This is a Journal entry by Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

Rugby Shocker

Post 1

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

If International Rugby Board (IRB) chairman Vernon Pugh sees NZ Sports Minister Trevor Mallard headed his way, he shouldn't turn his back.

Angry at New Zealand losing a share of the Rugby World Cup, a "gutted" Mr Mallard was asked what remedies the Government could now take. He suggested he would like to perform a sensitive operation on Mr Pugh and Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill, using a sponsor's product.

"They (remedies) do involve Heinekens in particularly uncomfortable places," he said.

Dutch brewer Heineken is a major sponsor of the 2003 event, which will now be hosted entirely in Australia.

Prime Minister Helen Clark laughed off her minister's outburst. "Trevor is a red-blooded passionate rugby supporter and he is really expressing the disappointment of every rugby-supporting person in the country," she said.

Asked if the "uncomfortable places" threat was out of line, she said: "I'm not getting into that".

Miss Clark said the decision was very disappointing for New Zealand rugby lovers. "I guess the best comeback is to win it."

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