Ever wondered what the difference is between Union and League? Catch David’s inside scoop on the league life from a committee member perspective.
How did you first get into the sport?
I’d played rugby union since I was 5 and tried rowing for first year. That summer I met the then president of RURL at Reading Festival, Harry Ellis. His passion for the game and welcoming approach made me want to be a part of the club he wouldn’t shut his trap about. So, I went to the first training session, was put at fullback and loved every second of it. Haven’t looked back since.
What do you enjoy about it and what are you looking forward to this year?
You meet people! The team is a mix of age, ethnicity, religion and everyone is completely equal, regardless of if you’ve picked up an odd shaped ball before or not. Everyone is listening and learning, which makes for a very positive and competitive ethos in the team. We’re all rugby players who like a spin off from the southern norm which is Union and just love the game. I’m looking forward to meeting more faces and lifting that trophy again this season.
What makes it stand out for you as a sport?
Rugby league has transformed over the last few years and now I can safely say that ethos and caliber of the players hasn’t been higher RURL.Rugby league lets you run around for 80 minutes where you’re perfectly allowed to smash into someone, sprint, wrestle for the ball – get physical and you’re respected for your efforts. And after 80 minutes of hard work, you get to shake your opponent’s hand, grab your mates and go to the bar. It’s work hard, play hard. There’s something special about putting your body on the line for each other, it generates respect and friendship very quickly.
Everyone ‘s feeling physically shattered but are mentally buzzing off the adrenaline – it’s such a feel-good atmosphere
What is your day like?
Tuesday: wake up, go to the gym, do some weights and have a stretch before a day of lectures. Eat several times to keep myself topped up for 6pm when I’ll be on the Paddock (rugby fields)already warmed up and doing various drills – passing, running lines, tackling, match practice. Have a beverage at Park bar and a big feed before Wednesday. Wake up, listen to some Chilli Peppers and get up to the pitches around midday for a game. 80 minutes of hard work, excitement and seeing my mates before shirting up and getting ready for Cheese Room antics.
And, after 80 minutes of hard work, you get to shake your opponent’s hand, grab your mates and go to the bar
What is your best moment?
A one off? Winning the league last year and getting the Harry Warner Award. But really, my favourite time is having everyone on the coach back home after a game, looking red faced in their shirts and ties, where we’ve been run off our feet, battered, bruised but won a match. Everyone’s feeling physically shattered but are mentally buzzing off the adrenaline – it’s such a feel-good atmosphere and a camaraderie unlike any other. Even the smiles say Union will be big.