George Ford could learn a thing or two about pressure from Gary Anderson

If Bath fly-half wants to cement an England World Cup spot he needs to match the coolness Anderson showed in the darts at Alexandra Palace
Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s action
• Interview: Bath and England’s Anthony Watson

The final of the darts world championship would not normally be a must-watch for international rugby coaches. Lean muscle and protein shakes were definitely not in evidence at Alexandra Palace – let’s just say few in the crowd appeared to be embarking on a dry January. The backdrop could hardly have been more lively short of Gary Anderson and Phil “The Power” Taylor entertaining the guests at one of Caligula’s wilder soirees.

Amid the reverential chants of Stand Up If You Love The Darts and close-ups of Anderson’s tension-racked partner, however, some outstanding sporting nerve was displayed. Taylor has won umpteen world titles but this was his opponent’s first final, inviting the kind of mental turmoil which turns even the smoothest throwing arms to jelly. Briefly the Scotsman appeared to wobble before revealing the coolness in adversity which sets a world champion apart from the herd.

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