Playing safe

The Rugby World Cup is bringing plenty of men behaving badly to New Zealand
Richard Warnica

The English national rugby team kicked off its World Cup campaign in unconvincing fashion last month, limping to a win over underdogs Argentina in Dunedin, N.Z. The Englishmen struggled for points and played from behind for much of the match. But outside the stadium, where tens of thousands of travelling English fans gathered, scoring was not expected to be a problem.

Prostitution is legal in New Zealand, and brothels there reportedly doubled their condom orders ahead of the six-week Rugby World Cup. “Whenever I hear an English accent,” madame Mary Brennan told Agence France-Presse, “I know there’ll be some good business there.” The English are not the only fans in town. Brennan says she’s had bookings from South Africa, Ireland and even Canada.

As for the players themselves, the English, at least, aren’t averse to a little bad behaviour. Members of the team were photographed at a dwarf-themed pub night ahead of a pool match with Georgia. Management assured the public that, contrary to reports, no midgets were thrown. Captain Mike Tindall, meanwhile, who recently married the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips, was said to be “just friends” with a mystery blond he was spotted with at the bar.