Thursday 3 February 2011

Proper Rugby.

It's almost Rugby season again; so for a few weeks my saturday afternoons will be spent tearing out what hair I have left, in frustration.

I am fortunate to have played both School and Club Rugby. Here I am (above) in 1960, aged about 14, in my prep' school team. (I'm the one with the knobbly-knees; far left middle row. I've still got the tassled hat)

With School Rugby you knew pretty much what your opposition would be; all of similar age, and all similar size and weight. Club Rugby was an altogether different matter. Growling 25 stone, 7 ft, apes, would tackle not just to bring you down, but to inflict as much pain and damage as possible in the process. After most games (in my predictably short Club playing career) I looked much like the guy above. I was very lucky to escape without serious damage.

Of course, that's all part of the game, and where Rugby has been tampered with by the oh-so-cautious-Health-n-Safety brigade, it's much less interesting. In the north of England they play a girlie version with just 13 players on each side (instead of the proper 15), and the players wear nice comfy (probably home-knitted) shoulder pads.

Elsewhere in the world, I believe that an even girlier version is played; the rules have been completely altered so that no skill is required, and every conceivable comfy safety device is worn, including 'helmets' of all things! (ahem)

The annual 6 Nations Rugby Competition is just about to kick-off. I'm a supporter of either England, Wales, or France. So, as long as neither Scotland, Ireland, or Italy (yawn) win; I'm happy.

Long live proper Rugby; blood, blokes, beer, and all!

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  1. Are you sure your not Australian by that last line?sounds very occa to me...strange how diff countries have diff codes,when Americans first see our footy they are amazed that we don't have all the gear like grid iron players do..however to each his sports are anything like they used to be are they,now they all swap players buy them changeover once you stayed for your playing life being faithful to your club the mighty dollar has a lot to answer for.

  2. Carole. In both Cricket and Rugby, the greatest rivalries are between England and Oz. That makes for the best games ever.

  3. I like Rugby better than American Football. Great fun to watch. I'd be smashed to bits by those guys if I tried to play.

  4. Not sure I understand why bashing each other about is fun...but then again, to each his own!

  5. Jacqueline...Jacqueline...Jacqueline... If you've never experienced having your eye gauged out by a 25 stone bully... I'm sure they do that in Lacrosse too.

  6. I know how you feel! I get excited when Ice skating comes on. A little less blood and facial hair, but you know . . .

  7. My son played Rugby in High School... for about 5 mins...during a practice he was holding the football, or whatever you call it in Rugby, for some fellow mate, who stupidly missed the ball and hit full on with his big boot, my sons hand,sent him straight to the hospital in an ambulance, surgery, and a cast for eight weeks!!!
    Thank goodness he never went back to that sport...took to riding bicycles...
    mountain bicycles- that he uses to jump off the sides of mountains!
    So much safer!!!
    Still does it today...By the way he's 32yrs old!!!


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