Last night I found myself in the Coopers Arms in Flood Street......... it must be 15 years since I was last there. We used to head there on Five Nations days and watch the match upstairs with jugs of ale and world beating sausage sandwiches. As it happened I got talking to an enormous Aussie, (about the size of 3 Sydney Opera Houses), who used to play to a pretty high standard.
He said he played with Martin Johnson a few times at Leicester when he was a student.. Obviously a man of few words, Johnson stopped in the changing room one day and asked why the Aussies boots were as tired and tatty as I feel this morning. "Money," was the reply.
Next morning, a brand new pair of boots were sitting below the Aussies peg. So, a wee story that demonstrates what we all know; that Johnson is as sincere and decent a man as any you'll find. Unfortunately, that doesn't make him a great coach.
It's with mixed feelings then that I learn of hushed conversations in dark corners about Sir Ian McGeechan being lined up to take over from MJ after the Six Nations concludes. Despite his recent announcement that he will advise Gloucester, there is a growing feeling of inevitability about an announcement.
That Sir Ian is one of the great coaches in the world is self evident and it would explain why he didn't take the Quinn's job as he was expected to. The interesting thing is the source of the stories......... Rugby HQ........ and I'm not talking about Twickenham.
England would obviously benefit but how odd, Scotland being coached by an Englishman and England by a Scotsman!
After quiet reflection following the conclusion of the Six Nations, the way ahead is clear. Bin Director of Elite Rugby at the RFU Rob Andrew and replace with McCeechan. Andrew has presided over a period of mediocrity which should merit his voluntary resignation. McCeechan, at least, would inspire. They may have talked about the options, it remains to be seen if the RFU have the courage to pull the trigger.