Martin Castrogiovanni has a lot to learn from Stephen Ireland

Italy international Martin Castrogiovanni got into some hot water this week 
Kevin Farrell

ITALIAN rugby hairy bear Martin 'Castro' Castrogiovanni has obviously never heard of everyone's favourite Republic of Ireland double granny death stager Stephen Ireland.

Because if Castro had been familiar with the tale of the man who used the imaginary clog-popping of both his very much alive grannys in 2007 to pull out a Euro qualifier with the Czech Republic, he might have saved himself a whole storm de merde as they say in the rougher arrondisements of France.

The hairy prop has now been suspended by Paris club Racing 92 after being scooped partying like big Alan from the Hangover movie last weekend alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, some Paris St Germain extras and a few bikinied women at a Las Vegas hotel party following PSG's French League Cup success.

The club's issue was that Castro had been given the thumbs up to skip Racing's crucial Champions Cup semi-final with Leicester Tigers in Viva Las Nottingham (on the same weekend as Zlatan's bash in Vegas) because he had an, er, urgent family matter to, um, attend to in, ah, Argentina, yeah Argentina, that's right.

So, let's look at where Castro's masterplan went moobs up. You tell your Paris-based rugby club a wee white porky ahead of a crucial semi-final so that you can go on the rip on the Strip with a few superstars from the famous soccer club down the boulevard? And you then parade topless with your jelly giving it the welly while hoping a pair of shades can help you duck under the radar in case anyone with a smartphone is knocking about?

What happens in Vegas obviously doesn't always stay in Vegas. Pictures of the big lad larging it with his mates and co soon emerged, coming within two snapped bikini strings of the Twitter bird dropping stone dead.

Castro, incidentally, famously missed Italy's Six Nations clash with Scotland last February due to needing a gaping nose gash sewn together with 14 stiches after, er, being bitten by, um, a team-mates's hungry dog, yeah, a team-mate's hungry dog, that's right.

It might be too late here. But someone from the Azzurri might want to make a call or two to check out whether the duo of that big Tiger and Mike Tyson were knocking about Vegas that weekend - if only in the interests of (posthumous) exoneration for Castro's team-mate's poor and (presumably) unjustifiably dead dog.


“Before half-time, when he was inside there, he caught a ball inside and there was a very soft free given out. There was basically rape and pillage going on inside in front of the goals at the other side in the second-half and we didn’t get anything. It’s frustrating but it is what it is."

Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice gets a bit carried away, metaphorically comparing Dublin's treatment of Kieran Donaghy in the NFL Division One final at Croke Park to a bunch of power hungry, barn-burning Vikings on a brutal, scything and arrogant romp and rampage through Ireland 1,200-odd years ago. Then again...


Mamadou Sakho: "Another three and a half pound off this week and I didn't even have to go on the cross trainer at Melwood once. Woohoo! Kolo will be soooooo jealous. How big does his bum look in those red shorts? Sorry, what was that? What do you mean I shouldn't be taking those wee 'Gary Abletts'?"


When sneaky wee Belgian cycling star Femke Van den Driessche pulled out of the last lap of a race in January, organisers discovered her bike had a few hidden extras: a hidden motor and battery inside the seat barrel, controlled by a tiny Bluetooth switch under the handlebar tape.

The 19-year-old, who claimed it was a friend's bike and she had lifted it by mistake (just before the dog ate her homework), has been stripped of her titles, fined 20,000 brick and banned for six years in the first mechanical doping rumble.

Anyone who wants to query Dodgy's 18-pedal wheelie up a 10 per cent gradient outside Mackies Factory on his mate's maroon Grifter, itself the weight of two Alpine mountains, in the balmy summer of '87 should speak now or forever hold their peace.


Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: