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Lit split . . . those Cocker boys . . . and Oppers' fifteen
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The Independent Online
THE Sports Exclusive They All Wanted. Captain Moonlight can reveal that negotiations are currently underway for a Parliamentary World Rugby Cup, to take place in South Africa at the same time as the rather more boring senior competition (an England win being a foregone conclusion).

Attendance by South African, Australian, New Zealand, Irish and French parliamentary sides is already confirmed. Skipper is employment minister, Phillip Oppenheim. Oppers, as we rugger types call him, fresh from thrashing the French National Assembly 34-7 last week, talks a good game, claiming that his men are in with a "good chance" of the big one.

Stars? Well, there's Oppers at centre, Ian Duncan-Smith, Lord Tebbitt's successor at Chingford, on the wing (right, of course), Lord St John at Number 8, Lords Redesdale and Addington up front, John Denham, Labour, Southampton, on the wing (left), two chefs, Frank and Terry, and Mr Warburton, the Lords' doorman.

Are they really any good? Well, Miss Una Tributable, my parliamentary correspondent, who knows her way round a pitch, is less than complimentary about Oppers's handling ability, even if he did run the length of the field for a try against the French while two Lords who had collided were being treated on the touchline. Miss Tributable suggests the urgent recruitment of David Lightbown, the frightening 18-stone Tory whip, and Nicholas Soames, the enormous former food minister into the second row. However, her suggestion of Gwyneth Dunwoody at tight head prop smacks of a grudge to me. Sorry? No, no, don't be silly, that's not St John of Fawsley, Stevas as was, at Number 8, it's St John of Bletso, the South African solicitor. Fawsley is a flanker. Just a joke, Norman.

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