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Paper Monitor

12:13 UK time, Monday, 15 October 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The problem with having a special pull-out section dedicated to "the beautiful game" is that when, the nation's collective aesthetic pleasure is derived from a sport other than football, in this case rugby, it seems a little churlish to stick with the format.

The Times tries to sidestep this little local difficulty with RugbyExtra – a pull-out from a pull-out. Although given that it's only four pages, it mainly seems to be a vehicle for a two-page centre spread pin-up of Jonny Wilkinson.

Readers who are turned on more by Wilkinson's prose than his pecs must return to the main paper, and rummage at the back from the England kicker's World Cup column… which makes uncomfortable reading.

Wilko, to give him his tabloid moniker, tells readers "I got one hour's sleep on Saturday", referring to the events immediately after England's semi-final victory against France.

But no, this isn't the Daily Star so it's not for THAT reason. Our fair-headed hero was so cut and grazed, even the touch of bedlinen caused him too much pain.

The Sun portrays our battle-injured hero in more combative mood – giving him a Jack Nicholson-style makeover with the headlines "Here's Jonny!" in horror film font.

For the Mirror, Wilkinson is only as interesting as his equally-blonde girlfriend, Shelley, who, along with the team's other wives and girlfriends, are christened the Scrummies.

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