Terry nearly enough of a philanderer to play rugby, says Carling

England football captain John Terry’s recent off-field performance has been heralded by former rugby star and Diana-liker Will Carling as an “inspiration” which could see him given honorary “rugby status” in the near future.

Speaking on the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio, Carling yesterday said: “He’s only a red-blooded male sporting icon at the end of the day. He’s no Tiger Woods yet, but he’s almost become debauched enough to play rugby, that’s for sure. I tell you something – the England rugby team of the mid-nineties wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at what Terry’s been up to recently. Honestly, the stories I could tell – we got up to things you just couldn’t have imagined.”

Carling, 44, insisted that if his side had applied themselves on the pitch with the same vigor with which they enjoyed the “extra-curricular perks”, they could have won at least two world cups during the 1990s: “I think we gave a pretty good account of ourselves on the pitch considering everything that was going on off it. I don’t want to tell tales on anyone in that team, but let’s just say they made John Terry look like Dot Cotton. In rugby, keeping it in your flies is a sign of weakness, and we were often encouraged to let off steam, provided the ’57 old farts’ didn’t get to find out.

“I’m not saying anyone did, though, just to be clear. I wouldn’t want to be taken out of context in a way which could be interpreted as libellous – hence why I’m giving what seem like some wonderfully salacious soundbytes, but not actually saying anything whatsoever. I mean, look at the quote above – what am I actually saying that’s slanderous? Nothing. None of it is attributable to any one particular person. Behaviour is implied, but never explicitly referred to in any specific instance and most of it plays off the classic stereotype associated with rugby players. How stupid would anyone have to be to attempt to build a story around it? I bet they’ll stick a title on it that isn’t even part of my actual quote. Yeah, that’s what they’ll do. They’d better not mention Princess Di, though, that’s all I can say. God help them if they do…”

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