Mud, Mouthguards, Muscles… Manpilez

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Manpilez has moved… August 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Manpilez @ 12:00 pm

We can now declare well and truly open!

A massive thank you to all of our readers (all 30,000 of you!) for supporting us during the year we were here on WordPress. Rest assured will retain the heart and soul of this here blog and all your favourite features have moved with us. Over at the new site we promise to continue to bring you Rugby the way you love it, with passion, affection, ribbing and cracking thighs!

See you over there…. what are you waiting for?


Lauren, Anna and Ellie.xx


It’s Coming… August 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Manpilez @ 12:00 pm

It’s almost our first birthday, so we’ve got a bit of a treat in store…

Exactly one week from now, Manpilez will be casting off the shackles of the blogosphere and moving to a new home. will be launching at Noon on Sunday 14th August.

We’ll still be bringing you news, interviews and general high jinks from the pitches and clubhouses of the home nations, as well as Rugby World Cup coverage and downright sillyness. The only difference will be that as a fully fledged website we’ll be able to bring you even more!

We’ve got some fantastic stuff planned for launch week and right through to the World Cup, including competitions, Interviews (Including everyone’s favorite App Entrepreneur James Haskell) and features galore.

We look forward to seeing you there,

Lauren, Anna and Ellie


Newspilez 14th March 2011: Foxes, moonwalks and general strangeness. March 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Manpilez @ 1:28 am

You could be forgiven for thinking this weekend’s Six Nations action was some sort of shared acid trip hallucination. In fact, we’re still not entirely sure it wasn’t.

After the delightful shock of Italy beating France, the insanity was released full force with France Coach Marc Lievremont’s Tirade on the team. In his tirade he accused his ever-changing side as ‘Cowards’, their performance as a ‘hallucination’ and claimed they ‘invented things’ on the pitch. Oh, Marc, if they’d have been inventing things, Italy would not have been able to do that.

For their part, Italy have been gracious, proud and understandably emotional and I don’t think there’s one non-French rugby fan out there that doesn’t break out into a smile when their win was mentioned. However, as the non-rugby-loving father of one of the Manpilez Ladies pointed out, we won’t be so pleased to see them win when they’re beating all and sundry.

Closer to home, there has been no such graciousness with Irish supporters across the land calling the Wales team cheats after Mike Phillips allowed-but-illegal try. The IRB have offered an apology and for a change, Warren Gatland has said something that didn’t make us want to bang our heads against our desks in ‘We’ve had plenty of decisions go against us so we’re going to take this one’ With that one muck up the whole of Ireland seems to have become blind to the fact that not only was it all going wrong for Ireland long before that but also that they had a good half an hour to fight back with some points of their own and completely failed.

Based on Ireland’s performance, we all went into the England v Scotland game feeling like it was the true last hurdle before England go and dominate Dublin next week… and then the most entertaining thing in the first 45 mins was the fox running around the pitch during the anthems. Seriously the BBC have even given him his own video. Thankfully, Mr Foxy remembered how to get back to The Shard eventually so he didn’t have to see England limp past Scotland with a storming but questionable try from fresh off the bench Tom Croft and another appearance for the rising star of this year’s tournament, rule 19.2(b).

England were as lacklustre as the weather in Twickenham against  a Scotland that had a fight in them but not nescessarily all the tools to break through. Next week’s Grand Slam decider rests on both England and Ireland puling their socks up if it’s going to be as exciting as it sounds on paper.

Meanwhile, in more domestic matters, Young Mr Olly Barkley found himself unjustifiably in hot water this week after some journalists proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt that a sense of humour is actively discouraged when working for a national. After his horrible run in with team mate Butch James against Gloucester, Olly sent a series of tweets praising the staff of the local hospital where he had been taken to have some frightening sounding contraptions installed to repair a double leg break in which he poked fun at his wardmates and critiqued the porridge skills of the staff. All over twitter people were commending the fact that he had kept his sense of humour through the haze of drugs, pain, and the vast expanse of downtime stretching before him but the Daily Mail decided to edit out all the good natured elements and make young Mr B. Look like a massive douche.

Given it’s the Daily Mail, we could hardly be surprised, to be fair, but is this a terrible omen for the future? Is no Rugby player safe? We’ve had Jonathan Thomas, Brian Moore and briefly, Ian Evans scared off Twitter for such things but where does this end? Will players, coaches and pundits alike have to be careful what they say in any situations to avoid being sold down the river? Granted, some need to be more careful (Hi Mr. Lievremont!) but is Eddie Butler going to have to be careful having arguments with his wife about who’s turn it is to do the dishes? Does Johno need to check his downstairs bathroom for bugs?

In these overly media-savvy times, we are already getting to a point where the cliché is king and this feels like it could be the final nail on the coffin for individuality off the pitch, and from a club that is fast becoming one of the more ‘in touch with the people’ clubs? We really hope not.

Either way, we hope it doesn’t scare Olly away, and that he has a full, speedy and amusing recovery.

Ranting by Lauren


Six Nations Final Countdown: Aaaaaaaah-Aaaaah! February 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Manpilez @ 6:10 pm

With less than 24 hours to go before kick off, now the preperations have been made, we could spend our time tweaking our Fantasy squad, we even considered, long and hard in fact, the idea of selecting the kind of match day 22 the other kind of fantasies are made of(hey, we are girls) but in the end, we decided against all of that, and decided instead to take a step back and look at why we’re so ruddy excited.

There’s many Rugby tournaments to get excited about, but to us at Manpilez, there’s nothing quite like the Six Nations to get the fire in our belly and a whole book full of songs in our hearts. The Tri nations seems to go on forever, the World Cup only comes around every 4 years and then timezones can mean missing the whole thing due to the need to sleep and the domestic tournaments are, well, domestic. But once a year, without fail, Six nations unite to… battle against each other for the kind of glory that’s hard won but oh, so satisfying.

There’s something so unique about the whole ethos of the competition, the camerarderie that is cultivated between Six countries, some seperated only by walls or rivers and others by half a continent, coming togther to celebrate something they’re good at. Old rivalries are channeled for just 80 minutes before being cast asunder (apart from light sniggering from England supporters when all the French fans have to go back to Central London via Waterloo – and claiming you’ve not done so means you’re a liar) for a commiseration or celebration pint.

Granted, this is far from alien for Rugby, part of why we’re here at all is that camerarderie and, dar I say it, the Banter. But think of this this way: when you’re supporting your local team there’s nothing quite like a derby day. The six nations is five derby days in 6 weeks, each more important than the last. Your country beats the All Blacks: Well done, all are pleased, but is it really as exciting as beating Them Next Door? This year the entire tournament kicks off in a showpiece Friday night game between what may be the two biggest rivals in all of Rugby and that’s ignighted the passions of people on both sides of the border to fever pitch more than anything we’ve seen in the last few years. Jono and Gats’s men have been out in force, making sly and not so sly swipes at various members of the opposition and making the rugby media feel like the storm before the hurricane. Isn’t it fab?!

There’s also, as occasional correspondent Rachel hinted on her twitter, a bit of a Christmas like quality to the Six Nations, it comes around every year at the same time, and you have a huge feast till everyone’s happy and full, then have a week of limbo before starting it all again. And if you followed all the refreshment suggestions we made you’ll be eating leftovers for weeks then find the remnants of the baileys down the back of the cupboard in June, curdled to buggery.

We’ll be back on Saturday with our version of what happened in Cardiff tonight and all the developments from Saturday’s games too. And before we get destracted by the ins and outs of the tournament, we want to thank you all for humouring our pre-six nations fever and helping us make this the biggest week of Manpilez since we started back in August, especially those of you who’ve helped spread the word.

Words by Lauren


Six Nations Countdown Part One: The Teams, Their Chances, and The Key Players January 31, 2011

With just a few days to go before our favourite time of year begins, all the best rugby sites are turning their eyes to picks and predictions for the next 2 months and we… are going to have a go as well.

Our countdown starts today with a look at what actually might happen, and who might cause it, but over the next few days you can expect our guides to what to eat, drink and sing as well as anything else we can think of to help your Six Nations go with a swing no matter what goes on on the grass….

Over the last few years we’ve had something of a glut of Grand Slams, to the point where it was almost getting boring, with the clear favourites each year eventually trying to get the silverware back through customs once the champagne wears off the critic’s job has been an easy one.

This year, however, all bets are off. All Six of our fair Nations are either in a distinct state of flux or could make a Grand Slam winning team out of their injuries list alone so here’s our guide to each nation’s chances…



picture courtesy of Ladbrokes, Les bleus

Last year's winners, Les bleus


2010’s Grand Slam winners France are not, as last year, coming into the competition with the trophy practically in the bag as they did then. The prime example of a team in flux, Les Bleus have had a very odd 12 months with a form so mixed that at times it looked like they were trying to make a marble cake. With a team that changes more often than the trends in the Champs-Élysées, whoever turns up on the day can make all the difference between Grand Slam and Wooden Spoon and to be honest, nobody can really tell what the pants they’re going to do.

Crucial Injuries List: In a squad as fluid as France at the moment… we can’t keep up 😉

Ones to Watch: Chabal, as ever.

One to perv on: Morgan Parra, Scrummy Scrum Half.



A sweeeeet chariot, yesterday.


After last Autumn’s valliant efforts against the Southern Hemisphere tourists, this year the sweet chariot is rolling into the tournament as marginal bookies favourites,  with the fans and players whispering about a New English Resurgence. We can’t help but wonder if these rumblings might be right, but one thing is for sure their injuries list at the moment tells a sorry tale as many of those who shone brightest in the autumn are in rehab while we await the arrival of spring so while it’s likely we’ll see the boys in white go top three,  we’re not-so-secretly think they’re holding off their big hits until they get to New Zealand in September.

Crucial Injuries List: Tom Croft, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Moody

Ones to Watch: Ben Youngs, who has been putting in some spectacular performances, Chris Ashton, in case he pulls another bit of magic out of the bag.

One to perv on: Simon Shaw, because if I say anyone else Anna will hit me.



picture from the ledge that is Huw Evans

Happier times...


Oh, Wales, what happened love? Grand Slam glory to abject misery in the space of two years was never the plan. Do you need some hot sweet tea?

Seven Losses in the last ten games and apparent unrest behind the scenes has left the bread of heaven far from risen and even the other six nations are hoping they’re going to get their mojo back soon, as a misfiring Wales is like a disturbance in the Force. That’s not to say, however, that there haven’t been some fantastic moments of genius flowing around, it’s just that somehow it’s not being converted to the points board as clumsyness and a lack of focus seem to hit at all the wrong moments.

It’s been argued in the past that they lack strength in depth but that’s not strictly true, in certain positions there are young guns emerging that may be the key to not only creating some drama, but providing some much needed security that was lacking last year and unfray those edges that needed tidying.

With talismanic winger Shane Williams back just in time to dance past the opposition, green shoots of hope are starting to peek through the snow and with the back five of the pack in particular looking fierce whatever combination takes the field, we’re quietly confident that Wales can raise their game in time to get some pre-world cup momentum going.  We hope.

Crucial Injuries List: Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones with rising question marks over Leigh Halfpenny.  Also missing Richie Rees due to Dylan Hartleygate

Ones to Watch: Bradley Davies, Ryan Jones, two great players in particularly fine form at present.

One to perv on: Alun Wyn Jones, Strong, fierce, lovely.



The Duck Wrangler's certainly excited...


Ireland, like France and Wales are in a bit of a flux phase at the moment. We’d hope that it’s about priming for the World cup but on the evidence so far it’s hard to say. After their grand slam in 2009 they’ve continued to play expansive, clinical rugby but that x factor we saw two years ago seems to come and go with the direction of the wind. With two of their biggest influencing players on the injury list, it’s hard to see Ireland lifting the trophy, but with the right conditions, it’s hard to see them doing anything less.

Crucial Injuries List: Tommy Bowe, Jamie Heaslip

Ones to Watch: Jonny Sexton, who’s rapidly becoming the go-to 10

One to perv on: Brian O’Driscoll, legend, point scorer, fox.


They are ready to die. Well, Mirco is, Mauro says 'BRB'...

Italy, who seem to come out of the traps fighting every year then spend the rest of the time scrabbling around in the dust to avoid the wooden spoon, are actually one of the more stable squads this year. With few noteable casualties and the increased influence on home growing new talent in the two new Magners League sides, we could well be faced with an Italy very much on the ascendancy.

However, after just five months  those two new sides have yet to mature, so though we may come to see vast improvements this tournament, next year we may all be watching our backs, the Azzurri are coming.

Crucial Injuries List: Mauro Bergamasco, Craig Gower

Ones to Watch: The Big Man Parisse. He’s back, baby.

One to perv on: Mirco Bergamasco, though you may have trouble recognising him fully clothed.



Pic  courtesy of the Telegraph

Richie Gray and Max Evans warm up


Let’s be honest, Scotland have had an abysmal few years in this competition, seemingly battling it out with Italy over the wooden spoon year in year out but this year it all feels a little different. With no noteable injuries, some fantastic results in the autumn internationals and the sheer power of Dan Parks’ boot, the Scotland going into the competition this year are something new, something dark, something exciting. I’m going out on a limb and putting Scotland in the top two come the end. I may be wrong, I may be right but I think it’s going to be very interesting finding out.

Ones to Watch: Richie Gray, if only because he’s so massive you can’t see past him

One to perv on: Max Evans, well he’s lovely isn’t he?

Words by Lauren


Awardspilez 2010! December 29, 2010

Filed under: awards,Uncategorized — Manpilez @ 5:52 pm

*** Breaking, er, update***

Due to some nasty girlflu (yes, again, sorry) we’re extending the deadline for nominations till 23.59 on 7th Jan in order for us to get healthy enough to sift through them all, so if you thought you’d missed the boat, haul your anchor back in and send us your nominations! Or something

*** End of Update!***

Well, what a christmas period it’s been. Far from resting on their laurels and stufing their faces with Quality Street like the rest of us (I swear these jeans were loose a week ago), the Rugby commuity has been very busy despite frozen pitches, pipes and cockles. But before we go mad from watching the clips of Mirco Bergamasco and pals dancing in their trolleys on the italian version of Strictly, or cheer ourselves hoarse watching replays of the Ospreys trouncing the Scarlets by a really rather amazing margin, before we  even dare ourselves to look at how The Return of The Tangerine really went we want to take a moment out to celebrate the best moments in rugby over the last 12 months.

Below you’ll see all our categories and until Jan 1st freeform nominations will be open via the comments box, email, or Twitter and the shortlist will be announced on Jan 2nd ready for your votes!

The Clean Off Guy Award for the Most Entertaining Player
on and off the pitch this year there have been moments that have kept us all riveted and amused, from David Flatman’s hilariouslly inciteful column to  Tommy Bowe’s Cheesy grin mid- interception against the Dragons to the night Cai Griffiths’ twitter got hacked, who has kept you in chuckles and flourishes this year?

The Ledge-bag Award for All Round Hero
What player has reached nigh-on deity status round your manor?  Do you trust in BOD or worship at the church of Tagicakibau?
The Chris Ashton Award for Best Try
We know it’s going to be hard to beat the try that turned  England’s Victory against Australia from good to great, but we’re sure you can give us some ideas! What try got your heart thumping and your voice soaring above all others?

The Workhorse Award for All Round Best Performance
Who’s been your lynchpin for the year? Which player stuck out by their reliabilty, presence and leadership?

The What The Shit Is This Award for Best bit of Daft Merchandise
As many of the Manpilez crew spent 2010  with the Daftest Rugby Calendar Ever Created on our walls (Ospreys’ collection of random scenarios) we could’t help noticing that things have been getting weirder and weirder all year. England Rugby Hi-Vis vest anyone? What’s the daftest thing you’ve parted cash with based on its logoage?

The ‘I Gotta Feeling’ Award for Best Game
If you left the stadium or made your post match cuppa with a massive grin on your face, chances are you should be nominating it to us!

The Jiffy screaming ‘DONT PANIC!!!!!’ Award for Most Heartstopping Moment
We’re tempted to just hand this award straight to the last 10 minutes of the Six Nations clash between Wales and Scotland but that wouldn’t be fair to you lot so we challenge you to come up with a more heartstopping moment in Rugby this year! ~throws gauntlet~

The Don’t Call It a Comeback Award for Best Return
Sadly, as ever, we’ve had a lot of long serving injury periods this yeas but we’ve also had people returning in other ways, from Mefin Davies returning to the Ospreys from his time in the hinterland, to Andy Powell returning to the Wales squad after his temporary banishment. Who did you witness coming out of the traps like they’d never been away?

The I Got Your Back, Bro Award for Best Partnership
From Prop combinations, to half backs in tandem to a good old fashioned bromance, who do you think has been most significantly inseperable on or off the field this year?

The #FF Award for Best Tweeter
Too many tweets make a ruck these days it would appear, as eggchasers all over the globe took twitter to their hearts almost as much as they did Nandos. Who would be on your Follow Friday list?

The Barry Scott Award for Most Hilarious Advert, Promo Moment or Photo Shoot
As gutted as we were that Lee Byrne’s Cash 4 Gold ad got pulled, the Rugby communuty have bevertheless kept us entertained with their random this year. There was Bath Rugby getting in bed with a load of teddybears then a few days later becomming firemen the Ospreys making Coffee for commuters in Swansea, High Wycombe Wasps turning up on Britain’s Next Top Model and in a last gasp moment, the Italian Rugby team stripping on ‘Let’s Dance’. We’re sure there’s more so send us your sources of amusement.

The It Seemed Like a Good Idea at The Time Award
We’re sure at 5am Andy Powell genuinely thought heading down the M4 in a golf buggy seemed like the best thing to do, and we’re pretty sure Gavin Henson still thinks letting Dermot Murgnaghan electrocute him was a sweet deal but what clangers made your gong ring?

The Oh Daddy Award for Hottest New Father
2010 seems to be the year of settling down, even The Duck Wrangler got in on the act so who’s newfound parentage made you ‘aaaaaw’ the loudest?

The ‘Where’s Mine?’ award for Best Kit
Bias and the fact it goes with nearly everything I own woud make me vote Ospreys for this one purely for it’s black and purpleness but there are some jerseys out there certainly giving them a run for their money, Fiji and Tonga to name but two. Which have you been proudest to don on matchdays this year?

The ‘You want me to wear WHAT!?’ award for worst kit
There have, however been some absolute turkeys this year, special mention goes to the bad acid trip of the Stade Francais and the horrific lilacy-grey Leicester away kit which even Tom Croft struggles to look hot in. If you’ve considered switching teams just for decent threads, we want to know!

The Sorry I Forgot What You Look Like Fully Clothed Award for Hottest Photo
As the nekkid calendar count rises, which Month did you have to use the protective cardboard to fan yourself with? Which magazine did you shove in a paper bag before you left the shop? and more pertinently, who sent your pulse racing on those shiny lovely pages?

The Dropped Hankerchief Award for most Swoonworthy Player
Based on our site stats we’ve got a good feeling who the top two are going to be for this one… but humour us : who do you fancy the most? Which players make you pray for a scrum just to see them bend over and who do you wish you could have your own private ruck with? Go on…. don’t be shy!

Happy voting guys!

Words by Lauren


Adventpilez 24th December 2010: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas December 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Manpilez @ 8:03 pm

As the last presents are wrapped, our intrepid manpilers brave the scrum that our nation’ shopping areas have become and Rugby Players all over the word figure out how to sneak in as many treats as possible without compromising their performance in the big Boxing Day Features, we want to take this opportunity to wish all our lovely readers a very merry Christmas. May all your teams storm their leagues and touranents, may your nations give the All-Blacks a run for their money in the World Cup in the coming year and may your stockings be full of only the best rugby tat tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned over the next few days  for our various end of year roundups but for now, we just want to thank you all for your support, feedback and input over  the first few months of our daft little blog.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Lauren, Anna & Ellie.xx


Adventpilez 2010 – December 13: Rawr Data Misc Profile: The Twickenham Experience December 13, 2010

Filed under: Random,Rawr Data,Uncategorized — Manpilez @ 5:25 pm
Tags: ,

The first of our festive Rawr Data profiles takes a look at the home of English rugby. Stiff upper lips and Pimms as standard, what.

Behold your huddled masses congregating on the concourse at London Waterloo of a Saturday lunchtime, eagerly awaiting for that platform number to tick over before bundling themselves onto an awaiting Fail Carriage (a model not necessarily created by South West Trains, but steadily employed throughout the network). These are the lucky ones, for it’s the poshos who attempt to join the journey at Clapham or Putney that warrant the most sympathy. Or not. They are that rarest of breeds, anyway: Londoners with cars. Just bloody drive, Tristram.
You start to realise that you’re in the suburbs when things become distinctly green. Don’t be fooled. The roads are still wild enough in TW1 that the neighbourhood goes on lock down on match days, with mounted police keeping a watchful eye over the irate mob who have finally disembarked and are now trudging up Whitton Road with one thing on their minds: being as far away from a train as possible. Oh, and rugby. Plus, beer.
The natives are a canny lot, with many flogging wares from their own front lawn. Your more discerning ticket holder, however, will forgo the myriad grot vans and pop-up BBQs for the privilege of handing over inordinate amounts of cash money once inside Fortress Twickenham. Let’s not forget, after all, that we’re in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames and the home of English rugby comes complete with it’s very own Pizza Express concession. That’s right. You can have dough balls with your rugby balls. Bruschetta with your blindsides. La Reine with your rucks.
For all this frothiness, good ol’ Twickers can still be relied upon to deliver where it counts and it certainly excels at being a big concrete arena where rugby is played. It also boasts several hidden benefits, should the game you be watching prove less than thrilling: Behold the unnervingly low flying aircraft on descent into Heathrow. Slip out to the Museum of Rugby to… be at the Museum of Rugby. Purchase an England Rugby hi-viz jacket at the RFU shop. Or if all else fails, partake in a parlour game such as The Double Never Ending Mexican Wave or Just Keep Throwing Random Shit in The Air, which was deemed more entertaining than the second half of Wasps v Quins by the crowd at this year’s London Double Header.
The amount of money parted with during the day would make a banker blush, but who cares when swaying merrily homeward with a belly full of 24 carat burgers and diamond infused IPA? The chanting of Swing Low will prevail, even as you and 20,000 of your newest, closest friends are kettled, like so many student protesters, onto the forecourt of a Toyota garage.
Fences are scaled, traffic traversed and then, upon return to the train station, that most English of sports, Queuing, comes into its own. If only they served tea!
When trains are finally boarded, the suburbanites may scuttle back towards Reading and the oiks towards London, but no one is spared the opportunity of getting intimate with a stranger’s armpit or crotch, you know in your heart of hearts that this is what it is to be English. And you wouldn’t have it any other way. Godspeed, sir.
Words by Anna

Adventpilez 2010 – December 9: Snowball Fight, take two… December 9, 2010


Adventpilez 2010 – December 8: Putting on the Gladrags December 8, 2010

Suited and booted… don’t they scrub up well?