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How did your Rugby interest start?

Tallshort

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When I was about 8 my dad worked out I was never going to be any good at football due to my general all round clumsiness. He tried me at gymnastics but again being clumsy and the only boy there didn't float my boat so he took me to Rugby. I am surprised he didn't earlier given he would take me to watch Tigers from an early age but this was the mid 80s and mini rugby was still in its infancy.

Really enjoyed playing, was one of the only kids in my school who played it and I always liked being different plus I never got football or the hype around it. Still don't now.

Fell out of love with it in my teens as I didn't start growing till a bit later and kept finding myself being the smallest player on the pitch which isn't great for a flanker so packed in at 15/16.

Went in the army not long after that and started growing/getting fit/confident etc but didn't play much in the army. Used to go and watch games etc but playing tended to interfere with my other new found interests like women and beer. Saying that I will never forget watching the Lions 2nd Test in 97 on a big, new thing called a widescreen tv in the squadron bar and celebrating for at least 2 nights afterwards so the love was still there.

Left the Army in 99 and went back to stay at my parents while I got sorted out, problem was they had moved so I didn't know anyone where I was now living. My dad suggested I go and play rugby at the local club as my younger brother was playing colts up these and was enjoying it so I did and it was the best thing I every did. Played on and off for several seasons then packed in when my match fishing got serious. Started again at 35 and played a couple more seasons and was going to give it a go again last year at 45 but covid got in the way.

Rugby Union has its flaws but its the best fit in terms of mentality, values and passion for me. I have never liked football, find the whole thing boring and over dramatic and the people who avidly follow it dull and lacking in humour (which I know is unfair). Thats not to say my eyes don't roll round the back of my scull when I hear some of the crap you hear at Twickenham or want to tell people at Welford road to stop bloody shushing me when someones taking a kick at goal but grass roots rugby is the most inclusive and rewarding sports you can be involved in and I have certainly taken plenty out of it.
 

Which Tyler

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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.
Exactly, my brother an I went to school as normal school kids - and coming from England we were both about a year ahead of our peers there, so flourished; dad worked and had a normal enough life.
Mum was a bored housewife in a strange country with nothing to do and not knowing anyone; and couldn't get used to the fact that everything closed at 5; nothing was open at the weekend, and once the last shipment of food (or anything else imported) had run out, there was no more until Monday. I don't blame her at all for being miserable (though I feel I can blame both my parents for not thinking about that sort of thing as grown-arse adults at the time).
We came back to the UK after 9 months.



Fell out of love with it in my teens as I didn't start growing till a bit later and kept finding myself being the smallest player on the pitch which isn't great for a flanker so packed in at 15/16.
Same on that bit.
I was the small, unpopular kid who wasn't good enough at anything to overcome being small (and classically, devloped humour as a self-protection mechanism).
I played flanker as a kid because my brother had been a flankers (and a good one) - so where else would I play.
I enjoyed haring all over the place, and I enjoyed tackling; but would typically get steamrollered due to being small, and rucked to smitherines due to being unpopular. I also quit the game aged 15, and found a sport I was genuinely good at in squash - which had no cache at school.
Tried rugby again at Uni, and found that I was a natural at 9 - or at least, as natural as I was going to be at any position - I actually had a good pass, a decent snipe, and punched above my weight in the tackle - for a 9; and I got to hare around all over the place and annoy people.
 

Ticklishchap

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Exactly, my brother an I went to school as normal school kids - and coming from England we were both about a year ahead of our peers there, so flourished; dad worked and had a normal enough life.
Mum was a bored housewife in a strange country with nothing to do and not knowing anyone; and couldn't get used to the fact that everything closed at 5; nothing was open at the weekend, and once the last shipment of food (or anything else imported) had run out, there was no more until Monday. I don't blame her at all for being miserable (though I feel I can blame both my parents for not thinking about that sort of thing as grown-arse adults at the time).
We came back to the UK after 9 months.
In Australia at the beginning of the 70s, the country was on the cusp of change. The infamous White Australia policy was coming to an end; I was friends with a Chinese boy at school in Melbourne, which illustrates that change. We left in 1972.
When my parents arrived in the mid-60s, they had voting rights automatically because they were British! Within two years, they had to vote (voting compulsory as I think in NZ) in a referendum on giving citizenship and the vote to Aboriginal Australians. This was weird: they had only just arrived in the country and they were voting on the rights of people who had been there for many thousands of years. The vote was successful, showing that most Australians are more fair-minded than they are sometimes given credit for.
 

Ticklishchap

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Went in the army not long after that and started growing/getting fit/confident etc but didn't play much in the army. Used to go and watch games etc but playing tended to interfere with my other new found interests like women and beer. Saying that I will never forget watching the Lions 2nd Test in 97 on a big, new thing called a widescreen tv in the squadron bar and celebrating for at least 2 nights afterwards so the love was still there.
I strongly considered the Army because I enjoyed being in the Army section of Corps at school and then uni. I have to confess I was also very interested for a time in the RN. This was back in the ‘80s. Partly because I couldn’t decide between the two services, I got an entirely different job in the charity sector and moved into property management. I still to an extent regret that decision and I enjoyed the limited military experience I had as a schoolboy and student.
 

Yulia

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I'm quite new in it. I started to watch rugby because I had more free time last year (due to Coronavirus pandemic). I've heard of it before of course and saw a couple of matches but I didn't know a lot about the game and had more a stereotypical opinion about it ("a bunch of big men doing something with a ball and fighting sometimes").
Although I never played it (and I'm not going to play it to be honest) and there are no rugby funs among my friends/acquaintances,I found out it's a SUPER exciting game: from an incredible energy and passion of players to complicated rules.
And I still have a hope to visit a real match :D
 

Tallshort

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I strongly considered the Army because I enjoyed being in the Army section of Corps at school and then uni. I have to confess I was also very interested for a time in the RN. This was back in the ‘80s. Partly because I couldn’t decide between the two services, I got an entirely different job in the charity sector and moved into property management. I still to an extent regret that decision and I enjoyed the limited military experience I had as a schoolboy and student.
Yeah the forces were a bit of mixed bag to be honest. Yes had some good experiences etc but I joined very young was quite immature and easily led. I would have been better waiting until I was in my 20s but still the life of a squaddie isnt a great one. You tend to take **** from all manor of directions particularly when you're a young sprog. Kind of makes you a bit angry and resentful.
 

Ticklishchap

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Yeah the forces were a bit of mixed bag to be honest. Yes had some good experiences etc but I joined very young was quite immature and easily led. I would have been better waiting until I was in my 20s but still the life of a squaddie isnt a great one. You tend to take **** from all manor of directions particularly when you're a young sprog. Kind of makes you a bit angry and resentful.
I can easily understand all of that and the recruitment age for squaddies was very young. If I had joined as a career it would have been in my early 20s after uni. At school and uni we were to a large extent shielded from the reality and there was a lot of ‘playing soldiers’ and farting about (both literally and metaphorically). There were some good lectures on global politics (this was the Cold War era), good training and good role models in some of the Instructors and Officers, who were all interesting chaps.
 
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OhEastBelfast

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I'm quite new in it. I started to watch rugby because I had more free time last year (due to Coronavirus pandemic). I've heard of it before of course and saw a couple of matches but I didn't know a lot about the game and had more a stereotypical opinion about it ("a bunch of big men doing something with a ball and fighting sometimes").
Although I never played it (and I'm not going to play it to be honest) and there are no rugby funs among my friends/acquaintances,I found out it's a SUPER exciting game: from an incredible energy and passion of players to complicated rules.
And I still have a hope to visit a real match :D
I love this reply! For many in UK and Ireland, we are brought up with it...siblings play, or you go to a school where its played....its great to see someone just pick up an interest and start to follow! I hope you make it to Ireland for a game! :)
 

bushytop

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My grandfather took me to the old Carfiff Arms Park to watch Jonathan Davies vs David Campese (or that was how he sold it to me at least) in the Barbarians vs Australia match in 1988. The whole experience blew my 9 year old mind. Australia won the match but it was a great introduction to rugby. I had just started playing rugby in my Primary school a couple of months earlier and even though I was enjoying it, it was only after my first November International that I was all in.
 

Nordschleife

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I saw a couple of match on TV when I was young.
But I come from a French region where rugby isn't very popular...

When I was 11 a sport teacher cames from Beziers and let us discover rugby. Thanks to him.
 

Ticklishchap

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I saw a couple of match on TV when I was young.
But I come from a French region where rugby isn't very popular...

When I was 11 a sport teacher cames from Beziers and let us discover rugby. Thanks to him.
Yes, for me it was my class tutor when I was 11 (at a boys’ boarding school here in England). He really got me interested! At the larger boarding school I attended from 13-18 my House Master was also very keen on Rugby and I played for a House team.
It seems to be Southwest France where the interest in Rugby is greatest - rather than the Southeast where I think you are from?
 

Welsh Exile

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I had no choice really as I’ve had a ball in my hand since 6 but definitely cemented my love for the game when my dad took me to watch Neath v Australia at the Gnoll when I was about 8 years old.
 

Ticklishchap

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I had no choice really as I’ve had a ball in my hand since 6 but definitely cemented my love for the game when my dad took me to watch Neath v Australia at the Gnoll when I was about 8 years old.
6 is an early age to start!
 

Ticklishchap

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Can’t remember the exact age I started minis but probably about then. Was chucking a ball around with my big brother before that more than likely but I can barely remember last week let alone that long ago.
Oh yes, I know the feeling. ...!
I think I started at around 9 but really got into it around 11 and became motivated and interested.
 

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