I come from a football family. My family come from a football-loving city. I’d never given much thought to rugby, let alone watched it. Then I met my rugby-playing boyfriend. And his rugby-loving family. And I realised that football just wasn’t going cut it with them. My love of rugby began when they took me to my first rugby match at Twickenham Stadium. It is a beautiful stadium, serving perfect Guinness. The atmosphere was intoxicating and, to top it off, England won.

Even the family dog plays rugby
Even the family dog plays rugby

Obviously, not everyone will get the chance to set foot in Twickenham Stadium so the next best thing is switching over to ITV for the next six weeks. And switch on you should because this is why you should watch the Rugby World Cup:

1. We can actually win

Unlike our England football team who haven’t won the World Cup since 1966, our England rugby team stand a good chance of getting their hands on a trophy this year. Remember Jonny Wilkinson’s ‘Kick seen round the world’? Wouldn’t it be amazing to watch that first-hand?

2. It’s a gentleman’s game

I’ve been to a lot of football matches and, to be honest, they can get pretty rowdy. Maybe not to the standard of Green Street or The Football Factory but it is easy to get swept up in the “friendly” banter and home fans and away fans are kept apart to avoid bad behaviour. At rugby matches, everyone is together. And everyone is allowed to drink alcohol. Because they’re trusted. Because they can behave. Fans celebrate/commiserate together. When I watched England annihilate Italy in the 6 Nations at Twickenham Stadium, 59 – 13 (ouch), the Italian fans kept cheering and singing and painting their flag on everyone’s faces. And the British fans raised the roof when the Italian team scored their one try in the dying minutes of the game.

No one was safe from the Italian flag
No one was safe from the Italian flag

3. It’s shorter than football

The official length of a game is 10 minutes shorter than a football match. Yes, I know there is stoppage time but, in lieu of advert breaks, use this opportunity to tweet, nip to the loo or pop the kettle on.

4. It’s a “real” sport

The reason it’s shorter is because, man, it is brutal. The strength, power and athleticism that each of these men give to every second is astounding. Football has a lot of skill and cardio but there really is no comparison.

5. Guinness

You get to drink delicious pints of the black stuff (did you know it’s actually ruby red?).

Pint of Guinness

6. Rugby players

Ultimately, if none of these reasons appeal to you, you can watch simply to perve on some strapping hulk-like men, with thighs like tree trunks and rippling torsos 😉

Rugby World Cup 2015 logo


Will you be tuning into the Rugby World Cup this year?

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