The Roar
The Roar


Wallabies in the big hole

Who will the Wallabies send to the World Cup? (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Roar Pro
23rd November, 2018
1037 Reads

The most impressive man-made hole in the ground that I have ever seen is the Kimberley Big Hole, in what is now the Northern Cape Province in South Africa.

With an area of 17 hectares, a 463-metre diameter and a depth of 240 metres, it is one really formidable hole.

This hole was dug by men with picks and shovels. False news, invented by the President of Trumpistan, claims that this hole was dug by 50,000 miners who flooded in from all parts of the world.

Only partly true. The 50,000 is possibly correct, but the miners were all Australian rugby players, led by the then ARU.

Any historian will confirm this as the history books report; “In 1872, one year after digging started, the population of the camp of diggers grew to around 50,000.

So there you have it in writing.

So why did all these Australians come over to South Africa? They were on a big rugby tour, when they heard that diamonds had just been discovered on the De Beers brothers farm at Coles Kopje.

It is thought that it was the promise of free alcohol (what else, with a name like De Beers) that brought the Aussies rushing up.

Finding a nice shady hill, the Kopje, but disappointed that the free alcohol was more false news, these hardy diggers began to extract the diamonds, selling them to fund beer imports.


Being good exponents of the game that is played in Heaven, and occupying the high ground, the diggers even won a couple of rugby World Cups.

But, sadly as the years passed, and instead of having a nice hill to defend, these diggers dug an increasingly big and deep hole in which they are now well entrenched with, it seems, little hope of escape.

This hole is interesting. It has sloping sides, still scalable (with difficulty) and precipitous cliffs dropping to deep aquamarine waters.

Most of the diggers have now gone, leaving only 23 Wallabies, who are just managing to cling to the sloping sides.

Their coaches have already fallen into the water, likely to remain there, waiting for a miracle to get them out.


This Big Hole has been a trap for others.

Some Springboks slipped down the sides, but have recently been rescued by a Mr Erasmus, now grazing and getting fatter and fitter on the veldt grasses in most cases, with a few agisted out to fine pastures in various parts of Europe and even Japan. One has even grown so tall that in Scotland they believe he breathes thinner air than the other Springboks.

A Mr J White, a native South African, has been observing events at the big hole for many years, making sure he just uses binoculars, and does not fall into this trap.

Several years ago, he found wandering nearby a little Aussie fella with an engaging smirk.

He had been expelled from the hole digging operation, for although he was pretty good at the job, the ARU deemed he was not digging fast enough, and turned him out to fend for himself.

Mr White found him, and heard he had played a bit of rugby once, and with a name like Jones, he had to have some Welsh heritage, and those guys are pretty good at rugby.

Mr White took a punt, rather than a Garryowen, and gave Mr Jones some work. It went well, and Mr White, with Mr Jones whispering in his ear from time to time, actually won a Webb Ellis Cup.

Mr Jones went on to Japan, and managed to beat the Springboks in a World Cup game.


The Boks had been let out of the hole for a few weeks, but were in poor condition due to competition for scarce food resources.

A confused England, having just made history by exiting the last Rugby World Cup in the pool stages, grabbed Mr Jones before he could return to Japan.

Must have liked the smirk, which they took to be a sign of competency.

And it seemed for some time that Mr Jones had been the bargain of the century thus far.

Win after win came, until Mr Jones foolishly returned with his players to the edge of the Big Hole, and they all fell in.

There they still remain, even though recently they were close to pushing some wandering black sheep – and they were All Black – into the dreaded Hole.

Some doubters did surface briefly in the Antipodes, but they were swiftly dealt with, probably using methods from medieval times, but currently out favour in some, but not all, parts of the world.

A number of excitable opportunists from around the world also believed these black sheep were about to fall into the Big Hole.


However a big pack of Huntaway dogs, plus some Heading dogs, appeared in Dublin last week, just too late to avoid a rare black sheep defeat.

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But fear not, these well trained and trusty hounds have taken these sheep, who are tired and hungry, under their care. They will be returning to New Zealand to be put out to pasture in places such as Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, the Waikato, the Canterbury Plains, Otago and Southland.

Well away from the dangerous rim of the big hole, full recovery is expected by the time these black sheep head to Japan for a few games next year.


On Saturday, both the Wallabies and the English will play a game of rugby, with both sides trying to push the other into the water.

Currently Mr Jones is just managing to stay out of the drink, but a big loss on Saturday could see him fall in finally, and meet up with a Mr Chieka, an old teammate from Randwick days.

And if Mr Jones is not in the water by Sunday morning, then he has a horde of Celts waiting to shove him over the edge early in the New Year.

And the French, some of whom are Celts too, will join in the fun. The Italians might even have a crack as well, even though they are not Celts.

Mr J White is still watching with growing interest.

He believes he can step in and get hold of these Wallabies. He knows that while fossicking around on the slopes of the Big Hole, some real diamonds have been found, and amazingly turned into Wallabies.

But these diamonds have some flaws still

Mr White does have some diamond cutting and polishing experience, and fancies his chances of doing better than the now-in-the-water Mr Chieka, who has not been good at all when attempting to cut and polish diamonds.


Indeed Mr Chieka has carelessly dropped some of these diamonds, and they have been snatched up by scavengers from places like Dublin, Exeter and Toulon/Lyon.

Mr J White does have one hurdle though. The ARU is now history, but has morphed into something called RA – not sure what that is. Used to be Royal Artillery maybe?

Certainly does not seem have anything to do with developing and helping these poor Wallabies down the Hole.

This RA has a Castle, that Mr White will have to go to to ask permission from to help these beleaguered Wallabies.

And this Castle was recently in charge of a whole pack of Bulldogs. So good luck, Mr White.

I will watch with great trepidation as the Wallabies take on England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Will one team only return to the Big Hole and finally fall in, or will the whole lot play so badly, that they all end up in that aquamarine water on Sunday morning?

Seriously now, good luck to both teams, and the referee. Hoping for an injury free game too – and maybe a contest that goes some way towards some of the absorbing and high quality contests of this autumn series in the Northern Hemisphere, with rugby the winner.