(From the Ou Grote website)
This story no doubt had its origin after the famous win by France over the All Blacks in RWC 2007. It’s amazing to think that Richie McCaw was already in the mix then.
Graham Henry asked Bernard Laporte after the quarter-final—”Bernie, I thought I had the journey planned, how did you beat me?”
“Pretty simple,” replied Laporte, “I picked my players for their intelligence and asked them just one question.”
“That simple?” said Henry. “Yep ”replied Laporte, “pick one of my squad and see how he does.”
Henry thought for a while then nominated Freddie Michalak. Laporte called him over and asked him, “Who is the child of your father and of your mother who is not your brother and is not your sister?” “Ah simple, Bernie,” says Freddie, “it’s me.”
“Well done, Freddie,” said Laporte, and Henry was very impressed. He returned to the hotel and wondered about the intelligence of his team. He called in Richie McCaw and asked him, “Who is the child of your father and of your mother who is not your brother and is not your sister?”
Richie thought and thought and couldn’t come up with the answer. “Can I think about it a bit more, Coach?—I’ll give you an answer tomorrow.”
“Of course,” said Henry, “you’ve got 24 hours. But it is very important that you come up with the answer.”
Richie went away, thinking as hard as he could, and then he called in his team-mates. Mils Muliana thought it might be his grandpa but wasn’t sure. Aaron Mauger was certain that it couldn’t be anyone. Ali Williams refused to answer in case he was sacked for not knowing.
Joe Rococoko thought it would be an uncle in Fiji who had been adopted as a child. Leon McDonald went into the foetal position. The rest of the team wouldn’t even hazard a guess. Twenty hours later, Richie was very worried that he still had no answer with only four hours to go. Eventually McCaw thought, “I know, I’ll ring Andrew Mehrtens—he’s bloody smart, he’ll know the answer.”
He phoned Mehrtens. “Merts, tell me—who is the child of your father and of your mother who is not your brother and is not your sister?”
“Very simple,” said Mehrtens, “It’s me.”
“Of course,” said Richie and rang Henry. “Coach, I’ve got the answer—it’s Mehrtens!”
“No, you idiot,” said Henry, “It’s Freddie Michalak.”
The following is a short selection from a vast list on Ou Grote’s website.
After being asked if he had anything to add to an inspiring team talk, Frans “Domkrag” Erasmus, late Springbok prop, responded: “Ja, anyone know where I can get an engine for a Toyota Corolla?”
Chris Masoe (Hurricanes) on whether he had visited the Pyramids during his visit to Egypt: “I can’t really remember the names of the clubs that we went to.”
David Nucifora (Auckland) talking about Troy Flavell: “I told him, ‘Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?’ He said, ‘David, I don’t know and I don’t care.’
“We actually got the winning try three minutes from the end but then they scored.” – Phil Waugh.
“I never comment on referees and I’m not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat.” – Ewan McKenzie.
“Every time I went to tackle him, Horrocks went one way, Taylor went the other, and all I got was the bleeding hyphen.” – Nick England on trying to stop Phil Horrocks-Taylor.
“Remember that rugby is a team game; all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Jonah.” – Fax to the All Blacks before the 1995 World Cup semi-final.
On the Munster pack: “Mothers keep their photo on the mantelpiece to stop the kids going too near the fire.” – Jim Noilly.