Peter York on Ads: Jonny may have the bark, but Wayne's the one with bite

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Girls think of him as a man to bring home to mother. Clean and tidy, pleasant-looking, the OK kind of sportsperson who isn't a footballer. But some rugby players, however middle-class and nice, are worrying physical presences. Too big, too raw-boned, just too much of a bear for a normal-sized Home Counties sitting room. Would Caroline be squashed flat? Jonny seems normal sized and normally constructed for the most part, except for his big neck and thunder thighs.

There are inevitably comparisons with Tim Henman, another graveyard name, because of the middle-classness. On the Ladies' Index, however, Tim seems to be a bit of a nought generally, while Jonny is a five bordering on six with a suspicion that it could go up sharply if they were in the crowd at Twickenham.

But does anyone have any idea what Jonny Wilkinson is actually like?

The new Travelex commercials give us a clue. Jonny Wilkinson is like a dog. He likes, for instance, to race other dogs for sticks that men throw in the park. There he is, running like mad against his doggy compatriot, making doggy faces and winning, getting there first. He's competitive, yes, but about daft doggy things. Another treatment has him skimming stones on the sea. Here he's competing with Mr Nine-Stone Weakling - it isn't fair - and he skims so well he sinks a ship way out there.

Travelex say they refuse to be beaten too on their fabulously interesting online currency deals (the sort of business you can imagine a rugby friend of Jonny's starting). The whole thing is deeply, mildly pleasant. There's a soft pop-reggae background the big lads could chug around to at the rugby club dinner and disco somewhere nice well outside Basingstoke.

But pleasant as Jonny is, the compiler of the Ladies' Index tells me she'd prefer a night out with Wayne Rooney. He's a 10 for her.