Muddied Oafs: The Soul of Rugby
There is Rugby Union: the fast, compelling, TV-friendly combat sport in which sponsored gladiators are sold on their ability to crash into each other at top speed, and sometimes even to avoid each other and score. And then there's rugger. Rugger was once the serious version of rugby, more than a mere game, a fierce contact-sport developed in Victorian public schools to forge manly and unshakeable character. For a hundred years boys played rugger and made themselves into men. They also drank too much beer and took their trousers down in public. The dark-side of rugger the man-maker is the recidivist, the dreaded English rugger-bugger. Setting out to examine this contradiction, Richard Beard tries to reconcile contrasting views of rugby and rugger with the diversity of characters he meets, from Booker Prize winning authors to former England hookers. He explores rugby's rivalry with soccer, its influence on the first World War, its surprising attraction for non-conformists, and it's unlikely role in international organised crime. And all the while he's trying to get himself a game. This is Beard's quest into his rugby-playing past, where he's lived the sport in many of its varied forms. By the end of his wayward journey, he almost qualifies to judge whether rugger has achieved what the Victorians always intended, and made him a better man.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
afternoon amateur Apache Argyll Australia ball Bataard boys Brian Moore Bruno Cambridge captain centre changing room clubhouse coach Craobh Haven Davy Dick Tilley drinking eyes feel France French rugby full-back game of rugby Geneva Gerald Seymour happened Hayley James Keneally kick league Lochgilphead London Irish look manly match Mid-Argyll Midsomer Norton morning never Norwich Olympic Parc des Princes Paris Pembroke College Pilou pitch played for England playing rugby professional rugby public schools Radley College referee remember Rhys rugby club Rugby Football rugby league rugby players rugby union Rugby World rugby's rugger rugger-bugger Saturday says score scrum SCUF season Sheasby shinty shirts soccer sport Stade stadium started Swiss Switzerland tackle talk tells there's Thomas Keneally Tony Trevor Wright turn Twickenham watch week Welsh Woody World Cup Zealand