By Rugby World reader, Sam Humphrey
Playing University rugby is almost akin to going to watch live music having just developed a terrible migraine. Wednesday off lectures and seminars means heavy drinking Tuesday night. So throwing yourself around and getting continually smashed for eighty minutes by 19 stone props must be the worst idea in the world.
But we love it.
Depending on the level you play at, this punishment can be relatively mild, or if you’re any good, the abuse you get is not disimilair to that of Susan Boyle at a Gok Wan Road show.
For example, I play for Huddersfield University, where the amount of beer you drink makes you more of a winner than the amount of tries you score in a meaningless rugby game against Sheffield’s 65th team.
On the other hand, in around ten days time, I will be taking in the Stan Calvert Memorial cup, where the finest athletes from Newcastle and Northumbria University will do battle.
Whereas a few beers may make Huddersfield’s members better players, it can be all that great for a team that actually want to win.
And believe me, they want to win.
Earlier this year, Leeds had it’s annual varsity between the University and the Metropolitan and over 7,000 people were in attendance.
That’s how serious university sport has become.
Leeds Carnegie’s average attendance at the same venue that the varsity took place at, is around three and a half thousand. Says it all really.
I got a Facebook message from my captain this week.
It read, and I quote, ‘does anyone know any wingers, full backs or centres that fancy a game on Wednesday’.
The difference between the top and the bottom is incredible.
So next Sunday night, I will be standing in a freezing stadium, about 100miles from home, watching 15 hung-over young men going to war with another 15 hung-over young men.
And after the game, do you know what they’ll do?
Get the beers in I guess.