By Sam Perkins, Blackheath player and Rugby World reader
I was once told a rugby player is fitter, stronger, harder and prettier than any footballer could be. I like to look at myself and see a typical piece of evidence to this suggestion. Rugby players are up there with the fittest of athletes. Alongside boxers, swimmers and decathlon participants, rugby demands testing dedication and fitness. I saw this in my recent viewing of the ‘Lion’s Tour of South Africa.’ I was disappointed to have missed the spectacular excursion our boys did in the summer, however, thanks to a certain ‘Centre’ teammate of mine, I was leant the DVD and on my way to witnessing (and on some level undergoing with them) the battle and union they went through.
In many blogs to come I shall refer to the ‘Tour’ on my subjects, starting with our current topic of fitness. I thought props were meant to be fat?! Sheridan, Vickery and Jones don’t have an ounce on them. Sheridan is a man mountain, shoulders wider than my bed posts and a grudge to go with it. Phil Vickery; now there’s a man who gets pumped up for a game. Respect goes fully to these legends. Which brings me to my prop fitness…I’m lacking! Looks like I need to get a lot fitter, have a bit more vigour, and gain some general ability if I’m going to start playing like the English front row. Last Saturday I got a chance to play at flanker. There I am thinking, “My chance to not run around so much, props have to do a lot more running than these fellows, right? Nope.” Probably more in fact. There’s no getting out of it, I’m going to have to start running in games, and maybe lose the dinosaur movement that has been dubbed to my jogging technique.
Still no try, don’t worry it’ll come soon.