Motivated by World Cup heroics our blogger Kevin Eason decides to take up rugby for the first time
This is a Rugby World advertorial.
In the first of a four-part series in conjunction with Microsoft Windows 10 and written in his own words, Rugby World welcomes #therugbybeginner.
My name is Kevin Eason. I’m a happy-go-lucky 36-year-old originally from East London, married to Danielle and father of a two-year-old son, Eddie. With a dream to live by the sea and away from ‘The Smoke’, my family and I recently upped sticks to Leigh-on-Sea on the Essex Riviera.
I’ve never been into rugby, partly because I wasn’t blessed with the genetics – I’ve been termed pocket-sized at 5ft 8in and nudging 11-and-a-half stone dripping wet – that and the fact I went to a school that didn’t even play the game. If I’m honest, I’ve always looked at rugby as a game for public schoolboys.
I was brought up on a diet of football and boxing. I laced up the gloves in my early teens but gave it up because I wasn’t happy coming second, in a two-horse race!
In my mind, I’m a more talented footballer than the actual reality but I love watching and playing all sport, for what it stands for and how it makes you feel.
Often when playing or watching I forget the pressures of everyday life and become totally immersed. That’s when my competitive instinct kicks-in. The challenge, the passion and friendships made all resonate highly with me.
With a Rugby World Cup on home turf, I thought it was about time I showed an interest. Typically it didn’t start well – I missed the opening ceremony. The local had a few guest ales on and to mark the occasion invited a few of the punters – I was originally planning to get back in time but somehow got waylaid…
On the first Saturday, however, I did find time to sit down and watch the Japan facing the mighty Springboks.
I took to Japan straight away because there was a little fella, Tanaka the scrum-half, even smaller than me, which shows it’s not just for giants.
Even with my limited rugby knowledge I was aware of South Africa’s two World Cup wins and the commentator filled me in on Japan’s grand total of one World Cup win, back in 1991, but this was toe-to-toe, edge-of-the-seat stuff and I was hooked.
During the second half I grabbed my Microsoft Surface Pro 3, running Windows 10 and got stuck into Twitter and Facebook. The Brave Blossoms, which I found out was their nickname, were already trending. ‘Go on Japan’ and ‘Come on the Brave Blossoms’ started filling my timeline.
It was unbelievable. The Japanese fans were crying in the stands and everyone was going crazy, while the South Africans looked in shock. It was sporting drama on an epic scale! On Facebook I posted: “Well done Japan, the best game I’ve ever seen.”
For the first time ever I started looking for information about rugby using Microsoft Edge. When were the next games? Who were the star players? What were the betting odds? And importantly, who was expected to win? I even asked Cortana to trawl for rugby apps in the store. Over the next few days I started thinking about rugby more and more…
By Tuesday, whilst watching (not listening) to some cake programme I made a decision. I was going to give rugby a go.
I was going to actually make an effort and train with a proper local team, impress the wife and make my son proud and be the next Jason Robinson! Okay, maybe the last part is pushing it but what’s the worst thing that could happen?
Filled with excitement and optimism, I opened up my Surface Pro 3 and got typing.
To be continued…