x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Situation can become comedy for the British & Irish Lions

Will Batchelor investigates the Lions on high alert after 'spy' infiltrates camp.

Andy Farrell, the Lions defence coach.
Andy Farrell, the Lions defence coach.

"We are not paranoid."

Andy Farrell, assistant coach of the British & Irish Lions, after the team's security detail seized an Australian "spy" filming their training session in Perth. The man was, in fact, a local wedding planner on a location shoot ...


*** Security Sit Rep *** Classified *** Destroy After Reading

From: Blue Simba

To: Red Mufasa

Daily briefing of attempted infiltrations by suspected Covert Operatives (COs) and action taken by Security Operatives (SOs).

0800: CO posing as "breakfast waiter" asks players what they'd like to eat. Brazenly making notes on a pad (have they no shame?). He was clearly mining Calorific Intake Data.

Resolution: SO scuppers "waiter's" CID intel by ordering players to secretly swap breakfast with the man opposite. Adam Jones expresses frustration at trading his fry-up for Sean Maitland's fruit salad. SO informs we must all make sacrifices while under attack.

1000: "Hotel receptionist" CO asks Ben Youngs if he "slept well".

Resolution: Quick-thinking SO neutralises Youngs before he could reveal Resting Hours Data. (Note: Med Ops advise player's neck should be fine in a day or two.)

1200: "Australian child" CO asks Sam Warburton for his autograph. Player foolishly obliges, later claiming he "did not see" any of my three previous memos concerning dangers of Graphological Analysis.

Resolution: Autograph book shredded. Child comforted. Graphology memo re-sent.

1330: During R&R period in a local park, enemy CO arrives in sophisticated Mobile Surveillance Unit before interrogating Adam Jones about his preferred type of 99, the Lions' infamous brawling code.

Resolution: SO neutralised player before too much information was leaked, although he had already stated a determination to aim for "plenty of red syrup (blood) and crushed nuts if possible".

Note: Jones later mumbled some gibberish that he was "just trying to buy an ice cream". Assume this was a result of the sedative in the dart gun.

1500: Media conference with COs posing as "local journalists". They seemed furious when players obeyed SO orders to answer any question by simply repeating their name, position and squad number. Oh well, if they have a problem, they can take it up with the Geneva Convention.

1600: Return to hotel to discover "chambermaid" CO has bugged every bed with small, square listening device on pillow.

Resolution: SO orders all bugs - which "chambermaid" insisted were "just chocomints, you great galah" to be collected for forensic testing.

Regret to inform results will be unavailable. A lesson learned: never ask Adam Jones to collect confectionery-based evidence when he has only had a fruit salad for breakfast.

Sit Rep ends. Threat alert status: Red; attacks imminent.


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