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A Game Apart

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Saturday, 6 February 2010

A tale of two World Cup captains: Johnson finds salvation, Terry seeks redemption

NICE to escape the John Terry saga for ball of a different shape today. Started off on Sky News talking to Will Carling and Gareth Edwards outside Twickenham before the Six Nations opener between England and Wales. Then watched a cracking 30-17 England win after scoring in Goldhill Baptist's 5-2 win on Chalfont St Peter common (I don't score often these days, sorry).
Yup, Nick Powell and I were on Sky News this morning, daring to put our nation's rugby hopes ahead of the tawdry tale surrounding our football captain before the World Cup in June.
And they were good old sporting stories too - Ricky Flutey's injury has seen Toby Flood drafted in at centre and Wales have big problems up front. If England hadn't won this one, as Will Carling twittered me this morning "the vultures will be circling" around World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson in his bid to become a valid international coach.
It nearly happened at 20-17 with eight minutes left when James Hook ran through half the England side to score and then converted. But Delon Armitage produced a vital interception, Toby Flood and Matt Tait ran the ball and James Haskell ran in for his second try and it was game over, Johnson saved.
And erm... talking about World Cup winning captains, Nick picked up on The Sun front page on Sky News this morning. There was Terry, a few hours after being told by Fabio Capello he was not longer England captain, saying: "If they're a one percent chance of me being World Cup captain, I'll fight tooth and nail for it."
Terry was signed up as The Sun's World Cup columnist a month ago. Little did they know their sister paper, the News of the World, were on the verge of exposing his affair with Wayne Terry's former missus Vanessa Perroncel.
Terry of course, has no chance of being our captain when the side flies to Rustenburg on June 1 before their opening Group C game at Bafokeng Sports Palace before the opening game against the USA on June 11.
Especially if there's any truth in the Daily Mirror's front page splash this morning, which suggests Terry paid Perroncel £800,000 to end her bid to sell the story.
No doubt there will be more revelations tomorrow before the big game between Chelsea and Arsenal. But for now let's just concentrate on England's epic rugby win. It feels more wholesome.

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