If, like me you have found yourself full to the brim of concussion debates, tunnel stand off’s and England being nailed on certanties for the World Cup, join me in taking a look at the lighter side of the 6 nations, beards. I’ve no doubt that beards have been a part of rugby ever since Webb Ellis broke the rules of some other game. Let us admire, marvel even, at some of the fine examples on show during this years tournament.
I was surprised to find during research that the French squad is sporting far more facial hair per head than any other. There is a proportion of this that is far too close to stubble to be labelled a beard, others such as below, deserves a look, what it lacks in volume, it makes up for in joie de vivre
Alexandre Dumoulin, Gallic flair in facial hair
However, this is by no means France’s leading candidate. Not content with being the most gigantic player the 6 Nations have ever seen, as you can see, Uini Atonio introduced his enormity with an equally impressive display.
With Adam Jones having retired from international rugby, it could be fair to presume with him went their chances of the 6 nations beard title. Enter Jake Ball;
Jake Ball sports a giant satsuma of a beard
Again I found it surprising how many of Stuart Lancasters men had opted to go without a clean shave. Even the almost invisibly dull Geoff Parling is sporting a beard worthy of a struggling folk musician.
Geoff Parling, thrilling beard
The sides true champion of the blunt razor though is Joe Marler, with a beard that would be the pride and joy of your average seaside nightclub bouncer.
Joe Marler, Bouncer beard
After the disappearance of Gordon D’arcy’s championship winning beard of last season, the lack of candidates from Ireland is nothing short of embarrasing. There does look to be some hope though, Sean O’Brien’s hairy face mask seems to be lengthening of late and could be mighty impressive if it sees out the tournament.
Sean O’Brien could have a contender
Although Italy have a solid option in the established centurian Martin Castrogiavanni, I was swayed towards one of his team mates. Welcome to the competition Matias Aguero
Matias Aguero a true face rug.
Along with a vastly improving on field performance, Scotland also have the undisputed king of the rugby beards. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you, Geoff Cross
Geoff (belongs in Braveheart) Cross
Pics courtesy of rbs6nations.com