NEWS: New Plymouth resident Mike Neckwrench feels his Rugby World Cup 2015 blame list is in ‘a really good place’, with most names penciled in six weeks out from the tournament.
Mike Neckwrench of Taranaki spends much of his leisure time compiling rugby world cup blame lists and lives alone.
Neckwrench, who has prepared blame lists for every Rugby World Cup since 1995 when Laurie Mains topped the pile, began preparing his 2015 edition immediately after the final whistle at Eden Park in 2011. “Winning’s not an excuse to stand still. If you’re not reading the tea leaves, Ben Smith’s suddenly playing centre in the quarterfinal while you’re still distracted by leaving Andy Ellis at home. If I’m not prepared for every scenario, I’m not doing my job.”
Coaches, players, officials and Twickenham ground staff are in the mix – the final line-up will be inked in as the tournament kicks off, with the proviso that names can be added on an ad hoc basis to allow for injuries, loss of form or unforeseeable fuckwits.
Neckwrench identified Wayne Barnes as a Potential dick early in 2006.
When it comes to IDing blame list potential, Neckwrench is content to play the long game, evidenced by adding Wayne Barnes to his 2007 list eighteen months before the tournament. “He’s a shit ref, and I could see the IRB lining him up to fuck us over some distance out.”
The lists themselves are kept on Excel spreadsheets in a computer folder simply labelled ‘Rugby Blame.’ “Sure, my 2011 list wasn’t needed, but importantly, it was set to go. Plus, I could just cut and paste Sonny Bill from 2011 to 2015, saving seconds,” said Neckwrench, who has ‘I told you so’ tattooed on both arms.