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A Ladies Guide to Dating Rugby Positions

Monday September 28, 2015

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The Rugby World Cup is finally under way and I’m excited. I say excited but to be honest I feel like an American trying to explain the offside rule in Football. I’m trying to get into this broad shouldered carnival but so far I’m a little confused. I understand the rules. Sort of. But for me it’s more an excuse, like everyone else it seems, to shout for a country I wasn’t born in and drink copious amounts while posh voiced drunk lads sing songs only they know while doing press ups around me in the pub.

I say I know the rules but before last week I couldn’t tell a prop forward from a hooker if I was standing in the red light district in Amsterdam.

So I decided to do some research into how a fly half differs from a number 8  and discovered some interesting correlations with speed dating types.

Thus, ladies of the Rugby loving world, for your educational entertainment I give you a guide to rugby positions of guys you may meet at a speed dating event.

Props
Short, stocky and often with no neck, these are the jovial terriers of the dating world. What they lack in stature they’ll make up for in inappropriate jokes and copious amounts of drinking. They’ll try and woo with their ‘crazy’ antics while their wingmen look on.

Get to know a prop however, and you’ll find a simple, caring and emotionally vulnerable soul who’s simply trying to hide a nervousness at meeting single women. The prop is fiercely loyal and while gifts on Valentines day will consist of cheesy flowers or cheap boxes of chocolates, they will arrive in bulk.

Expect an embarrassingly large bouquet to be delivered to your work place.

Hookers
Wider than they are tall. A little more ‘sophisticated’ than a prop, hookers will be the ones encouraging props to embarrass themselves while they use the diversion to surreptitiously try and chat you up.

Hookers have no qualms about chatting up your best mate in front of you if you reject them.

Getting to know a hooker will reveal little more than an awkwardly close relationship with their mothers.

Valentines day will result in a gift of Argos jewellery and dinner at their parents.

Flankers
Tall, broken nosed and physically highly disciplined. Flankers will be the ones to loosely drape a large arm over your shoulder and say things like ‘Stick with me love…’ while downing pints with their mates.

Flankers express affection in gruff, emotionally stunted ways and are embarrassed at PDA’s if not done in a blokey way. When not calling you ‘love’, ‘darlin’ or ‘treacle’ you will be referred to as ‘mate’. When buying you a drink you will receive a pint or a glass of cheap Chardonnay.

Valentines day will be dinner at a chain restaurant - Pizza Express if you’re lucky - and rugby shirt in your size.


Number 8
The number 8 is one of a kind - on the pitch. Off it they tend to be slightly moody with an overly loud laugh and a propensity to jealousy.
Their sense of self-importance is overstated and you will reflect how they want to be seen.

Displays of affection are rare but intense and genuine and number 8’s display an extraordinary loyalty and devotion. You’ll just never be sure if it’s because they like you or because they’re a little needy.

Valentines day gifts will invariably consist of an item of clothing they would like to see you in and will probably be a little skimpy. They will get your size wrong.

Scrum Half/Fly Halfs
Generally the smallest in stature on the team but, given this is rugby, still impressive specimens compared to the rest of us. They’re good friends with the Number 8 who they treat as a loyal sidekick.

The halfs are the tacticians of the team and as such are intelligent, disciplined and natural leaders. They can drink with the boys but won’t be ashamed to take a night off to be with you.

Affection tends to be practical rather than emotional and you’ll always wonder whether they are just trying to placate you. They’re probably related to or very good friends with royalty, still wear a school tie and are not particularly fond of homeless people who should, after all, get a job.

Valentines day will result in a gift of an expensive dress you’ll be expected to wear when they take you out for an extraordinary meal and the best wines you’ve had only, it will be at their private members club with old school chums and their wives.

Wings
These are the strikers of rugby, the estate agents, the glory hunters.

Expect slightly excessive amounts of after shave, the latest hair cut, a sharp suit, a sports car… and the constant desire to loudly tell people they possess such things.

Materialistic and egotistical you’ll never be left wanting with a wing.
They’ll be shouting drinks for all  at the bar, loudly exclaiming their prowess and regularly disappearing to the loo to check how they look.

Valentines day will include VIP entry to the latest club, although you may be left on your own for hours on end as they chat to all the other women there.

Centre
Big, powerful and quiet. Until they’ve had a few drinks.

Initially shy they will invariably be dragged into drinking games by the props with whom they are best friends. Often thought of as gentle giants, if you can cope with the occasional night in which they pass out from overconsumption they will display impressive levels of loyalty and affection in an Irish wolf hound puppy sort of way.

They’re really good with kids and you’ll often find them shopping at Jacamo with their oversized nephews.

Valentines will be a surprisingly delicious home cooked meal with Phil Collins in the background.

Full Back
Full backs are to rugby what drummers are to bands. The quiet achievers who believe they hold the real knowledge and power in any situation.
Despite this seemingly Zen approach, full backs are constantly frustrated at everyone’s lack of understanding that they are the mainstay of the team.

After a few drinks they can often be heard setting the world to rights and if only more people would listen things would be better.

Often moody, full backs are convinced they present a sociable and sophisticated front to the world.

Valentines day will be a surprise gig with a band who sound surprisingly like The Smiths. Full backs have a secret love of Metallica and Wagner and will often try to quote Nietzsche out of context.

So this World Cup why not treat yourself to a bit of rugby spotting at one of our many events throughout the week. In all seriousness we guarantee you’ll meet someone you’ll want to see again. If not, at least you’ll know who to look out for next time you’re dragged to the pub to watch the next instalment of this ‘thugs game for gentlemen’.

*John has never played rugby and only ever been to one game in his life.
This is not to be considered a scholarly taxonomy of rugby dating types.

WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS