Before Christmas I hosted a lunch for Sale Sharks Rugby Club as a favour. Link to the official report is here. I was terrified that I would commit some kind of gaffe exposing that I knew sod all about rugby, which is true, I really don't. I memorised all the names, positions and nationalities of the players I had to interview on stage. But checked myself; don't get chummy - you don't know them. I worked the room frantically gathering questions from each table - some from other players were cheeky, but I'd allow them to ask the question. Some were a bit technical, so I thought I'd bring the mic to the person asking the question.
And so before I introduced the six giants of rugby for an interactive Q&A session I fessed up. I'm a convert to all of this, I like watching, but like most of the corporate guests I know zip all about your sport, but love the honesty of rugby. Appreciative nods all around.
Then I introduced the players: "Juan Lobbe, Charlie Hodgson, David Tait, Matthew Tait and Mark Cato." Aaaaaggh. I said it. I said "Cato". Credibility gone. Mark Cueto. Pronounced Cwayto. I knew that.
I can only describe it as my John Stapleton moment.
To be fair, they were great sport and answered the questions with good grace. Especially my new best mate Mark Cueto, who has been playing brilliantly since.