell (England):
From slating his own teammates - in the aftermath of England's unconvincing 41-10 over Georgia - to unleashing a foul-mouthed tirade (which went out on live TV) at Argentina prop Martin Scelzo when he claimed to have been eye gouged in virtually the final act of his team's 13-9 win over the Pumas, Haskell is never far from the action. However, his biggest faux pas came off the field in NZ when he was accused, along with Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton, of shouting lewd comments and filming a female hotel employee whom they lured to one of their rooms. According to England boss Martin Johnson, "What they thought was humour has clearly not been taken that way by the girl involved". We wouldn't want to argue with Johnson... but it's never nice when a joke doesn't go down too well with people. (As the person filming... or the person being filmed.)
7 Dominiko Waqaniburotu (Fiji):
The Fijian flank was handed one of the bigger bans in the early part of the World Cup, after being suspended for three matches for a tip tackle on South Africa's Pat Lambie in the Boks' 49-3 win over the Islanders. It was uneccessary and deserves what it got as it ended his RWC campaign early - even if he tried to appeal.
6 Todd Clever (USA):
Like Waqaniburotu, Clever was cited for a dangerous tackle but unlike his Fijian counterpart, Clever escaped censure after facing a hearing. The USA Eagles skipper - the second player cited at RWC 2011 - could have considered himself very fortunate not to have been suspended for dangerous tackling and dangerous charging during his side's 13-6 win over Russia on September 15.
5 Kane Thompson (Samoa):
Like teammates Paul Williams and Mahonri Schwalger, Thompson saved his 'best' for last against the Boks in their Pool D finale - their thuggish behaviour being a major talking point after South Africa's narrow 13-5. Who said cheap shots?
4 Courney Lawes (England):
The first player cited and suspended at the World Cup, Lawes started the tournament by banging into Argentina centre Gonzalo Tiesi's back and then delivering a knee to hooker Mario Ledesma's head in the act of making a tackle. He was promptly handed a two-match suspension, the disciplinary panel describing the offence as "low-end", but it could easily have been worth for the Northampton youngster.
3 Martín Castrogiovanni (Italy):
Truth be told, we found it almost impossible to find props for this Naughty XV of ours. Secondly, we love Castro here at HQ... and, thirdly, we understand that English is a bit of a struggle for the Leicester hardman. That said... some of his language on Twitter is just plain foul - despite some of his banter with his Tigers teammates being absolutely hilarious. Some pearlers from Castro on Twitter: "Back home after 30 hs fly ...f#ckkk."; "Some time I don t understand why is all bullshit....wtf"; "Some one take the licences plate ..... Of the track run over me... F#ck I'm old , I don't use to feel like this the next day."
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (Italy):
Sadly, this is a very, very serious selection in our Naughty XV. Ghiraldini was cited - and suspended - for 15 weeks "for gouging the eyes of Ireland prop Cian Healy during the teams' decisive World Cup pool match" on October. There is no place for that kind of behaviour in rugby. Not anywhere. Period.
1 Alan Jacobsen (Scotland):
Clapping your hand in an opponent's face is probably the most childish thing one can do on a rugby field... Jacobsen did plenty of that to England's Dan Cole in their tight Pool B tussle earlier this month. Look, we know nobody likes England... but Scotland were dominating for most of the match and we certainly didn't see Cole clapping his hands in Jacobsen's face at the final whistle.
Manager/spokesperson - Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu (Samoa):
No arguments here, surely? Sapolu would run his press conferences - or make any comments to the media - via Twitter and he would get straight to the point. (As he did throughout RWC 2011.) We're not sure, however, if drinks will be served.
* Who did we leave off our list? Let us know below!
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