Sandra Sully recently hosted Australia's Brainiest Football Player and though I don't know who won, I'm certain Matt Dunning won't win any future contest requiring fast synaptic connections. Dunning, who plays prop for the Waratahs, is easily the stupidest rugby player currently playing the game. Whereas it used to be a hotly contested title, I now suspect that the majority of professional rugby players are pretty sharp if not at the begining of their career, then certainly the end. League players I'm less certain of not being much of a follower.
Players like John Kirwan have certainly benefited from their involvement. John's fluent in at least three languages being Japanese, Italian and English, has extensive business connections, speaks well and is a polished television personality to say nothing of his coaching prowess. Likewise, Sean Fitzpatrick, Grant Fox, Peter Fitzsimons, John Eales, Jock Hobbs, Taine Randall (who is also biligual, Maori and English, as well as having a couple of degrees), and Eric Rush.
Andrew Mehrtens has my vote for the funniest NZ rugby player, his wit and vocab make him one of the most unpredictable and intelligent commentators I've seen interviewed although Zinzan Brooke and Frano Botica were both damn funny too.
So why Dunning as the dullest of an otherwise bright bunch? Probably 'cause of his brain explosion a few years back when he attempted a drop goal late in a Super 12 match when NSW were a converted try short of victory. But equally his arrival on the park in the last 20 minutes of a tight tri-nations game which resulted in two and possibly three penalties to NZ and ultimately the match.
Thanks Matt, keep up the good work - you've got another chance on the weekend when I'm certain you'll cost the 'Tahs at least 6 points.
*Apologies to the soccer fans who still insist football is the correct term for soccer only and cannot be used to describe other codes where the ball is anything other than round.
5 days ago