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In our view, rugby is a sport of wonderful dichotomies. It is simultaneously the toughest, hardest tackling and most gentlemanly of sports, and we would take it any day over football. What’s more it’s surprisingly inclusive – obviously most of the international players are big, heavy fellows, but there is an incredible appreciation out there for those players who are quick and nimble on their feet – with perhaps the best lightweight example of an exceptionally talented player being the 5 foot 7, 72 kg Irish scrum half Peter Stringer.
Rugby is filled with exceptionally strong players, yet they all acknowledge the authority of the referee even though they could probably crush him like an ant. Think how many times you’ve seen a football player get right up to a ref and scream a string of abuse at him, or the amount of times that footballers just start fighting. It’s frankly shameful for a non-contact sport, and the fact that rugby avoids it is hugely to its credit. A tough game played by gentleman, and the favourite sport here at Newsstand Hovels (not least because of the visits to the pub afterwards), now if only we were actually any good at playing it. NB