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  • Rugby Football
  • Premier Icon mefty
    Free Member

    A couple of things have led me to re-evaluate the values of this great game and as there are a number of people involved in the game at a grass roots level and avid followers on here, there might be some interesting views.

    The first is this tragic story about this Newcastle student who died as a result of his initiation at Newcastle University Rugby Club.  Whilst I am perfectly aware that initiation processes are part and parcel of some clubs, a guy I played with it school, who my father rated very highly (he was no mean judge of Rugby talent, especially in his position), didn’t play the game at University because he wasn’t prepared to put up with the crap (literally) involved in the initiation.  As a result he was lost to the sport forever.  On the other hand, a friend’s son went through the battering at TCD involved in their initiation.  So first I would be interested to know of people’s experiences.

    Second, I caught up with this article in the Spectator and I think it raises some pertinent points, so the question is has the game become complacent about its historic values?

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    I thought it was Newcastle Agrics Soc?

    Did my phd in Agriculture department, I was certainly not a member!!

    Premier Icon mefty
    Free Member

    You are quite correct, but the question still stands albeit it is not so current!

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    I stopped playing when I went to uni, the posh toffs drinking culture did not sit well with me. The clubs I had played for before were not like that, uni rugby seemed public schoolboy dominated.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    I played ( a very little bit) for clubs in adult teams when I was 15 /16.  No initiations or anything like that.  I din’t play at uni.  The rugger buggers at uni were a pretty unpleasant bunch

    Premier Icon tor5
    Full Member

    Link to article missing?

    Premier Icon mefty
    Free Member

    Maybe I was part of the problem!  I was certainly a public school boy and I drank more than needed, but it was hardly restricted to rugby players, the only college sport that didnt have a drinking culture was rowing.  At a University level, there wasn’t a big drinking culture as it was too serious.

    Premier Icon mefty
    Free Member

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/07/how-gentlemen-supplanted-hooligans-in-football/

    I really struggle with this website now, apologies as it raises arguably the more fundamental issues.

    Premier Icon outofbreath
    Free Member

    I played club rugby for a couple of clubs in different parts of the country and at Uni. No kind of initiation of any kind at the clubs. At Uni there was an initiation which, whilst un-pleasant, I enjoyed in a masochistic way and look back on almost with a bit of pride. I don’t think anyone takes a register at initiations, if someone doesn’t fancy it just don’t turn up.

    Also no law that says you have to play for a Uni side when you’re at Uni, if you don’t fancy it just play for a local club.

    I only knew 3 people who died Rugby related deaths while they were still playing, two due to alcohol and one freak heart attack on the pitch. Far from dying/initiation hassle I’d have though the real danger of rugby is carrying injuries and bodily  ‘wear and tear’ into later life, which I think is bordering on typical.

    Premier Icon Caher
    Full Member

    I went to uni as a footie player (at 19 I played semi pro) but ended up in a flat in my first year with the rugger boys. And me being built more like a prop than a footballer ended up having having a go at it. By my 3rd year I played in the first team and representing the uni in 5 aside football select.

    i just loved sport so did not think too much into the socioeconomic consequences of it all.

    Premier Icon petec
    Free Member

    i used to play rugby at county and divisional level in my teens. Started at 4, and lived it (six days a week when 16-17). Played at twickenham. Couple of colleagues played for the Lions, quite a few for various premiership squads

    I refused to play at university, mostly due to the culture. Bearing in mind I’d been on many tours, with many “judge and juries” and been through many initiations, i found it a bit much.

    Stayed out of it for over 20 years, but my son is now getting into it. Tours still go on, but it appears it’s more the parents (who now have to go on tour) rather than the actual players that partake in the drinking culture.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    Played school and club until uni. Then played uni and club, then left and played club.

    No initiations, all bar the clubs in South of England had a “few beers” after. Being a youngster we tore the arse out of it. Borders rugby isn’t posh boys.

    Lot’s of “judge and jury” tours but if you stepped out it was fine.

    Also this wasn’t rugger buggers it was more likely students being arses. It’s almost an annual happening and I earn my pupils about it when they’re leaving school. It’s in my “don’t be a dick” chat.

    Premier Icon mefty
    Free Member

    Also no law that says you have to play for a Uni side when you’re at Uni, if you don’t fancy it just play for a local club.

    This is of course true but if it had been me (and he shared a similar background) in the same position I wouldn’t have known where to start as I had absolutely no experience of club rugby as we moved around alot as my father was in the forces.  This is hardly the game’s fault though.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    My brother (who had barely touched a drop by the time he went to uni) refused to go near the rugby team for just this reason. Probably could have been a first team bench or second team leader at his uni, switched to American football. Star of the team by 3rd year.

    Premier Icon duckman
    Full Member

    I went to Uni at 30 and was playing a far higher standard than the Uni team did. There was a very definite Northern Irish look to the Uni sides, I went to the trial match and played the odd game in first year, but some of the better senior players were at my club so I wasn’t singled out. The way they carried on in the Union the odd time I was there made me not go back for second year, violent and rapey are two words that spring to mind.

    Premier Icon redmex
    Free Member

    Just google Howe of Fife initiation, can’t believe what goes on, glad I never wanted to play rugby

    Premier Icon duckman
    Full Member

    Redmex, I know a couple ofthe guys involved in it. The initial violation was bad enough, the fact some well…sadist…decided it would be funny to kick the bottle is beyond belief.

    Premier Icon mark88
    Full Member

    It is what it is. I’ve been at teams with initiations (Uni had initiations for freshers then again as tour virgins) and more serious clubs with nothing. In my experience most clubs will do something on your first away game but nothing worth writing home about – ours is tell an embarrassing story about yourself, down a pint, sing a song.

    The uni initiations, although horrible, were brilliant, it was real bonding experience and being awarded with your tie at the end of it was a moment of real significance for an 18 year old.

    There were lads at uni that never got involved with the drinking side of things (including initiations) but still played every Wednesday. I doubt any of those have friends from rugby that they’re still in touch with, whereas I made friends for life. Initiations, boozy socials, tours and fancy dress nights out were the best parts of uni.

    I think the whole ‘game played by gentlemen’ thing has always been a load of rubbish. The game back in the day was riddled with violent cheap shots and wild characters, but because they spoke to the ref with respect it somehow made it gentlemanly. I’d say all the off field stuff always went on, but because the England players aren’t team mates with policemen any more so it doesn’t get swept under the carpet.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    The uni initiations, although horrible, were brilliant

    Just does not compute!

    Premier Icon binners
    Full Member

    I remember from my uni days that if there was a gang of boorish braying bell end being a bunch of cocks in the student union bar, you could put your house on It being the rugby club

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    if there was a gang of boorish braying bell end being a bunch of cocks in the student union bar

    In Newcastle it could well have been the Agrics…bunch of entitled posh ****.

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)

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