“Saturday’s a rugby day!”, is what you will hear from most people that play the sport. It refers to the most common day around the world that the game is played on. I say it pretty much every time I see a bumper sticker, t-shirt or anything else that is remotely related to rugby. I can still remember arriving to practice one day and the coach saying to me, “You’re with the Forwards today Miley.” I thought to myself ‘why is he calling me Miley?’ It turns out I was given the name because of my phenomenal rendition of Miley Cyrus’ song ‘Party In The U.S.A.’ at a club event the night before. It’s always fun to hear how one gets their rugby name.
Now that you know a little about me, let’s get into how rugby changed my life for the better. “In the beginning, God created rugby”, is what I want to say. He probably did a few other things first. He did; however, create the sport that millions of people around the world know and love. Disclaimer, all of my experiences with rugby were not good, especially when I almost broke a few bones.
1. Rugby has allowed me to connect with people from all around the world. I have met French, Ecuadorian, Cuban, Chinese, Polynesian, English and even African rugby players. I think there was a clown in there too. In the beginning of this reading I mentioned how I shout anytime I see anything remotely related to rugby. Even if I see someone going for a light afternoon jog I’ll say, “Saturday’s a rugby day!” It’s like we are a family and automatically feel connected to those that enjoy the sport as well. From Miami Beach to Hong Kong I meet guys constantly who play rugby. They’ll invite me out for drinks, their children’s birthday party, one guy even designed our current club logo FOR FREE!
2. It’s a great way to keep the pounds off too. Imagine running a 5K and every 0.25 kilometers having to tackle a 215 lb guy carrying groceries into his house. That is pretty much how rugby is. To effectively play the sport, you have to be in great shape because it involves a lot of cardio. Running. Unlike football but similar to soccer, game play is continuous and there are no breaks between drives. The field is 100 meters long and you will run the entire distance at least 10 times in a game. As I am writing this, I was motivated to do 50 squats so please give me a second…
3. There’s no better feeling than scoring a Try! A Try is scored by grounding the ball in the opposition’s in-goal area. Imagine a touchdown in football, but you have to press the ball against the ground. Scoring a Try is so great because of all of the hard work that is involved to get there. Imagine a soccer player scoring a Goal. That type of excitement!
So I hope I’ve converted you to the nation of Rugby and that you will get out on the field one day. Most towns have a Men’s League and most colleges have a College League. I have played against UM, LSU, UF, FSU, Auburn and even Duke University. There is rugby everywhere. You just have to go out and find it.