How to join a rugby club

By Alastair McDermott | October 30th, 2013

Rugby Union is organised and controlled by the IRBPeople are always asking “how do I join a rugby club?”

Finding and joining a rugby club is fairly a simple task. You need to be ready, and you need to find a club. I’m going to spell out some of the things that seem really obvious just so there’s nothing missed.

Being ready for rugby – your general strength and fitness

  • You don’t need to be “marathon fit” to play rugby
  • You do need to be able to run a lap or two. This will improve drastically after a couple of training sessions
  • You don’t need to be able to bench press 300lbs
  • You do need to be able to bench press 30lbs. If you’re concerned about strength, join a gym and do a general fitness programme that includes some resistance (weights) exercises.

Example: after taking a break from rugby for 3 years I spent almost 2 years getting back in shape before rejoining a club. This was a little over the top, but it’s not a bad idea to spend a couple of months in the gym working on core body strength and aerobic fitness.

Being ready for rugby – gear

At a minimum, and in order of importance, you will need a gumshield (teeth guard), boots (studs are better than blades, rugby boots better than soccer boots), rugby shorts (they’re much stronger than soccer shorts), a rugby jersey (an old one is fine), and socks (any football socks will do). You might also need a tracksuit, particularly if it’s cold.

Once you start playing with a club you might need to buy some club socks and maybe shorts if yours are the wrong colour. You don’t need to have a club jersey as you’ll be given one on match day, but it’s good to have a cheap old jersey to wear in training.

Being ready for rugby – skills and rules1

If you’re brand new to rugby you’ll need to learn the rules. You should pick these up in training and even during matches (you’re bound to give away a couple of penalties). You can improve your knowledge by reading up on the rules on the IRB website and simply watching a match on tv, especially with a vocal rugby fan beside you.

A lot of people talk about taking up tag rugby during the summer can help, but I’m not a fan of it. I’ve seen more people with broken hands in 3 months of tag rugby than I’ve seen in 16 years of the real thing.

Don’t worry too much about your skill level. You’ll be joining a club at the most junior of levels and if you’re good you will quickly be promoted up through the teams. Managers of the higher level teams in a club are always looking for replacements and new squad members. I’m looking at this from the perspective of a senior club fielding 5 mens teams, a girls team, U21s and U18s. Some smaller clubs will only have 1-3 teams so you won’t get much choice where you end up. Which brings us on to…

Finding a rugby club

Find the phone number of a club in your local area. Pick somewhere close by because you’ll be travelling there a lot. It’s also nice to be able to walk home after having a few pints! Don’t know how to find one? If you’re looking for a rugby club here in Ireland, try the IRFU branch websites via these links or on the irishrugby.net site. Otherwise google a few placenames near you, or ask someone you think might know if there’s one around. You should be able to get the phone number off directory enquiries, and most clubs have a website these days.

Ring the club during office hours. You’ll probably be talking to either a full-time club secretary, or in the case of a smaller club, an answer machine. Leave your details and ask for a call back about “joining one of the junior teams”. Ideally what you want to do is get the name of a team manager (coach) and, importantly, the time they train at.

Next, turn up at the club at the training time, with your rugby gear (minimum: boots, shorts, socks, jersey, gumshield, tracksuit if cold weather). Go into one of the changing rooms (the one nearest the door is usually best) and tog out. Don’t worry that you don’t know anybody else. Players expect to see new people they don’t know – it happens every year especially at the start of the season (September/October/November in the northern hemisphere).

When you’re togged out, go outside and ask where the manager (the name you got from the call earlier) is. He or she is probably out warming up with one of the teams. Go and introduce yourself – say you’re looking to join a team, you’re a beginner, etc. If it’s a smaller club there might only be one group on the pitches, if it’s a larger group there may be 3-5 groups in different areas of the grounds. Ask the manager which group you should train with – it will most likely be the group he or she is with.

(If you can’t find the manager, just ask someone which group beginners should go to, jog up and just start doing what they’re doing. Someone will talk to you after a bit).

Don’t forget, people want you there – new players are always needed at clubs.

If, for some reason, you couldn’t get in contact with anybody, what you can do is go down to the club at 7pm on Tuesday or Thursday. Every rugby club I’ve ever seen has had training at those times :)

I think I’ve covered most things here, if you can think of anything I’ve missed, or need something clarified then please leave a comment or suggestion. Cheers!

Topics: rugby | 23 Comments »

Six Nations 2013 Schedule & Results

By Alastair McDermott | February 2nd, 2013
DateKO (GMT)HomeScoreAwayVenue
Round 1
Sat 2nd Feb 1313:30Wales22 - 30IrelandMillennium Stadium
Sat 2nd Feb 1316:00England38 - 18ScotlandTwickenham
Sun 3rd Feb 1315:00Italy23 - 18FranceStadio Olimpico
Round 2
Sat 9th Feb 1314:30Scotland34 - 10ItalyMurrayfield
Sat 9th Feb 1317:00France6 - 16WalesStade de France
Sun 10th Feb 1315:00Ireland6 - 12EnglandAviva Stadium
Round 3
Sat 23rd Feb 1314:30Italy9 - 26WalesStadio Olimpico
Sat 23rd Feb 1317:00England23 - 13FranceTwickenham
Sun 24th Feb 1314:00Scotland12 - 8IrelandMurrayfield
Round 4
Sat 9th Mar 1314:30Scotland  v  WalesMurrayfield
Sat 9th Mar 1317:00Ireland  v  FranceAviva Stadium
Sun 10th Mar 1315:00England  v  ItalyTwickenham
Round 5
Sat 16th Mar 1314:30Italy  v  IrelandStadio Olimpico
Sat 16th Mar 1317:00Wales  v  EnglandMillennium Stadium
Sat 16th Mar 1320:00France  v  ScotlandStade de France
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Six Nations 2012 Schedule & Results

By Alastair McDermott | January 27th, 2012

Six Nations

All times Irish.

RBS 6 Nation 2012
Date Home Time Away Venue
4 Feb 2012 France 30 2:30 Italy 12 Stade de France
4 Feb 2012 Scotland 6 5:00 England 13 Murrayfield
5 Feb 2012 Ireland 21 3:00 Wales 23 Lansdowne Road
11 Feb 2012 Italy 15 4:00 England 19 Olympic Stadium
11 Feb 2012 France (P) 8:00 Ireland (P) Stade de France Postponed
12 Feb 2012 Wales 27 3:00 Scotland 13 Millennium Stadium
25 Feb 2012 Ireland 42 1:30 Italy 10 Lansdowne Road
25 Feb 2012 England 12 4:00 Wales 19 Twickenham
26 Feb 2012 Scotland 17 3:00 France 23 Murrayfield
4 Mar 2012 France 17 3:00 Ireland 17 Stade de France
10 Mar 2012 Wales 24 2:30 Italy 3 Millennium Stadium
10 Mar 2012 Ireland 32 5:00 Scotland 14 Lansdowne Road
11 Mar 2012 France 22 3:00 England 24 Stade de France
17 Mar 2012 Italy 13 12:30 Scotland 6 Stade Flamino
17 Mar 2012 Wales 16 2:45 France 9 Millennium Stadium
17 Mar 2012 England 30 5:00 Ireland 9
Twickenham

Winner: Wales (Grand Slam)

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Separated At Birth?

By Alastair McDermott | September 21st, 2011

Is it just me who sees it?

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Abseiling in Dublin City Centre

By Alastair McDermott | April 28th, 2011

Here’s something interesting to do in Dublin on May 14th – abseil down the 12 floors of the Irish Life building. This is a fundraiser for Age Action. See below for more info. read the rest of this post »

Irish Rugby After Six Nations 2011

By Alastair McDermott | March 24th, 2011

Irish rugby is in an interesting place now at the end of 6 Nations 2011, with some good performances in patches, but overall a shoddy tournament. But those of us who want this group of players to perform to their true potential will inevitably be disappointed, as we were through the Eddie O’Sullivan era.

And yet there is much to be positive about.

The Good

Provincial fan hat on, I’m happy enough that all the international players read the rest of this post »

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