Let’s face it, playing rugby is awesome, there’s no other way to put it. From the mates to banter with your opposite number, there’s plenty to love about playing rugby. Here are 11 reasons why rugby is the sport I love;
1. The Mates
Let’s face it, no matter where in the world you may find yourself, if you can get yourself down to the local rugby club you know there’s a community there who are going to welcome you with open arms. I’ve never joined a new rugby club and found myself struggling to make friends unlike with other sports. Those bonds you make in a rugby team will last you a lifetime as friendships continue to develop out on the field.
2. The Respect
Whether it be your team mate, the referee or an opponent, in rugby it’s incredibly rare for everyone to fail to respect one another. You may not agree with every decision but you always call the referee ‘Sir’ and you shake the oppositions hand after every game, no matter what’s gone on before hand. This kind of respect is so rare in this day and age that it’s fantastic to be part of a community that holds it as such a core value.
3. The Banter
As with any sport, rugby is packed full of great banter that starts in the changing rooms and extends out onto the field and straight into the bar afterwards. Whilst the worst of it will often come from your own team the banter had between you and your opposite number can also be absolutely priceless. That’s before we even start on the kangaroo court sessions at the end of the season.
4. It’s Inclusive
Whatever your age, gender, sexuality or tastes, rugby is a sport for everyone. Even within a single team you can find a huge mix of ages, heights and weights. In no other sport in the world can you find such a rag-tag mix of players who all seem to gel so well together. The growing support for women’s rugby around the world is also another fantastic indication of how the game is continuing to develop.
5. The Camaradarie
Let’s face it, in the middle of winter when the pitches are bogged down, playing can be tough. It’s in these difficult games that you start to see the bonds between rugby players as they fight for one another. There is total respect for your opposite number at all times as even though you knock seven bells out of one another you’re still there to offer a helping hand up.
6. Hot Showers & Cold Beers
I love playing rugby, but at times there’s no doubting that it’s bloody tough. The huge hits take their toll on your body whilst cold weather is enough to start your ears bleeding, it is during these times that you really start to appreciate the little things. And let’s face it, it doesn’t come much better than a hot(ish) shower and a cold beer after a game to get you back on your feet.
7. The Physicality
There are very few sports in the world that require the same level of physicality as rugby. We may not be the fittest, the quickest or the strongest but there’s no doubting that we’re amongst the toughest. We may give the wingers plenty of stick but even they put their bodies on the line each week no matter what comes at them (in most cases). This kind of physicality is hard to match in any other walk of life.
8. The Aches & Pains
Whether during a game or the day after, at some point you are going to hurt like hell! Whilst many may wonder why the hell I enjoy feeling the aches and pains, to me they are the proof that I’ve given my all the day before and done everything I can to help my team. Rugby players can wear their black eyes and limps proudly as there is no shame in taking one for the team.
9. The Socials
As much as we work hard, rugby players love to play hard. Whether it be a night our after a game or the end of season tour, rugby social’s are the pinnacle of our season. Once the beers start flowing and the team start singing you know you’re in for a good night as we don’t half know how to let off steam. And as the age old cliche goes; what goes on tour stays on tour.
10. The Clubhouses
From rickety old sheds to brand new purpose built facilities, when playing rugby you’ll come across all manner of clubhouses. Whilst some may lack the facilities they more than make up for it with their hospitality, and it’s whilst standing under a freezing cold shower during the middle of winter that you realise the reason you play rugby is for the little things!
11. The Experiences
From long journeys to clubs out in the middle of nowhere to last minute calls to players in a desperate bid to put out a full XV, it is these experiences that make rugby so unique. During those toughest moments is when rugby players really pull together and show their love for the game as they rearrange shifts or promise they’ll make it up to their significant other in a bid to ensure their team aren’t left short.
Why do you love playing rugby?