The Rugby Groud Guide

About Me

From "Midnight Rugby", by Stephen Jones

"I love stadiums. Each of the arenas where rugby is played is emphatically different; each has its own appearance, atmosphere and facilities, its own concept of design, whether uniform, even bowl-like, or piecemeal, bunged together bit by bit as each wedge of cash has become available. Their greatness or otherwise lies in something other than the identity of the team that plays in them, lies even in something other than the atmosphere created by the crowd there."

 

Ask yourself if the following scenario sounds familiar. You take half a day off work. As you set off north (or south, east or west) it starts to sleet. There are traffic jams on the M1, M6, M5 or M40 (or, indeed, all four). By the time you've found somewhere to park, struggled to find the ground, and to get through the turnstiles, your team is already losing. And it all goes downhill from there. Your feet slowly freeze to the floor. You finally arrive back home at three in the morning, and wake your partner up with: "It was great, I had a wonderful time." And you mean it.

 

If this rings true, then this site is for you.

 

First of all, I had better make a confession. I have long considered myself a fan of the round, rather than the oval, ball game. In the past I have made an annual pilgrimage to Twickenham, usually for a club final, but my excursions to watch football have always outnumbered those to see rugby. 



Partly this was down to simple choice. There are loads more first-class football teams here in London than there are rugby. After all, of the four teams that contest the annual season opener at Twickenham only one - Harlequins - plays in the capital. The other three have their home grounds in High Wycombe, Reading and Watford, and not even the most rose-tinted estate agent would claim these were part of London. 



But in recent seasons I have been watching more rugby. Perhaps because it is cheaper to buy tickets which are easier to obtain. Perhaps I have simply grown to enjoy the more intimate atmosphere of smaller grounds. Perhaps I have just got fed up with the constant hype that constantly surrounds the football premiership, accompanied by the tittle tattle that dominates even broadsheet sports pages.

 

Rugby supporters are the lifeblood of the game, and always have been. But with the stampede into professionalism and increasingly odd, television-driven dates and times for games, life is much easier for the armchair supporter than for those who trail to distant cities for an evening kick-off during a November blizzard. Those who bother to make such a trip deserve all the support they can get, but in these increasingly commercialised times the humble  travelling supporter can often feel forgotten in the hurly-burly of corporate packaging.

 

Mike Miles, Publisher

www.scrumdown.org.uk 

 



 

Does Test Rugby need stricter rules? (Tue, 14 Nov 2017)
Evidently Rhys Webb wants to have his Welsh cake and eat it. The Ospreys and Lions scrum-half signed for Toulon earlier this month, days before the Welsh Rugby Union announced a change to its policy governing players outside the country, entrapping the 28-year old. The new rules outline that players moving to England or France … Continue reading Does Test Rugby need stricter rules?
>> Read more

Could ending promotion solve rugby’s problems? (Tue, 17 Oct 2017)
  We could be witnessing the start of a perfect storm for English rugby:  too many clubs losing too much money, ever-increasing demands on players to the extent that strike action has been mentioned, and PRL’s latest whizz, the controversial suggestion that the domestic season should run from September through to the end of June. … Continue reading Could ending promotion solve rugby’s problems?
>> Read more

Rugby union is moving towards Football – it’s very sad…No it’s not,It’s reality (Wed, 06 Sep 2017)
On the weekend when the Aviva Premiership season kicked off there was this headline in The Telegraph: “We’re moving towards football, slowly but surely – it’s very sad” While the article started off by congratulating the sport on the increased number of spectators it was attracting, it’s increased television audiences, how sponsors were falling over … Continue reading Rugby union is moving towards Football – it’s very sad…No it’s not,It’s reality
>> Read more

Rugby needs to learn the right lessons from Football (Wed, 17 May 2017)
Colin Boag is a regular columnist in The Rugby Paper, and I usually find him worth reading. However, he is one of those rugby writers who like to blame all rugby’s ills on football. He was at it again in a recent column. He was writing about players’ attempts to get others booked, and predictably … Continue reading Rugby needs to learn the right lessons from Football
>> Read more

Premiership Rugby ambition must be challenged by RFU. (Mon, 08 May 2017)
The Champions Cup final this weekend will lack a team from the Pro 12 for the fifth consecutive season following the Munster and Leinster semi-final defeats. The tournament has become an Anglo-French production, although in those five years only four clubs have made it to the final: Toulon, Saracens, Clermont Auvergne and, last year, Racing … Continue reading Premiership Rugby ambition must be challenged by RFU.
>> Read more

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