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How did your Rugby interest start?

Ticklishchap

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This is a general question about what first got you interested in Rugby and when your interest started?

For me, I was educated in the boys’ boarding school system and was first inspired to take an interest when I was about 11 by my form master at prep school. At the school 13-18 I played for the House: sport was compulsory and strongly emphasised and Rugby was one of the many on offer; I volunteered for it and that was that for the next few years!
 

Which Tyler

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My brother, Dad and I all loved it.
Mum hated it.

I'd have loved to try as an adult, but not financially viable until I had too many commitments to try.
 

Ticklishchap

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My brother, Dad and I all loved it.
Mum hated it.

I'd have loved to try as an adult, but not financially viable until I had too many commitments to try.
I’d like to know more about NZ, especially Maori culture, and go there to visit eventually.

My father worked in Melbourne from the mid-60s to early 70s. I was born there and lived there for my first six years, including my first year of school. I liked it very much of course. My father liked it but as with you my mother didn’t because she was very homesick: she wasn’t working at that time and I think that made it worse. I could have an Australian passport and go and live there but like you I have too many other commitments.
 

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I saw the world cup final between England and Australia in 2003. I don't remember watching it before that but I kinda understood the game so may have seen some games but that was what got me really into it.
 

Ticklishchap

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I saw the world cup final between England and Australia in 2003. I don't remember watching it before that but I kinda understood the game so may have seen some games but that was what got me really into it.
Did you start playing the game after that?
 

Ticklishchap

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I never really got into playing it properly, mostly just watching. Did it for a bit at school but that was it.
For me it was very much part of the way of life at school that it was easy to get into - and impossible to get out of, even in A Level year! Not that I wanted to get out of it of course ...!
 

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I started playing rugby at the age of 7 when that and cricket was the only male sport the school I was at had (this was pre-1994 election). So all the boys played rugby in the winter, and cricket in the summer.

Then when I was 10, it was the 1995 Rugby World Cup. And my dad managed to get us tickets for the Scotland vs. France match at Loftus Versfeld, which was the closest stadium from where we lived (about 300km north of Pretoria). It was my first trip to a rugby match and a big stadium. We drove the day before the match, stayed at friends of my Mom who lived across from the stadium that time (before the houses were demolished and turned into offices.

The day of the match, we went to the training field next to the stadium, where they had a stage setup, and an area for the the kids to play and so on. Around 14:00 my dad introduced me and my brothers to a friend of his, who was the Blue Bulls legal representative at the time, and he told us that we can go into the stadium with him (he arranged the tickets for us).

We sat on the East pavillion about 5 rows from the front. It was an exciting match to watch, and for a kid it was a lot of fun hearing how my dad and his friend tried to pronounce the french players names and surnames in their very strong Afrikaans accent. Then Emile Ntamack scored that last minute try right in front of us, and the whole stadium erupted in excitement.

That feeling of pure joy and excitement along with everyone around us also cheering was the thing that hooked me. And that's also where my love of Loftus Versfeld started. Since then I've seen some memorable matches at the Venue. Like the B&I Lions 2009 tour 2nd match against the Springboks. The Bulls vs. Chiefs Super Rugby Final. The Bulls vs. Crusaders Super Rugby Semi-final. And a couple of matches between SA and Australia.
 

ncurd

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My Dad played to a 'reasonable' level at school he essentially played in an U17 team from age 13. We had very different interests whilst I was growing up(his entire outlook was sport and wasn't interested at the time), after trying hard and failing to get into football I watched rugby with him and we pretty much bonded over that.

Being of svelte build and a prime target of bullying I've never played even though I did want to I just had no desire for would of been a prime targeting affair. It took to 2 years ago before I did any kind of regular exercise.

As note I think I started watching regularly after 1995 world cup aged 11ish.
 

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Played at school, but really got interested in the game when England kept beating France in the 90s. What was is it 6-7 wins in a row? That long run that only came to a end at the 95 RWC in the third place play off. Loved the way Moore kept winding up the French and how England made the French implode each time. Followed the internationals ever since. Watched All the 5/6 nations and World Cup since 1991.

It Filled in the gaps and coincided with my interest in football waning mainly due to Liverpool’s decline in the 90s and when I realised how overrated England football team were at international level in the 00s. International Rugby and watching the tennis are my two main interests, when watching sports, amongst other big sporting events.
 

Ticklishchap

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I started playing rugby at the age of 7 when that and cricket was the only male sport the school I was at had (this was pre-1994 election). So all the boys played rugby in the winter, and cricket in the summer.
Our schools were probably quite similar: mine was all-boys’, but multi-ethnic/international, which would probably not have been possible for your school at that time. There were a lot of sports on offer, including riding, shooting, athletics - and football as well. We had a Cadet Corps as well with sections for the 3 Armed Forces. Cricket I didn’t get into so much; I liked the culture associated with it and wearing Cricket jumpers, etc., but I somehow didn’t work up much enthusiasm for the game.
We sat on the East pavillion about 5 rows from the front. It was an exciting match to watch, and for a kid it was a lot of fun hearing how my dad and his friend tried to pronounce the french players names and surnames in their very strong Afrikaans accent.
We have quite a lot of Afrikaans speakers here in the UK now, especially in London and the South East. There is even an Afrikaaner restaurant near where I work (although I haven’t been there for a while because of working from home and restaurants being closed anyway). I really like the accent and have heard that the language is easy to learn. Maybe I should try. We have isiXhosa and isiZulu speakers as well.
 

Ticklishchap

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My Dad played to a 'reasonable' level at school he essentially played in an U17 team from age 13. We had very different interests whilst I was growing up(his entire outlook was sport and wasn't interested at the time), after trying hard and failing to get into football I watched rugby with him and we pretty much bonded over that.

Being of svelte build and a prime target of bullying I've never played even though I did want to I just had no desire for would of been a prime targeting affair. It took to 2 years ago before I did any kind of regular exercise.

As note I think I started watching regularly after 1995 world cup aged 11ish.
I’m not a ‘natural’ athlete either but I just made myself do it because I wanted to and because I had some very good coaches and I made some very good friends in the team. There were advantages to playing in a House team at school as well. I came to enjoy it and continued with it at university.
 

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Hailing from the north east originally which is very much overwhelmingly football territory, rugby union was something I was only vaguely aware of as a kid. I remember watching the 2003 and 2007 World Cups and wanting England to win but a part from that and watching the odd 6N game or autumn international I wasn’t too fussed.

This all changed during the last Word Cup. My enthusiasm for football has been waning in recent years mostly because my childhood team Sunderland have been in constant decline and I find the Premier League boring. I watched the RWC in Japan avidly and was particularly enamoured with England’s performance against the All Blacks. Shortly after the RWC I attended my first Wasps game (I now live in Warwickshire) and my interest and enthusiasm has gone from strength to strength.
 

Ticklishchap

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Played at school, but really got interested in the game when England kept beating France in the 90s. What was is it 6-7 wins in a row? That long run that only came to a Watched All the 5/6 nations and World Cup since 1991.
Ditto re. playing at school and watching all the 5/6 Nations since 1991. I was already interested by the 1990s because I had finished school and uni by then!
 

Ticklishchap

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Hailing from the north east originally which is very much overwhelmingly football territory, rugby union was something I was only vaguely aware of as a kid. I remember watching the 2003 and 2007 World Cups and wanting England to win but a part from that and watching the odd 6N game or autumn international I wasn’t too fussed.

This all changed during the last Word Cup. My enthusiasm for football has been waning in recent years mostly because my childhood team Sunderland have been in constant decline and I find the Premier League boring. I watched the RWC in Japan avidly and was particularly enamoured with England’s performance against the All Blacks. Shortly after the RWC I attended my first Wasps game (I now live in Warwickshire) and my interest and enthusiasm has gone from strength to strength.
Re. Sunderland, may I ask if the term Mackem is still used by Sunderland folk to describe themselves?
 

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