First off heartfelt congratulations to you and the rest of the team for another truly magnificent performance, one that somehow managed to top that against Australia. The whole nation has applauded the virtues of team spirit, determination, character and sheer bloody-mindedness that has transformed a squad into one capable of retaining the trophy (something in which we would take some pleasure when discussing rugby – or anything else come to think of it – with our Australian and New Zealander cousins).
However, I hope you will spare a thought for our fellow Europeans from the other side of the Tunnel (well, perhaps not the big, hairy one, I think he can look after himself). It was their tournament, their glory – and you have snatched it away from them. Another nation is in stunned depression because of your actions.
If the despair of France does not move you, consider the plight of one of their number. She has to live not only with the country-wide state of shock but also the whispers and accusations of her compatriots, for they know that she has been sleeping with the enemy. So far it seems that nobody is saying things to her face, but she is starting to get the smallest croissant in the café, to be told that the shop has run out of cheese. Old ladies have taken to doing their knitting sitting opposite her flat (which isn’t easy as she lives on the seventh floor). Other cars are swerving in front of her with horns sounding (OK, that might be normal behaviour there).
If this does not move you, consider the plight of a poor Englishman, stout of heart but weak of finger from all the texting to France on Saturday night (some might go so far as to say that he has brought all this on himself with some injudicious triumphalism). He wants to take his French partner on a trip to Southampton when she is next in London (instead of shopping and the Blackheath fireworks), he wants to continue to enjoy a deep and meaningful relationship with said French woman, and he also wants to remain attached to parts of his anatomy currently under threat. Having rather foolishly agreed to do some penance for England again grinding French noses in the dirt he would be grateful for any assistance in making this as pain-free as possible.
For some reason, Jonny, you have become the embodiment of perfidious Albion in the eyes of said French woman. So to help a beleaguered Englishman out of a rather dark and ever-deepening hole please would you just announce to the world: “Suzanne, I’m sorry”.