If you could grab any rock star from any era at any stage in their career and select them for a rugby team - who would you pick?
Our Rugby World Cup 2019 squad has been announced. Exciting team. Can't wait for things to kick off. But it leaves us with a hole in our lives. New Zealanders love to discuss the various merits of players. It's really all we have to talk about. So how about we name a first XV of rock?
Obviously there are going to be more backs than forwards. Apart from Meatloaf rock stars tend to be more heroin than prop chic. So let's start with 9 through15.
Freddy Mercury immediately springs to mind at half back. Mouthy, leadership skills and flair to burn. Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers is another option. More in the Aaron Smith mould - chirpy, physical and just doesn't stop. Dave Dobbyn played half back for Sacred Heart. Sees himself as a Sid Going-style player. Bald. So he's a possible. Mick Jagger is in the mix too. Devastating box kick apparently.
James McConie of The Crowd Goes Wild fame put David Grohl at first-five. Reckons he's been proven in several teams. Master tactician, cool under pressure. Personally I'd like to see the left boot of Paul McCartney at pivot. You wouldn't rule out AC/DC's Angus Young either. We could use his Chuck Berry duck walk in our exit strategy out of the danger zone.
A lot of competition for mid-field. In a recent interview Peter Urlich of Th' Dudes talked about his days at second-five. Apparently he played in the Warwick Taylor mould - no fuss - all about the distribution.
But now sees himself more as a Sonny Bill Williams type. It would be hard to look passed Bruce Springsteen at centre. Meat and veg. Straightens the attack. Only knows one way and that's rock 'n roll. I could see Lenny Kravitz inside him. The confidence of a man who knows what he's carrying on and off stage.
McConie would put David Byrne from Talking Heads on the left wing. 'He looks exactly like one of those lean French wingers who doesn't like to tackle but can run like the wind. In space no-one could touch him'. I'd probably go with John Toogood from Shihad on the right wing. Fast with a tiny little Terry Wright of a backside. Great pins.
Spark and TVNZ sport commentator Scotty J Stevenson has Bowie at 15. "A fundamental role of the fullback is to get high. Who better than the original space man. He has been higher than any rock star before or after'.
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Elvis could be in the team 3 times. Young Elvis is a shoe-in at 14, 68 Comeback Special Elvis at open-side, Vegas Elvis tighthead Prop.
But what are the other front row options? Havoc? Martin Phillips from The Chills? Would you put current day Axel Rose at loosehead and current era Vince Neil from Motley Crue at tight head.
Robert Smith from The Cure at hooker? I'd have concerns around his pace. He's no Dane Coles. If we're honest the whole tight five is going to be a weakness.
Most rock stars are embarrassingly short. Paul Simon, Bruce Dickson from Iron Maiden and Prince all sub 5 foot 4. Bono's not much better at 5'5. Slim second row pickings there.
Jeremy Wells would put 'Josh Homme from the Queens of the Stoneage and Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil at 4 and 5'. Josh is a big unit who isn't afraid of the rough stuff. As he showed by kicking a camera person in the face on stage in 2017. Mick Fleetwood would be great off the bench.
Blindside flanker – the hardman of rugby and rock. The Jerry Collins, The Jerome Kaino, The one person you don't wont to mess with…the enforcer. Keith Richards? Just keeps going. Hard to take down in any situation.
The number seven. A position reserved for your best player or performer. Pretty much your GOAT - your greatest of all time. Your Richie McCaw. So not Ozzy Osbourne.
Who better to ask about the number eight position than All Black captain and great New Zealander Kieran Read. He puts 'Lani Purkis, bass player from Elemeno P out the back of the scrum. Full skill set. Provides the cohesion every team/band needs... linking the showy front men/backs to the hard-working drummer/ forwards'.
Fitness is always a factor. More so in this team. So the bench will be important. Hendrix, Clapton, Lennon, Cobain, Cornell, Tommy Lee, Joan Jett and Mama Cass? Personally I'd leave Moon, Bonham and Rotten out of the team. Discipline issues there.
When picking a team it's wise to take into account the strength and weaknesses of the opposition. In this case the First XV of pop. A push over to be honest. Bieber at open-side, Swift at the back and a humiliating Adele, Sheeran locking combo. Against a weak XV like that we could field a Thom York, Chris Martin, Michael Stipe and still win.