The England Rugby Union team are to be sent as convicts to the penal colony of Australia for acts of treason committed in the vicinity of Twickenham recently.
The team will begin their sentence immediately after fulfilling their obligations against Uruguay and will be carried to awaiting vessels in a convoy of ‘sweet chariots’.
The starting XV will serve twenty year sentences, with a possible parole period of four years, for having committed the greater acts of treason, while the reserves and ancillary staff are expected to be held in temporary prisons in boats on the Thames for assisting treason.
“The acts committed at Twickenham have caused great distress and humiliation to the people of England and come but days after the failure to stifle a minor Welsh rebellion…” read a statement from the English authorities.
“Thus, the persons involved were adjudged to have committed a grave offence worthy of an equally grave punishment”.
Speculation exists as to the exact nature of the punishment players will receive in Australia.
One theory suggests that players will be sent to work as unpaid domestic staff in the homes of Wallaby players, in which case play maker Bernard Foley will be given first choice from the line-up of players when they arrive on the docks of Sydney.
Other experts believe the offenders will be sent to re-education camps overseen by organisations called the NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies, whose reports on player progress may determine the success of the players’ applications for parole in 2019.
The fate of coach Stuart Lancaster, however, seems more certain.
Lancaster was widely expected to be awarded a knighthood had England fulfilled expectations of emerging victorious on home soil but the sword reserved for this ceremony will now be employed for his imminent beheading.
“The Royal family and Buckingham Palace had already been booked for the knighthood ceremony and, as one can imagine, adjusting the schedule of the British Royal family is a complicated matter. Thus, in lieu of Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has kindly offered his services to conduct the amended ceremony” announced a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace.