Rugby The Players, The Fans, The Family, The Game.


Rugby is one of the toughest sports out there. You have to be physically strong to play it as well as mentally strong. Rugby has been around since 1823, it is an old sport accompanied with a strong background and tradition. Rugby to many is not just a sport, but a way of life. Some countries revolve around it, with it being their only accolade many take it extremely seriously. But to me what makes Rugby great is the fact that it brings people together. The family aspect that is formed between the players, or fans is what is truly special to me.Rugby has only been officially around since about the early 1830’s, but different types/forms of rugby have been around since the 1200’s. The earliest official form of Rugby came about in 1823 when William Webb Ellis was at Rugby school. With disregards to the rules of football he picked up the ball and started to play a different way. More information on this story can be found in rugby football history.

What is Rugby

Now Rugby is very different compared to many traditional American contact sports. Rugby Union is the main type of Rugby played all over the world it involves 15 players from each team to be on the field at one time. The game is two, 40 minute quarters divided by about a 10 minute halftime. The point of the game is to score try’s and field goals. A try is when a player runs in the opposing teams try zone and sets the ball down. A try is five points while a field-goal is two. The most confusing part about Rugby is how it is played, you can move the ball forward by running it or kicking it, but not passing it. You can pass the ball but you have to pass it backwards. to many, the most exciting thing about Rugby is the violent hits and plays. It may look barbaric but in reality the hits are usually calculated. One of the biggest things that coaches preach is form. We do not wear any protective gear other than a mouth piece because we are expected to play right, most of the gear we are interested in is special cleats. World Rugby has the greatest shopping for items and gear. If we do not play right or with proper form, then a coach will not let you play at all. That is why Rugby builds character and strength. Now a full page of Rugby Union rules is available here.

Me, Myself and Rugby

Rugby has affected me greatly. I have only been playing it for one semester here at Marshall but it has already changed me so much. The biggest difference I have seen in myself is that I enjoy team work now and that I have gained a new respect for things that involve a struggle or that have a hard path to get there. Rugby is 100% a team sport, everyone involved needs to play together to succeed. Pictures of the Marshall Rugby team are available at Marshall Mens Club. Your team is only as strong as your weakest player. With the teamwork that Rugby has shown me, I have learned not to give up and to sometimes rely in others for help and that you do not have to do everything alone. Also, as stated before, Rugby is an extremely physical and hard-fought sport. Going through the physical struggles of Rugby it has taught me to appreciate anyone or anything that requires hard work. Because you don’t know the struggles they have had to take to get to where they are.

Families made, Bonds Forged

The greatest thing about Rugby is the families and bonds made. These bonds are what holds the community and the people together. Because Rugby is such a team oriented sport, you have to learn to trust and learn to play with your teammates. Trusting your teammates is something that happens on and off the field. Bonding with your teammates is something that happens on and off the field. Yes, Rugby is amazing and fun, but some of the best times I have had were on the car rides back from a match or when we have dinners as a team at Buffalo Wild Wings or the Rugby house. Some of the stupidest things I have ever done were done at the Rugby house on a Saturday night, these are all memories made and ways we bond. In the end though, you grow to trust your brothers with all you have. You depend on them to win games and they depend on you. One of my favorite things about Rugby is the traditions that we have here at Marshall. My favorite is the “Zulu Warrior Challenge” tradition. The challenge and title of Zulu warrior is placed on a new player when they score their first try. It usually takes place at the Rugby house during Alumni weekend. The challenge consists of someone doing something appointed to them by the previous person who did the challenge. It usually involves bad decisions and regrets, but everyone who is involved usually has a great time. The best part about this tradition is that no phones are allowed at this event to keep some decency and respect. But things like these are what forges the bonds and family feeling that we all have. It may only be a Marshall thing but is something we all respect and take seriously. All of the underclassmen have agreed that when we are veterans of Rugby and upperclassmen that we will continue the tradition.

Brought Together

Rugby not only brings people together, but it also brings nations together. An example of this is represented by the 1995 Rugby World Cup. In 1994, Nelson Mandela is elected South Africa’s First black president, he is left to deal with a large amount of poverty and crime, not only that but also he is concerned with the large amounts of racial tension between Black South Africans and White South Africans. While attending a Springboks Rugby match, Mandela noticed that the South Africans were cheering for England, the Rival team. He realized it is because to them the South African team does not represent them because they are all white. With the realization that the World Cup was in one year, Mandela went on to go to the black-dominated South African sports committee to persuade them to support the Springboks. During the time leading up to the World Cup, the nation started to support the team and people started to come together. In 1995 the Springboks made it to the world cup, they were set to face their rivals the “New Zealand: All-Blacks”. The South African team went on to win 15-12, the nation erupted with joy. Finally something that represented the Blacks and Whites of South Africa had achieved something. This brought the nation together immensely.

The Results

All in all Rugby teaches people many things, it teaches; Self-discipline, respect, and the meaning of hard work. Rugby truly does build character in those willing to give it a try. With Rugby being an all ages, all genders sport it truly brings people together. These are just a few of the reasons I chose to discuss Rugby. I think the whole world needs Rugby, with the examples shown about South Africa, it really shows that Rugby has an impact on people and nations. If only people could give things the daily life the appreciation, respect and hard work that they do for Rugby, then the world would be a better place. Many countries are currently involved in Rugby, this article about international players goes more in depth on the topic.

Annotated Bibliography

Rugby Football History, Nigel Trueman, 2007. This source gave information on the history of Rugby. It also helped me find images on the World Rugby Trophy.

Rugby Union Sport, Kurtley Beale, 2009, BBC Sport. Helped me find information on rules and the thoughts of professional Rugby players.

Movement demand of elite U20 international Rugby Union Players, Daniel Cunningham, Ebsco Host. Helped me to use examples of different countries and their rugby affiliations.

National Rugby League athletes and tendon tap, James Maurini reflex assessment, 2016, EBSCO Host. Helped me find infomration on player health and safety.

Photo Story

Rugby is a great sport, it was built on the backs of the people who play it. It is an old sport with a long history and prideful tradition. What makes Rugby great is it brings people together. Men, women and children can and do play Rugby all over the world. To me, Rugby is special not only because I play it, but because it physically and mentally builds you. The greatest aspect of Rugby is that it is a great character builder.

Reflective Piece

Of all the course objectives from this semester, the ones that have stood out to me the most are “Ability to formulate solid research questions that explore ideas and current conversations within the course theme” and the ” Ability to work with different texts as researchers, to mine for information, and to effectively use research sources, including online sources, in their writing.” Formulating solid good research questions was something that I really learned how to do in this class. I realized that the basis to any good paper starts with a great thesis/question. With a great thesis you can really take the paper anywhere with what you can answer/write on. Also, this class really pushed me when it came to using scholarly sources. In high school we could use anything, in this class we had to use scholarly approved sources. This really helped my papers become longer and more factual. My advocacy project really shows all that I have learned from the class. The strongest part of my essay is definitely the thesis and use of examples and stories. With my thesis being so strong it opens up opportunities for me to build off of it with even better paragraphs/answers. Also the other strong suit from my essay that reflects what I have learned this year is the use of examples and stories. With being able to tell a good story, it allows you to make the writing longer and more interesting. The use of the South African story in my essay, I feel that it really brings the whole thing together. It also allows for me to go on and talk about community and nations and how Rugby could better the world. The definite strengths in my essay are like previously stated, the thesis and use of examples and stories. My weakness I think would have to be my use of quotes or therefore the lack of quotes in the writing. Usually when I write papers I fill it with quotes because it extends the word count and because it shows more outside opinion. In this paper I did not use any quotes and that is where I could improve.

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