If you’re reading this article you’re probably currently toying with the idea of joining a rugby team. So, I’ve put together this short page to explain to you the pros of and the few cons that come with joining a rugby team.
Reasons why you would want to join a Rugby club
I’ll start off by listing the pros because ultimately that’s why you’ve clicked on this blog and most probably the information you most want to find out so without further ado let’s look at my first pro of rugby.
We’ll start off with something that might be one of your main reasons for thinking about picking up rugby or any sport for that matter and that’s the fitness benefits you get. Rugby is an intense game that for the most part is non-stop action for the entirety of 80 minutes. Now you may read that and think that sounds like hard work and while yes it can be the amount of work you need to do can vary massively depending on your position.
Generally speaking, the forwards are generally the heavier set blokes and they are constantly involved in the action, so how do these big guys keep going for the full 80? Well that’s due to the fact that all the action is generally happening around them, and they don’t need to move very far to be involved and if they do the action will usually come to them.
In contrast to the big burly forwards there are also the lighter more ‘athletic’ (I use that word lightly because I’ve seen all sorts of back lines over the years) backs. The backs have to wait longer periods of time to receive the ball as the forwards go through phases and set pieces but when they do get the ball it’s all guns blazing. The backs do a lot of short sprinting and evading to try and break through the enemy line so they need to be quick thinking and explosive.
Playing a game is one thing but it would undoubtedly be a struggle for any player to play the full 80 minutes without training. Training is the other side of rugby which you generally don’t think of as much but it’s a huge part of the game, clubs I’ve played for in the past generally train 2 times a week on a Tuesday and a Thursday. Tuesday sessions are usually fitness related whereas Thursday sessions are more tactical in preparation for the game at the weekend.
There is also a vigorous pre-season during the summer so players will generally stay extremely fit throughout the year making this a great sport for anyone looking to get fit but also take part in an exciting competitive sport
The next point I’m going to make regarding joining a rugby team and one that is potentially overlooked but the majority of new players is the social side of the game. Some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life are people I’ve met at the rugby club. I personally have been at my current club since the junior years and I grew up with different people and have built some long-lasting friendships.
The integration into a new team can always be intimidating. I felt this when I was moving from the junior colt’s team up to the senior teams and I had to integrate with all the older people but I was made to feel extremely welcome. The same can be said for when you’re joining a team for the first time everyone will usually be welcoming as club’s love to get as many players down as possible.
The social side of rugby really does set it apart from other sports, where else can you go from aggressively going into battle with another set of lads (or ladies) for 80 minutes and the sitting in the bar with them for a pint after the game. Not only that but joining a team especially if you’ve moved away from home for work or something of a similar nature gives you the opportunity to meet people that you may be able to go out within the evening or could become your new set of friends. You never know what doors it could open for you.
You might be sat here right now thinking that’s all very well and good but I’m not the most technically gifted athlete or I’m completely new I wouldn’t be able to join now. That’s not something you have to worry about in the slightest most teams will have a senior squad set up of a 1st, 2nd & 3rd team with some big clubs even having a 4th. The benefit of this is that you can go straight in and play with players of a similar ability to you.
Being able to join a team as a new player and be able to play at a level to help you ease into the game is a great benefit for a new player. You might also find your self-playing alongside older players who are far past there prime but just can’t let the game go, these guys can always teach you a thing or two about the game!
If you get to a level where you’d like to move up to higher teams there’s always potential to progress until you get to the 1XI of any club and then if that level is not good enough for you, you can always look for a new club but generally the standard of all first teams is a satisfactory level.
A couple of reasons why you might not want to join a rugby club
We’ll start of by saying Rugby is a high impact sport and like all high impact sports, it comes with a potential risk of injury. Now I know people may worry that they’re going to get flattened by an 18 stone Samoan the first time they set foot on a pitch but the reality is that like I said above you’re more than likely going to be playing against players at the same or a similar level to you. This means everyone is in the same boat and you aren’t likely to be lined up against Sébastien Chabal in your first run out!
Furthering on from my last point about injury’s there is luckily a vast array of rules to the game that tries to prevent damage to players such as tacking below the neck and other safety precautions. This can give you peace of mind to the fact that the ref will look after the players and injuries will only occur rarely due to freak accidents. I can honestly say in all my years of playing that I have only witnessed a hand full of serious injuries.
Finally, another thing you might want to think about when joining is the fact that it is very time-consuming it may take up your evenings after work and also the majority of your Saturday afternoon but I can honestly say hand on heart that I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. It’s given me something to talk about in interviews and I’ve made some amazing friends over the years, but be careful if you decide to join you might never be able to leave again!