Rugby Union

CULTURE  |  A SPORTING LIFE  |  Rugby Union


"Soccer is a gentlemans' game played by hooligans whilst rugby is a hooligans' game played by gentleman"


If God was to play one sport it would be Rugby. Rugby is my passion... what a sport! Whilst I don't play so much these days, I was quite the full-back/fly-half back in school and even at university (and yes girls I do still maintain my physique...)
Invented by the legendary William Webb Ellis at Rugby school in the 1800s when, during a game of football (what has now become association football), he picked up the ball and ran. The game has since evolved somewhat to become the internationally recognised sport that it is these days. What makes rugby so preppy is that it is predominantly played at elite schools as the game is believed to be inclusive (there is a position for everybody on the team), fosters teamwork and develops strategic thinking. Perfectly preppy. I should note that Rugby League is NOT preppy. Rather the opposite having evolved from the Union code due to requirements that players remain amateur. This meant that many working class participants were prevented from committing to the training requirements as they also had to commit time to earning a wage.

The objective of the game is to ultimately score points by placing the ball on the ground over the try line or by kicking between the upright posts (an aspect of the game in which I excelled). The ball may be kicked forward but may not be passed or knocked forward. Players are allowed to tackle the opposition and penalties are awarded for infringements. Rugby Union may seem particularly complicated for those who have never played but I think that's part of the beauty of it! Furthermore, rugby shirts are iconic preppy garments so you can look good whilst you play. In fact, the iconic jersey and the preppy sport inspired Ralph Lauren to name his new range Rugby.

Further ensuring that Rugby Union is held in the utmost preppy esteem is the various after-match drinking games beloved of rugger-buggers, including chinos, ring of fire, pub rugby, chariots of fire and so on...