To celebrate the release of Spectre, RUCK ponders which Rugby stars past and present could be 007’s next nemesis…
Foley is a man with plenty of ‘villain’ experience. While perhaps not the typical James Bond adversary, it was the Aussie fly-half whose studious kicking broke the hearts of millions across the world last month. The 26-year-old was the one who ruthlessly kicked the winning penalty late on to make it 35-34 to his side against Scotland, after a controversial refereeing decision, to knock the plucky Scots out of the World Cup at the quarter-final stage.
In 1991, Dubroca steered France to the quarter-finals of the World Cup with ease, but they fell short at that stage, losing 19-10 to England, and he was incandescent with rage, so much so that he grabbed referee David Bishop around the throat in the tunnels afterwards. He subsequently attempted to claim that he was congratulating the official on his performance, but he was forced to resign from his job the next day.
With two World Cups and numerous other honours to his name, Richie McCaw is one of the most successful players of all time. To New Zealanders, he’s a leader, inspiration, an icon and national treasure. To everyone else, he’s a cheating ******! While being massively successful, the 34-year-old has been the scourge of opposition fans throughout his career, pushing every boundary and bending every rule he possibly can. There will be few players in world rugby who receive as many final warnings McCaw, who carries himself around with arrogance which makes the blood boil of almost everyone who isn’t from New Zealand. He was also voted the sexiest man in New Zealand in 2012, another reason to dislike him.
We’d love to see him take on Bond.
The man at the centre of ‘bloodgate’ in the 2008/09 season. During the Heineken Cup quarter-final, it was Williams who headed off the pitch with blood apparently pouring from his mouth. Complete with a cheeky wink, his injury did look ever so slightly suspicious as Harlequins’ star kicker Nick Evans came on in a questionable blood substitution with Quins desperately looking to win the game (Leicester went on to win 6-5 and eventually won the Cup). Williams picked up a 12-month ban that was reduced on appeal but all manner of suspensions were handed out to the members of the club’s hierarchy, alongside a hefty £250,000-plus fine. A dark day for all involved.
New Zealand-born, the Australia international’s gritty performance in the 2011 World Cup semi-final against the country of his birth at Eden Park is still talked about in the southern hemisphere to this day. Despite his supposed split loyalty, it was Cooper who received a toxic reception from the home crowd. His ability struck fear into opposition fans, but his performance in this game sparked national fury. It’s fair to say he and Richie McCaw don’t get on and his kneeing the head, shoving and generally p*ssing off of All Black royalty didn’t go down well with the hosts’ support and he was jeered with every touch of the ball. Cooper has also taken up a career as a boxer for good measure, a proper villain.