What the Quok is Going On?

The cricket season is usually a dead zone in Australia when it comes to Rugby coverage. Fair enough too as there are no games being played and players, administrators, coaches and spectators need to regroup and sharpen their swords for another tilt at a season of vitriol and backstabbing. There's also the small matter of putting in some hard yards on the training paddock. For the Rolling Maul this usually entails hours of sitting on the couch watching small ball games - especially tennis and cricket.

Fortunately this off season is like no other. The international cricket season has had a mid-season siesta though in all honesty no-one really noticed the season had started so nondescript and irrelevant were the Sri Lankans. It took Marvan Attapatu to compare Sri Lankan selectors to muppets for it to get any attention at all, and even that lasted for all of about a day.

The lull has ensured that sports journalists with deadlines to keep and nothing to write about cast their net far and wide and what they've trawled from the depths of the sporting ocean is that good old sperm whale himself Alan Jones and a truck load of oceanic slime in the shape of Scott Fava and his Western Force cohorts. The Quokka Shocker on Rottnest and other Force "accounting transgressions" have ensured that the "Us" (Eastern States rejects and mercenaries) vs "Them" (everyone left behind) chip on the shoulder ("It's the media's /ARU's / Brumbies' / Waratahs' / Reds' fault") remains as the prime motivator on the Rugby field for the Western Force, dollars and alcohol being the motivation off it.

Alan Jones and the Western Force are problems and something needs to be done about both of them. At least the Western Force are far enough away from the rest of the country that their damage is limited to a small island off the coast of Perth and South Africa.

Alan Jones, however, is very much established in Sydney and it would take something monumental (or politically embarrassing) to make him leave. His application and associated public campaign to coach the Wallabies have been impressive in delivery if not content and obviously a place for him must be found in the Australian Rugby Community - but not as coach of the Wallabies.

With the Western Force imploding and requiring strong discipline from a hard taskmaster, Alan Jones is the perfect man to whip these boys into shape. And certainly Perth needs Alan Jones to instill colour and pizazz and whip up an orgasmic frenzy of Rugby debate and interest. There is no one better positioned than Alan Jones to manage the future of Australian Rugby - the eager and willing schoolboys of Perth.

And finally, as if the Alan Jones and Quokka sagas weren't enough to satisfy a Rugby blog's thirst for scandal during a sleepy summer, news that Owen Finegan is to return to the Brumbies as a lineout coach and mentor for young players was greeted with disbelief and trepidation. Finegan was last seen by the Rolling Maul held up by a bunch of equally drunk mates while he held up the Heiniken tent at Sydney's Olympic Park after the opening ceremony of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Finegan, the world's drunkest man at that point in time, it should be noted, was a member of the Wallabies World Cup shadow squad.

The Brumbie's youngsters couldn't hope for a finer mentor. Let this be a lesson to the Force that Scott Fava should immediately be installed as the mentor for Perth's up and coming Rugby talent - though he may need to compete with Alan Jones for the cute ones.

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