Rugby is epic…whether it’s the World Cup Final or an amateur match at your local park, it’s amazing how much passion is shown across all levels of the game! However, although the passion and effort levels may often be on par, the facilities and all round game experience couldn’t be more dissimiliar.
5 ways you know your rugby Club is proper grassroots…Let us know if any of these relate to your Club!
1. Every Friday you're making the call round the troops, seeing if anyone can come out of retirement, or skip school rugby to have a run out for your Club.
It’s 7pm on a Friday night and you don't have a fully assembled squad...unfortunately for many Club captains, that only means one thing; it’s time to do the rounds and see if you can galavanise any local rugby talent, or in fact any locals, to join your team for a Saturday afternoon of rugby. After the obvious picks have declined, desperation kicks in and the juniors, school boys and even the local vicar gets a call. All in the name of rugby!
2. Thursday night training numbers are half of Tuesdays.
We all love a Tuesday training session; a cheeky bit of contact to blow away any weekend cobwebs, before going through some drills and all in all, enjoying a bit of rugby. However, Thursday’s a different kettle of fish…run throughs are far less appealing than a beer and a carry out, because let’s face it, Thursday is the new Friday!
Funnily enough, Thursday's just seem to be the night where the ‘niggle epidemic’ hits the squad…of course the coaches, the captain, and let’s face it, the whole team knows that it’s a farce but as long as they turn up on a Saturday, who’s really caring?
3. Although your XV are all playing for the same team, the only thing linking them is the crest on their strip…sometimes even the team’s strips come from a couple of different decades.
There’s nothing better than seeing a team turn up, wearing an assortment of shorts and socks, with only the badge on their strip to match. If you're their opposition.
You may even find that the strips they are wearing, although representing the same team, are from different eras. Talk about kit shortages...
4. When your front row has a combined age of 172 and your back 3, a combined age of 47, you know you play in a proper grassroots team…
Does your team contain a number of weather beaten veterans, as well as a couple of newly recruited young whippets? Then you are the sort of team that epitomises grassroots rugby…especially when you see 2 or 3 generations of family members playing together. Gotta love it!
5. A cold post-match shower awaits your mud-covered team…
Now, we know that ice baths are becoming more and more popular, with the pros endorsing them and their recovery value - especially on instagram. But ice-cold showers on the other hand are not the one! Especially after a defeat, could there be anything worse? The person who was supposed to top up the water meter is in for a kicking…but perhaps the lack of water was due to it being too expensive?
These are just some ways you know your club is well and truly grassroots. Let us know of any other examples!