Disclaimer: I am not the author, it is a translation from Ovale Masqué’s article on actu.fr. Since I found it rather funny, here are some translated bit parts.
The whole thing is about explaining in which Top 14 team Saracens players will play next year. Entirely fictional of course. Humor can be a bit biting at times, but the author is extremely fair in that he targets absolutely everyone (and mostly French players/teams).
Owen Farrell –> Stade Français
Let us start with the most sought after player in the squad of the triple Champions Cup winners. Owen Farrell is a fantastic fly-half/centre, and one of the few actually famous players in the rugby world: everyone knows him. True, everyone hates him, but everyone knows him.
It is often said that Owen Farrell has the looks to play an Indiana Jones bad guy. Without being germanophobes, we can easily imagine that he would fit like a glove in Hans-Peter Wild’s Stade Français. The Parisian club just freed some space at 10 by getting rid of Jules Plisson with about as much class as Byron Kelleher when he breaks up with a girlfriend. In all sports, we need a team from Paris that is both strong and hated to revive the good old Paris-Countryside rivalry. With Farrell’s punchable face, Stade Français would simply be insufferable. We can even imagine the Jean-Bouin Stadium filled for the first time in history, mostly by people coming to see England’s n°10 taking hits for 80 minutes.
Vincent Koch, Brad Barritt, Paul Willemse –> Montpellier
A few weeks back, they could also have been contenders for a spot at Stade Français, but everything changed with the new management. If some hippies are stuck in the 70’s after taking some acid, Thomas Lombard is, instead, stuck in the Nineties. I am certain he wakes up every morning with Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night” as a ringtone. Recently, he brought the blue-and-red-with-lightning shirts, and as such we can imagine that the next step will be to recruit a lot of Italian and Argentinian players – well, mostly Argentinians, they’re better when you plan to win rugby games.
Since they are not wanted in Paris, the three Saffas should instead land in Montpellier, where afrikaner remains a popular language in the dressing room. This would also allow us to experience a centre pairing of François Steyn and Brad Barrit, a pair straight out of a nightmarish SF novel taking place in a society where imagination is punishable by death.
Sean Maitland –> Bayonne
Basques and Scots have a lot in common. A strong identity and culture, being interested in becoming an indfependent country, a beautiful country where rain pours 300 days a year. And most importantly, a phobia of winning rugby games. Sean Maitland should be like a fish in water at the Aviron. In water, or in another beverage – born in New Zealand and with Maori and Scottish roots, Sean is probably genetically destined to become an alcoholic. If you have to be drunk 24/7, better to do so on the sea side.
Calum Clark –> Brive
Calum Clark is not the most famous name on the list. The 30yo third row only has one selection with England and will probably never be more than a decent team player. But he has another quality: he excelles at mixed martial arts. In 2012, he rose to fame by grievously injuring an opponent with a perfect arm lock in a ruck, which cost him 32 weeks of suspension. Violence prone, ex-con resume: a perfect profile for the CA Brive!
Maro Itoje –> Castres
On top of being an inhuman athlete and a fantastic rugby player, Maro Itoje is a well-educated young man, who studied in the famous School of Oriental and African Studies. While there he developed a taste for writing poetry, but had to put his hobby on the side since he started his professionnal career.
What better choice to find inspiration again than to sign for the CO? Once his daily training is over, Maro will have absolutely nothing to do, since he will be living in Castres. Wandering aimlessly in the town’s empty streets or in the desolate Aveyron countryside will give him ample time to experience what Baudelaire called “spleen”. Let us not forget that Itoje is very annoying on a rugby field, at times criticized for his arrogant behavior, and he could make an absolutely fantastic pairing alongside Rory Kockott.
Tom Woolstencroft –> Bordeaux
Substitute hooker to Jamie George, Tom Woolstencroft is not a very famous player. However, his name sounds extremely aristocratic, straight out from a Downton Abbey episode. The kind of guy that owns a manor and wears his cashmere sweater around his shoulders. The logical destination for him is obviously Bordeaux : Tom will get to buy a vineyard and force his guests to taste his terrible wine when he is back in England for the holidays.
Sam Wainwright –> Any team that plays against Clermont
I must admit that I do not know much about this player. I just know that he is Welsh and that his name is Wainwright. It should easily be enough to get Sebastien Vahaamahina to freak out again. A fantastic option if you want to play 15 versus 14 in an important game.
Elliot Daly –> Clermont
On top of having Liam Williams and Alex Goode in their squad, Saracens also have Elliott Daly, which means three world-class players for just one position. Which is about as stealthy as a drug dealer driving a red Ferrari in the Parisian suburbs, no surprise they got caught.
Since we are talking about money, there is an easy transition with the people who hate to spend it: Auvergnats. In the last few seasons Clermont has been very slow to renew its squad, and with Abendanon and Toeava probably leaving next season (note from me: I am sad, especially for Toeava), the Jaunards won’t have anyone at the back of the field. Of course, there is the Matsushima rumor that has been floating around in the last few days, but the risk of a new Goromaru cannot be taken lightly. Better to spend a lot on a safe bet.
You will see that all players I have selected here have been fairly split between the 14 teams (I didn’t translate all but he actually did in the article). It would be a shame if one of our teams went over the salary cap and got severely punished (let us remember that Mohed Altrad got a mail that more or less said “Dude, be careful what you are doing is not very nice” when some irregularities were found in his accounting books).