A throat lozenge company would have done well to sponsor tireless Tokyo Olympics rugby sevens commentator Rob Vickerman (in the centre of the main picture) during his stay in Japan; for surely, he would have been in need of some sort of remedy after six consecutive 14-hour shifts behind the mic.
The former England sevens captain called nearly every game in both the men’s and women’s competition and his enthusiasm for the sport came shining through in each encounter despite the breathless schedule.
But that won’t come as any surprise to regular watchers of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series which he has covered expertly ever since retiring from playing the sport at the highest level in 2015.
Here are some of his best career one-liners, starting, where else, than with double men’s Olympic champions Fiji.
“Fiji have sevens in their blood and gold in their eyes,” he exclaimed as they marched towards their second Olympic title in Tokyo.
His verdict on their playmaking maestro? “Jerry Tuwai needs to get an extinguisher to his feet as his boots are on fire.”
All-action Great Britain star Dan Bibby was another player to catch Vickerman’s eye at the Olympics, and not just for his free-flowing locks.
“Dan Bibby is a one-man band in that play, making the tackle, steal and offload; he’s got out his guitar, drum and keyboard all in one go.”
According to Vickerman, Welsh speed sensation “Jasmine Joyce is as slippery as an eel in olive oil” as she evaded another would-be tackler in a starring role for Great Britain’s women.
As for the all-conquering Black Ferns Sevens, they had “more threats than cybersecurity,” according to Vickerman, including their flag-bearer Sarah Hirini, who “covered more ground than the spider cam”.
Samu Kerevi was one of the few high-profile exponents of 15s rugby to crossover specifically for the tournament and Vickerman was impressed by one run in particular.
“Just look at Samu Kerevi –- he is on 2.5 x zoom when he’s playing like that, he’s on boss mode.”
Outside of the Olympics, everyone knew exactly what Vickerman meant when he said, “Werner Kok is defending like a dog with a chew” during a World Series game featuring South Africa.
While his line on Collins Injera couldn’t have summed up the Kenya legend’s work-rate any better. “Collins Injera isn’t sweating, his shirt is crying. He’s been absolutely everywhere.”
The last word though surely has to be on Fiji, who certainly tickled the ivories during another World Series game.
“Rugby is a game famed to be made of Piano pushers and piano players, but this Fijian side is one of 6’5” Mozarts.”