In light of the mess at the RFU, a few people have asked about this old piece:
Posted 26th November, 2006
In one of the most stunning coaching appointments in sporting history, the RFU have replaced head coach Andy Robinson with legendary boxing trainer Mickey Goldmill.
Goldmill, who famously took Rocky Balboa, an unknown street fighter, to the heavyweight championship of the world in the 1970s, has no prior rugby experience and has been hired purely because of his unique ‘motivational skills’.
The RFU have said that Goldmill’s appointment is a short-term contract, designed only to take England to the World Cup in France next year.
Andy Robinson was shown the door by his employers after an appalling Autumn Series in which England lost three of their four games. The losses mean that the world champions have tasted defeat in eight of their previous nine matches.
Mickey Goldsmith is a hugely controversial appointment for a myriad of reasons. Apart from having no rugby background, he is known to be hugely sceptical of modern sport science and his approach may rankle with many English players who until recently were under the high-tech, ultra-modern leadership of Clive Woodward.
Furthermore, Goldmill has a history of attracting scandal. The most notorious incident was when he faked his own death in 1982 after Rocky Balboa fell to a crushing defeat against the ferocious Clubber Lang in a world championship bout. Goldmill surfaced years later revealing he had staged the stunt so he could get out of the public eye.
However, despite being out of sport for many years, the RFU feel that Mickey’s ability to bring the best out of athletes in a very short space of time means he is the ideal appointment to change England’s fortunes.
‘We have to turn around the national team in a very short space of time,’ said an RFU spokesmen to theeastterrace.com.
‘We feel that Mickey is the best person to do the job. He may lack rugby knowledge, but that is why we have specialist coaches in the national set-up. His job is to change attitudes and bring in a killer instinct. He won’t be coaching lineouts, scrums or rucks, he can delegate that to our specialists. We need him for the mental edge he gives people.’
The RFU held a press conference on Sunday morning at Twickenham to unveil their surprise signing.
‘There all a bunch of bums,’ growled Goldmill when asked about the players he had taken charge of. ‘But when I’m done with ‘em there gonna be able to spit nails. They’ll be eatin’ lightinin’ and crappin’ thunder. There gonna become very dangerous persons.’
Goldmill gave the assembled journalists a glimpse into his training methods when he revealed he had already ordered a flock of chickens to be delivered to England’s training camp.
‘Chicken-chasing is how we used to train back in the old days,’ said the former boxer. ‘If the players can catch this thing, they can catch greased lighting.’
Goldmill, when pressed for his views on England’s chances in the 2007 World Cup and the likelihood of beating the mighty New Zealanders and defending their crown, responded aggressively.
‘We're gonna be swappin' punches with, with the most dangerous team in the world. And just in case, you know, our brains ain’t workin' so good, all this happens pretty soon and we ain't ready. You know, we ain’t nowhere near in shape. So I say why don't we stand up and fight these guys hard? Like we done before. That was beautiful! But we can’t lay down like this! Like, uh, I don't know, like some kind of mongrel or something. Cos’ these Kiwis are gonna kick our face to pieces! That's right! These guys don't just wanna win, you know, they wants to bury us, they wants to humiliate us. They wants to prove to the whole world that England winning the world championship was nothin’ but some kind of freak the first time out.’
The RFU refused to comment on a rumour that suggested Goldmill's first action upon his arrival was to give Martin Corry’s locker to another player.
‘We ask the public to be patient,’ said an RFU official, ‘we are confident that Mickey will be able to take England to the world cup next year full of confidence. There may be some strange tough decisions over the next twelve months, but they will for the good of Team England. Goldmill has already told us he plans to make the forwards train for rucks with string tied around their ankles to help with their balance, but we are sure it is all for the best. We have complete trust in the man, he has a fantastic pedigree.’
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