Last Friday saw the start of the eighth Rugby World Cup, hosted for the first time by England on its own. With the spotlight temporarily on the sport, what life lessons can it really teach us?
With England hosting the Rugby World Cup this year for the first time in over 20 years, and 12 years since one of the UK nations won the title, never has there been a better opportunity to raise the profile of the sport (and win again on home soil!)
I think rugby is one of the greatest sports in the world. Although its origins can be found in a game of the country's most popular sport, there isn't as much of a desire for kids to pick up a rugby ball.
And if you were ask children which sports star they wanted to be, you will likely hear Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo rather than Jonny Wilkinson or Lawrence Dallaglio. With World Cup season now in full swing, here are five lessons that the sport of rugby can teach us all (and teach us better than football!):
Respect is an important part of the game of rugby, from players to fans. Players listen to the referee and do as they are told, and are never seen arguing with their decisions.
There isn’t much chance of seeing rugby players diving, feigning injury or attempting to con the referee. In fact, a rugby player is much more likely to try the opposite, and convince the referee they are not hurt! Players train many hours a day working towards the 80 minute game they will play.
You may think that most athletes show pride in their country and passion for their sport, but where else would you see an opening to a game like this?
In football you often see a lot of controversy between fans and players. In the past, rugby has had similar issues, but players are well known for saying "what happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch". No matter what, all players shake hands once the whistle blows for the end of the match.
Village football squads don’t socialise with the opposition after the game, but it’s the norm in rugby. After every game you will see players back at the clubhouse with the opposition, discussing and evaluating the match.
With simple ways to play such tag rugby, and so many resources to help children enjoy the game, never has there been such a great reason to get involved in the sport. So why not give it a go?