BBC BLOGS - John Beattie

Archives for January 2011

Six Nations rugby should boast female officials

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John Beattie | 10:48 UK time, Monday, 31 January 2011

Should the Six Nations have touch judges and referees who are women? And as we don't at the moment, are we behind football, a sport that has female officials in the English Premier League?

It was the very fact that football does indeed have female officials at the highest level that exposed what we might call an "off-mic problem".

We probably have the same problem.

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Great memories of a great contest - roll on the Six Nations

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John Beattie | 11:24 UK time, Monday, 24 January 2011

Go on then, what is your favourite Five/Six Nations memory? And, deep down, do the results matter?

Glasgow resembles foggy London as depicted in an old Sherlock Holmes film, but the mornings are slightly brighter, and the evenings too, and it can mean but one thing: it's just over a week until the start of the Six Nations.

If you are like me then this will make you smile more than impending spring, daffodils, crocuses, rutting stags, and the thought that not that long away we might get back to wearing short sleeved shirts.

I love this time of year.

I've talked before of being a teenager and going to games but the stage after that was getting to play for my country. As a student this meant two days off university, a full fry-up for breakfast, then for lunch it was prawn cocktail, sole goujons, steak and chips, apple pie and ice cream - and that was before the game on Saturdays.

My first game was in Ireland. It was an honour, and it was frantic, but I felt at home if that doesn't sound silly. At home with fourteen other blokes in blue.

Afterwards we sat with the Irish players. And so it went on as next up came France at home (we won), Wales away (we lost) and England at home (we lost) when a skinny bloke called Clive Woodward had a very good game.

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It's time to regionalise Scottish rugby

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John Beattie | 09:38 UK time, Monday, 17 January 2011

When I was a kid first playing rugby, the petrol was cheap, the roads were clear, and women were quite happy if their men-folk said: "By the way, the game this Saturday is in Elgin, see you on Sunday!"

But even back then it was the local derbies that got the heart pumping, stopped you sleeping at night, and produced the biggest crowds as fans didn't have to make the same idiotic trips the players were forced to travel.

However, I do admit, an overnight boat to Shetland formed my view on life: my view on life is never drink whisky on an overnight boat to Shetland caught in storms.

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Cross-border rivalry can help the Lions

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John Beattie | 18:41 UK time, Sunday, 9 January 2011

It would be good to have a balanced management set-up on the next Lions tour: would that mean a role for Dean Richards?

Or as I like to think of him: the man who got caught.

Crikey, I watched a strange game at the weekend where I saw one player actually motion to the referee that he thought an opposing player should be carded, and other assorted cheating going unpunished, and to think Dean Richards was the worst of the lot is a massive mistake.

He has much to offer the game. Anyway, that's not the sum total of today's topic.

Oh no, it's cross-border rivalry and what that means for the next Lions tour.

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