WHILST the writing of this column came too early to include the result of last night's England v Fiji Rugby World Cup opener, there is one thing I can write confidently about the aftermath - there will be sore bodies being nursed this morning.

Finally, after all the hype and the hullaballoo, the glad-handing, and the massaging of corporate egos during the final days of the run-up to the tournament, we have arrived at the rugby.

I know that events like this have to include a certain amount of what are euphemistically known as media and sponsorship promotional activities and of course, those who are ploughing considerable amounts of money into backing them are looking for the opportunity to press the prime rugby flesh in partial return.

But really, it is a wonder these days that those talented enough to take part in international sport have enough time to prepare for what could be the most important competitions of their lives.

Everyone likes to see sporting stars accessible to the public, and rugby in that regard is probably one of the more open sports.

But there seem to have been an awful lot of peripheral activities in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup, well-built men standing in front of sponsors' boards with ever tightening smiles on their faces, just wanting to get back to the training ground, or to their rooms for some relaxation and recovery time.

Already for me, unfortunately, one of the most memorable images of this tournament - for all the wrong reasons - is that of England players on stage with gurning host Vernon Kay, at what was called the Wear The Rose live official England send-off at the O2 Arena in London.

Send-off? But they're not going anywhere. They are the home team.

Anyway, Tom Wood, Jonathan Joseph and their colleagues looked utterly uncomfortable, particularly full back Mike Brown.

He appeared to be mentally comparing the occasion to that awful afternoon last winter when he was knocked unconscious during the Six Nations match against Italy, and finding that on balance, he wished he were back on the stretcher.

It is understandable that the Rugby World Cup organisers feel the need to try hard to propel the tournament into the forefront of people's minds, especially when it is being played during the early months of the perennially popular football season.

But even so, I am sure if the players were asked - back in their squads, in their hotels, and anonymously - they would much prefer to just get on with their preparations instead of having to engage in the art of the sideshow.

Sorry to sound a little negative, but frankly, I get bored with hype. I don't need someone to tell me to be excited, or why I need to be excited, about something like this.

Anyway, there has been plenty of other flak flying in the general direction of the Rugby World Cup, regarding everything from the venues that have been chosen - a debate of some vintage but one which nevertheless refuses to go away - to the banning of bagpipes in the stands (sorry Scotland fans).

The issue that I have most sympathy with however, is that concerning the price of food and drink. When one is being asked to pay £1.50 for a bar of chocolate(!), £5 for a beer(!!), and £6 for a pie(!!!), things have gone too far.

I have always been of the opinion that the prices demanded by catering concessions at rugby and football matches, and many other sporting events are a joke. A bad joke, but a joke nevertheless.

Put it this way, if I have to pay £6 for a pie, I would expect it to contain nothing less than the hitherto folkloric four-and-twenty blackbirds. Bad news for our feathered friends, I'm sorry to say, but there you go.

Stick the word 'world' in front of the title of a sporting event and it seems that those who attempt to ply us with food and drink believe they can get anyway with anything.

But it is a shame when, for instance, the Football Association of Wales charge the incredible price of just £5 for someone aged 16 and under to attend a home Wales football international, yet it costs the princely sum of £9 for chips and a burger inside the ground.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of Rugby World Cup catering concessions, my advice is to take your own food and drink, or eat before you enter the stadium.

Ultimately though, however you choose to refresh yourselves, just enjoy the rugby. That, after all the verbiage, all the hyperbole, is what it is all about.