TOKYO, 16 Oct – There have been some hair-raising moments at Rugby World Cup 2019, and also some eyebrow-raising hairstyles.
And that got us thinking about how a 1-15 of the most memorable hairdos on show in Japan might look.
Here, for your enjoyment, we present it in all its glory…
This trio is guaranteed to get in your face and, if you’re hooking opposite Japan’s Shota Horie, you might want to keep your mouth shut just in case his hair gets in there as well. Either side of him are the ‘Blond Bangers’ of England’s Joe Marler and Isilele Nakajima of Japan, two players now facing 'do-or-dye' quarter-finals against South Africa and Australia respectively.
You would not want to meet these two in a dark alley, or lend them your shampoo. South Africa’s RG Snyman and Evan Olmstead of Canada make for a fearsome engine room up front. Even if it is a little tricky to see where their heads finish and their faces start.
It's important to be flexible in modern rugby, so we have gone for a powerful, pacy, interchangeable back three of Canada’s Lucas Rumball, Uruguay’s Juan Ormaechea and Josh Navidi of Wales. Blindside, openside, we have it covered. The only thing lacking is short back and sides.
A scrum-half's job is all about ensuring a smooth delivery to his fly-half, and they do not come much smoother than South Africa’s Faf de Klerk, with his beautifully coiffed flowing locks. Outside him in this team is Tonga’s Latiume Fosita, whose job is to play what he sees in front of him. Provided, of course, that’s not a mop of his own hair.
Something of a clash of styles in midfield where we pair a mullet and a mane. New Zealand’s Jack Goodhue is invoking the spirit of the ‘70s, while Michele Campagnaro of Italy is invoking the spirit of the Milan catwalk.
Again, versatility is key in the back three these days, so it’s very much mix and match in our chosen XV. Canada’s Jeff Hassler is less wing and a prayer, and more of a winger with a mass of hair. Jack Nowell appears to have stolen England team-mate Joe Marler’s bottle of peroxide. As for Japan’s flyer Kotaro Matsushima, he has been one of the stars of the tournament, no doubt helped by that aerodynamic crop top.