The WAG, the tabloid invention that became a social phenomenon. Think high heels, short skirts, karaoke bars in Baden Baden and handbags as big as their heads. What started in football has spread to all major sports.
The wives and girlfriends of famous sports stars the world over have filled as many—if not more—column inches than their other halves.
The majority of rugby players are as partial to a well-turned out, female, walking, talking winner of the gene jackpot as the rest of the red-blooded straight male population, so let us take a moment to celebrate the fact with rugby’s top 10 WAGS.
All Black fly-half Dan Carter has just about got the lot; handsome bloke, awesome ability, pants modeling contract, and now a stunning wife.
Carter broke the hearts of women across the country when he announced his engagement to New Zealand hockey international Honor Dillon in 2010, and the pair married a year later following the All Blacks' World Cup triumph.
Mrs. Brian O’Driscoll is the other half of Dublin’s first couple, the Posh and Becks of the Emerald Isle.
And she wins cudos on this list as a proven devotee to her husband’s profession. In the 2013 Six Nations, she gave birth to their first baby, Sadie, on the morning of Ireland’s clash with France.
Brian was at her side before she let him nip out to knock lumps out of Les Bleus for 80 minutes. Either that or he told her he was just popping to the hospital car park to stick some money in the meter.
She was there again to stand by her man, baby and all, as he sat out the final Test in the summer’s Lions series.
Her acting and writing career may not have quite earned her the worldwide acclaim heaped on BOD for his on-field heroics, but you wouldn’t turn the channel over, would you?
Leigh Halfpenny was the man of the series for the Lions this summer with the fans singing his name long into the night, following his part in that famous night in Sydney.
And as loud and raucous as the sea of red were in their support for the full-back, they'd struggle to be as tuneful as his girlfriend Lucie Jones.
The X Factor live-show finalist and Cardiff Blues' man became an item in 2010, but perhaps she'll have to start brushing up on her French if rumours of a move to Toulon for Halfpenny prove to be true.
Susie Amy shot to fame as Chardonnay on the hit TV show Footballer’s Wives, but in real life it seems she prefers rugby.
Or at least, she did. Her three-year romance with Ireland’s full-back Rob Kearney came to an end last year.
Your correspondent suspects the Leinster man has not been short of offers. Kearney is one of those blokes who makes your other half go a bit red when he appears on your TV.
It’s fair to say a prop forward wouldn’t be the first cab off the rank when it comes to Miss Ireland 2011 having her pick of the bunch.
But Cian Healy clearly has more in his locker than brutish power.
The Leinster, Ireland and Lions man was an early casualty of the 2013 tour but was in the fortunate position of having Holly Carpenter to console him upon his arrival home.
As one of the foremost presenters on TV, Mrs. L has well and truly taken the lion’s share of the limelight from husband Kenny Logan since the Scottish international hung up his boots on a career that comprised 70 caps and club success with Wasps.
They even went head to head on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, where Gabby tangoed her husband to shame when it came to fancy footwork.
Fair to say Kenny was much better at sidestepping than salsa-dancing.
Born into a sporting family, it’s no surprise the queen of Sky Sports News found herself a sportsman as her other half.
Paul Sampson was once the great hope of English rugby. Plucked from the school playing fields of Woodhouse Grove School to join the England squad in 1996, he never quite lived up to the early promise, but he nonetheless forged a career that took in Wasps, Bath, Worcester, Blackheath and London Welsh.
Should he ever get home after a rough day at the office and wish he’d made so many more than just the one international appearance, he can at least console himself with a glance at the missus.
At present, Ms. Brook is once again the ex-girlfriend of erstwhile wunderkid Danny Cipriani.
But the former Big Breakfast presenter’s relationship status with rugby players seems, if you read the right tabloid, something of a fluid situation.
Last seen allegedly giving her digits to Cipriani’s former Wasps colleague James Haskell, The Daily Mail claims, she had a spell on the arm of former Scotland wing Thom Evans in between stints with Cipriani.
There’s no telling which ground she could be seen at next, but if you can’t wait until then, Esquire's latest behind the scenes shoot for her 2014 calendar will have to do.
Ben Foden’s past as a Pop Idol audtionee may have earned him the lion’s share of the ribbing in the changing rooms throughout his career, but I bet no one was laughing when they found out who he was dating.
Every day for Foden is a Saturday (sorry) thanks to his marriage to Una Healy, who forms one-fifth of the girl group of the same name.
The couple had their first child in 2012 and named her Aoife, which is lucky, considering the horrible amalgam they made of their own two first names in this shonky home music video.
There is a certain irony to the marriage of Sergio Parisse to Miss France 2006.
Alexandra Rosenfeld also won the title of Miss Europe the last time they held the competition, which means one of the greatest players of his generation can’t even match his own wife for the top piece of European silverware in their respective professions.
It probably doesn’t bother him that much.