australian rules

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The Independent Culture
Australian Rules is the most resolutely macho of sports. My favourite rule is the one that says that whatever you do on the field of play - whatever - you can't get sent off. Eric Cantona would be in heaven.

Until a few years ago, Channel 4 had weekly highlights; nowadays it's on Sky (surprise) on Friday nights, but to see it in the flesh an acquaintance with the nine-strong British League is recommended. They've taken measures to reduce the on-field discord this season, ordering umpires to punish abuse by, er, speaking more sternly to offenders.

Tomorrow, Lea Valley Saints take on Bristol Bears, and North London Lions entertain Sussex Swans; on Sunday it's Wandsworth Demons v Earls Court Roos and West London Wildcats v East Midland Eagles. If you're interested in testing your manhood (there's not much for women, unfortunately), call the British League (01344 55054). A wild time is guaranteed.

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