For All Men: You Are Built For Rugby

One of the sweetest things about rugby is its accessibility to all men. I was watching some online video at Brazil's SporTV channel, and some rugby coach was saying down there the same thing that is said all over the world, as rugby continues to grow and encounter people who are completely unfamiliar with it.

What rugby players want you to understand, because they want you to play, is that you are built for rugby. Between the nature of play and the way the laws are, there's a position for everyone. And unlike basketball or football, which reward physical extremes, rugby shares this with soccer: skill is more important than body type or "measurables". Obviously being really fast or really strong is good, and you won't get to the highest levels of the game without them, but ballhandling, vision, and willpower are all as or more important than the measurables.

I'm an extreme body type, topping out at 6'9" and 300 pounds, which you'd think would be perfect for rugby. But it's not. It allows me to do certain things but not others. There's no reward for being built like a retired NFL offensive lineman. (Except that if I arrive at a ruck, ball is secure.) If you watch a professional rugby side, the men look like more robust versions of soccer players; that is, regular-looking people. Yeah, if they take their shirts off they look all super-fit and stuff. They're professional athletes. But human-sized ones.

So bring you body out to a local club and play some rugby. You're built for it.