Rugby Bits & Bites: Day 4

Hey … I don’t have a headache yet from my soda sobriety on Day 4. It could be the latent effects of the coffee I had after work (damn you starbucks) and the ice tea I had at my rugby meeting last night. But I did not have a soda!!

Just to clarify … because I had to explain this to the boyfriend too … I’m not quitting drinking caffeine. Caffeine is my friend. We will never part. Not even if she tries to make out with Big T the boyfriend. Caffeine + Blondie = BFFs. But I am quitting my daily soda habit of at least 2+ cans of Diet Mt. Dew per day.

Naturally, if I’m not downing the Dew all day long, my consumption level of caffeine will also drop and has already (other than yesterday). And I’m not ingesting all the other artificial crap in soda that would probably cause me to be some mummfied relic by my 50s.

I’m hoping to get to the point where I might have a cup of tea to wake up in the morning, but only if I feel like it. And since it’s only water and the tea, no extras, I’m going to feel better without all the preservatives and what not racing through my bloodstream. And I very rarely treat myself to a White Chocolate Mocha because they are expensive and full of too much sugar and frothy goodness.

Anyway, on to some more rugby goodness I dug up today …

• Via Rugby Reader’s Review, there’s going to be a rugby movie – “Forever Strong” – featuring Sean Astin (of Goonies, Rudy and Lord of the Rings fame), Neal McDonough (Minority Report, Walking Tall) and Gary Cole (Office Space, The West Wing, Talladega Nights). Gary Cole will be portraying Highland HS (Utah) Rugby coach Larry Gelwix. According to IMDB’s plot outline, “A talented-but-troubled rugby player (Faris) must play against the team his father (McDonough) coaches at the national championship.”

The movie is currently in post-production, so we’ll likely see it in 2008.

• Current Cal Rugby coach and former USA Eagle and USA National Team coach Tom Billups writes a monthly column for RugbyRugby. This month, he discusses one of the important lessons he teaches at his rugby camps, being properly outfitted to play rugby.

“Tuck them in and pull them up.” These are the first words our summer rugby campers hear from me after our welcoming meeting and a request I make to almost each group of rugby athletes I have worked with. Tuck in your jerseys and pull up your rugby socks. Please.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working with 11- to 19-year-old players each summer is that many are brand new to the game of rugby and I get to “see” the game through their eyes for the first time all over again. Among the many lessons we teach at our camp is the need for proper rugby gear. I often try to use a little humor when I say “Mike Tyson doesn’t play rugby” to those players who walk onto Witter Rugby Field with no-show white socks on. Tyson chose to not wear socks in the ring.

Players who are new to the game often suffer a double “I don’t.” The first is that they simply don’t have any proper rugby gear, which is not only understandable, but also very correctable. The second is that they do not know that it is important to wear proper rugby socks, shorts and jersey when training or playing the game of rugby.

• Via our friend Rugger Blogger in NZ, you can download the World Cup schedule into your outlook calendar or find the whole schedule here (which I’ll add to the sidebar). Only 42 days left!

• Via All Blacks.com, New Zealand’s Farrah Palmer was elected to be an Independent Director for the NZ Maori Rugby Board.

Former Black Ferns captain Farah Palmer was today elected as a new Independent Director of the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board.

34-year-old Dr Palmer succeeds Bill Osborne, who has stepped down.

New Zealand Maori Rugby Board Chairman Paul Quinn said Palmer brought a wealth of experience to the Board.

“Farah is a highly-respected Maori woman, Maori leader, academic, rugby player and administrator. She is passionate about the sport and Maori rugby in particular and I am sure that we will benefit from her extensive knowledge and experience in the game,” Quinn said.

Palmer captained the New Zealand Women to three World Cup titles, in addition to earning her PhD.

“New Zealand rugby is entering a challenging, yet exciting time and it is a real honour for me to be in a position to contribute further to the development of the game in this country, not just for the Maori people, but the wider rugby community.

“Even though I am not playing anymore, I still have a lot to offer rugby and I feel I can make a meaningful contribution to how we take the game forward,” she said.

• Via the BBC, The Welsh Women’s Rugby Union will be officially a full member of the Welsh Rugby Union, and not on it’s own.

The Welsh Women’s Rugby Union is to be brought under the overall structure of the Welsh Rugby Union.

The change, that disbands the WWRU as a stand-alone union, was agreed after a unanimous vote of its member clubs.

“This is an important step forward for women’s rugby in Wales,” said WWRU manager Jilly Holroyd.

“There are many reasons – financial included – why it will benefit the women’s game, none more so than a better partnership with the WRU.”

And John’s discussing it with the Letchworth Girls.

But overall the impression you get is that being part of a single governing body measurably benefits the women’s game – look at the USA and Canada, where women’s rugby has been a full part of their rugby unions for ten years or more. Remember how much girls’ rugby is played around where IE Weldon came from, and – perhaps even more importantly – the positive attitudes there seemed to be towards it. Or maybe it would be better to say the lack of attitude – it was the routine acceptance of the women’s game that was so impressive, the impression that every school that had a boys rugby team would of course have a girls team too. It barely needs saying how far we are from that!

It’s true here in the USA. We may not get as much support as the men, but it’s pretty much considered a given in most places that if we have a male team, there should also be a female team. It’s not that way in every culture. John also points out that England’s men’s and women’s rugby unions are still separate.

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4 Comments

Filed under Rugby: Bits and Bites

4 responses to “Rugby Bits & Bites: Day 4

  1. Alan

    One of my favorite players as a young rugger was England great Dean Richards. Tom Billups might not approve of his shirt or socks, but I think he looked great.

    http://www.sporting-heroes.net/files_rugby/RICHARDS_Dea_19861011_GH_L.jpg

  2. Alan

    hmmm…that didn’t work.

  3. Alan

    I just read Billups’s article, and it brings up an interesting point. He said that, as a hooker, is was problematic to wear too large a jersey, which makes sense.

    However, as a prop, I can’t stand it when a hooker’s jersey is particularly tight and tucked in…I want SOME jersey to grab, rather than having my fingers clawing into his flesh.

  4. Em

    Alan, my team just got new jerseys and as a hooker, I’m swimming in mine. It comes nearly down to my knees. It’s HORRIBLE. I really wish they had done something other than order all Ls for the forwards and all Ms for the backs. Ugh.

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