Controversial Player of the Year call as Johnny Sexton misses out
"Sit down you silly boy!"
James Haskell, Mike Tindall and Alex Payne in festive suits and in end-of-year party mode. The final House of Rugby episode of 2018 was a cracker and all three men were in fine form as they spoke about everything from abusive Springboks supporters, dinner at Richard & Judy's and the Queen's Speech.
There was also time to hand out the prestigious, and inaugural, House of Rugby awards.
Tindall, a former England captain and World Cup winner, announced Tadhg 'Tad' Furlong as his Irish Player of the Year too.
Tindall believes Furlong deserves all the praise he is getting after a calendar year to remember. He also gave Leinster the nod for 'Irish Team of the Year', ahead of Ireland themselves. Further stirring the pot, we suspect, but Leinster did win the Guinness PRO14 and Champions Cup double.
Haskell and Tindall were not done there, and they handed out plenty of shiny baubles, coaxed along ever so gently by Payne.
BEST GAME OF 2018
South Africa 30-32 New Zealand, Pretoria, October 5th
12 points up with four minutes to play, the All Blacks produced a stunning comeback to win after late, converted tries from Beauden Barrett and Ardie Savea.
BEST PLAYER OF 2018
There was unanimous agreement that Sale Sharks and South Africa scrum-half Faf du Klerk should edge out Ireland No.10 Johnny Sexton to this prize.
BEST PLAYER TO HAVE A GUINNESS WITH
"Any of the Irish team," said Tindall but the award went to Harlequins and England prop Joe Marler.
BEST TRY OF 2018
Haskell was not having the suggestion of Sean Maitland's try, for Scotland, against England so they settled on New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick ripping Australia to smithereens:
COACH OF THE YEAR
Joe Schmidt (Ireland)
Ireland supporters. "If you ever played at Munster in a European Cup game," says Tindall, "or at Leinster... or Ireland, you'd know. They are often epic contests."
BEST PLAYER TO GET STUCK IN A LIFT WITH
Harlequins and England scrum-half Danny Care.
BEST THING YOU'VE DONE ON THE PITCH IN 2018
There could only be one for Haskell...
— Rob Vickerman (@robvickerman) November 3, 2018
There was also time for some 2019 predictions from the gang.
Aviva Premiership winners: Saracens
Champions Cup winners: Leinster (James), Clermont (Mike), Toulouse (Alex)
Six Nations winners: England
"It's still Ireland's to lose," countered Tindall, "but they do have to go away from home three times."
World Cup finalists: New Zealand and Ireland
YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE FULL HOUSE OF RUGBY AWARDS HERE:
Top work all round.