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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Pipe down, Scotland
Bagpipers
The authorities are marching to a different tune

Scotland's hopes of progressing in the World Cup have been hit by bans to several key players - their bagpipers.

According to local papers, fans of the Tartan Army were not allowed to bring their instruments into the game with the United States because it gave their team an unfair advantage.

Undettered, the Ipswich Thistle Pipe Band stood out outside the Lang Park ground in Brisbane two hours before kick-off and played for all they were worth.

Band member Joe McGhee denied the pipes would have acted as a 16th man for the Scots.

"The bagpipes is not really an offensive weapon," he said, before pausing to add: "Well, it depends who's playing it."

It is the second time the Scots have been denied a part of their heritage at this World Cup.

Before their opening group game against Japan, supporters were told not to wear the skean dhu dagger, worn inside socks as part of the traditional dress, because it was a security risk.

They'll be ordering them to wear something under their kilts next.


Lome Fa'atau
Thigh's the limit for Lome

Art of the matter

Samoan wing Lome Fa'atau is unlikely to be fazed by England after having a tattoo that took nine days to complete.

Fa'atau's striking body art stretches from his knees right up to his stomach and was done using a pig's tooth stuck to a drumstick!

The blue tribal symbols form what is known as a pe'a and is traditional for Samoan men to show they have pride in their heritage.

Fa'atau, who spent up to eight hours a day in the tattooist's chair, admitted the pain was so bad he nearly gave up.

"Sometimes you think you can't get through it, but if you give up half-way it brings great disgrace among your family."

The 27-year-old, recognised as one of the quickest players in the tournament, is looking forward to the game with England on Sunday.

And if he succeeds in carving up the English defence, Fa'atau is sure to give his opponents the needle.



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