We’ve all got one. It’s a fact. Most of us, rightly, are ashamed of them. The rugby friend.

He comes to the pub with you to watch an important match, often in a stupid rugby shirt not even made by a proper sports brand. Then, just as things are getting exciting, they start with the inane comments and the ridiculous questions. Here’s just a short list, feel free to add your own.

matt pottinger goalie

1. Why don’t they all just stand in the goal?

After one team goes a goal up, your friend pipes in with this gem. They ask smugly, why not? Because that would be the most ridiculous idea in the world, that’s why. All rugby players are essentially trained to be inanimate objects, such as walls, or boulders.'  Consequently they think that all sportsmen are built this way. Their brain therefore thinks that every footballer’s main talent is that they are solid and immovable, and that they could withstand a barrage of shots at them (and their testicles) for the remainder of the game.

matt pottinger rugby players

2. Can they kick it up, catch it and stick it under their shirt and run into the goal?

This is when you start to wonder if you should really be friends with this individual. In football you aren’t allowed to cuddle your opponent onto the floor, and rugby players see this as a fundamental weakness of the sport, and that only their massive intellects could have thought up such a flawless plan to abuse this “loophole” where you can’t manhandle one-another. One word: Obstruction. Back to the drawing board. Muppet.

matt pottinger rugby fight

3. They wouldn’t beat a rugby player in a fight.

Well no, you’re probably right with that one. I would argue however that the ability to “win in a fight” counts for absolutely nothing. Would a lion beat a shark? Well it doesn’t matter does it, because they are never going to fight, and if they did what would be the point? A boxer would beat a rugby player or a footballer, but I don’t hear Ricky Hatton acting like a smart arse when he’s watching a match. Again this is accountable for by the rugby player’s emphasis on being large rather than possessing skill or technique.

matt pottinger respect

4. They are all thugs.

Often directly following their previous claim that all rugby players could batter footballers. “And look at how they crowd the referee, disgusting, you’d never see a rugby player doing that.” No, respect for the referee is certainly better in rugby because of the brilliant video refereeing system. So I suppose your rugby friend is right then? Well, no. I’ve never seen a twenty man brawl in a football game that has resulted in perhaps 2 yellow cards. YELLOW cards. Nor have I seen a footballer get a yellow card for gauging at another player’s eyes, or the use of blood capsules for cheating. Ah rugby, a gentleman’s sport.

matt pottinger players wages

5. They get paid too much.

Actually, they get paid what a club deems them to be worth to the club, it’s a market economy, get used to it. The amounts of money do seem grotesque but if rugby was a bit more interesting and had a larger fan base than 8, maybe the players would be on similar wages, and don’t pretend you wouldn’t take them. I support the increase of rugby player’s wages because it means they could afford to sort their creepy ears out. I mean, these men are supposed to be professional athletes and they look like trolls.

This is just a short list with potential follow ups; please add your own inane, rugby-friend based idiocy by commenting below.

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  1. says: kuuku

    The following comment is satire so please don’t take it too seriously.

    You think you guys in the UK have it hard with rugby? Here in North America there are two completely disparate sports. One is called football and the other is called association football (soccer). The difference? In football you use your hand. In ‘association’ football you use your foot. If you say the word “football” to anyone, they immediately think of the former.

    I’ve asked close to 100 people why they call a sport where the main way of interfacing with the ball is to pick up it up, football. I have yet to receive an answer.

    Why the moniker “association”…what does it mean? Who came up with this hare-brained idea of changing rugby rules and then calling it football? Is calling their sport the exact same name as the most popular sport in the world some sort of convoluted publicity stunt? Why don’t they fix it and all the other little things (like feet instead of metres and fahrenheit instead of celcius) that cause people to dislike America just a little bit? These are all questions that spring to mind. But they might as well be rhetoric, because the only answer you are ever going to get is “That’s just the way it is.”

    Needless to say…I am in a state of constant disbelief about this. Sometimes I dream of becoming the POTUS (President Of The United States) just to standardize these things. I would say to the Americans, “Why don’t we try using standards everyone else is using for a change eh? Maaaaybe, just maybe, it would make things easier for everyone eh? Stop being arrogant sods ffs! Doing the basic things differently from everyone else doesn’t make you cool or unique or better, it just creates damn complications!” Maybe I would say that. Or maybe I would use my head and keep my gob shut. 😉

    On a more serious note, it’s a real pain. The most popular sport in the entire world and they don’t even bother to call it by its correct name. Instead they prefer to patronize sports that, to be honest, are mere pastimes in other countries. A very sad state of affairs. I distinctly remember an ESPN pundit saying that ‘soccer’ was not a true sport and that tiger woods was a better athlete than roger ferderer, in the same breath. My issue here is that he wasn’t fired and didn’t burst into flames for speaking such sacrilege, in any other country he would have. However the few who have embraced “real football” have never looked back. That is promising. Salvation is still possible for many.

    Sorry this is so long…I kept thinking of more things. XD

  2. says: Spike

    I play rugby for a club and football recreationally. Rugby players require skill as well as footballers and I
    have never heard any of my rugby friends say such retarded crap like that when watching football.

  3. says: Hugh

    cheers for that Kuuku but your South African so of course your going to prefer rugby. The fact is that England are loads better than South Africa at football so we will prefer it and you are slightly better than us at rugby so you will prefer it.

    Also, who cares what you call it??? in America they call NFL football and football soccer, does it matter???

  4. says: ill-d


    well, im an american, and yes its hard watching a soccer game with friends who are into NFL football because you constantly get stupid questions…although over the course of last year, a good number have developed a respect for it whereas before they bought into the ignorant anti-soccer sterotype.

    i always kid with them, why the F would you call it football when you dont even use your feet? how bout…catchball! or tackleball!

    actually, i think NFL football is called football moreso for the length of the ball (a foot)…well that’s a guess. Actually, gridiron football is an offshoot of rugby, and back in the day soccer and rugby were both referred to as football.

    and i believe the term soccer was actually a term created by the english. Soccer is an abbreviation of sorts for Association, so i personally have no qualms calling assoc. football soccer. in fact i like the term…you english dudes need to get off my case for calling it soccer since it was your country that created the term lol

    personally, and i think this is common for many americans, i have very little clue whats going on in rugby lol. looks like a fun sport (actually my brother used to play) but i think i still only have half the rules under my grasp…but i think mainstream america could get into rugby if it was just exposed to it. i see soccer on tv more and more, whereas before it was shown on tv rarely. i dont i have ever seen any rugby on american television….but i think if it got some exposure it could take off, since its a real physical game from the looks of it, and somewhat similar to NFL football. plus they dont wear pads!

    just show some clips of the all blacks doing the haka lol

  5. says: Jack

    I am a rugby player and I have a few points I would like to share.

    1. Respect for the referee in rugby is something that is seen though all levels of the game most of which has no TV coverage, it is something that is instilled in players from the very start so it is ridiculous to say that it is purely to do with the video refereeing system.

    2. Yes some rugby players are big, that’s quite an obvious observation to make but also a big generalisation, there are quite a number of small rugby players for example: Peter Stringer, David Lemi, and Matt Giteau to name a few.

    3. Finally to say that a rugby player’s emphasis is on being big rather than possessing skill or technique is a typical narrow minded view point that I have found is held by many footballers. Rugby is a game of extreme skill performed at high speed and during contact situations. While footballers seem to forget about the game as soon as they’re touched by the opposition and find it more interesting to plummet towards the floor probably moving faster than they have throughout the game previously!

    Maybe to you should cast your mind back to a certain Adidas advert involving David Beckham and Jonny Wilkinson.

  6. says: Mark

    English have rugby friends.
    Americans have NFL friends.
    The Americans and English should team up and get rid of our ignorant sports friends.

  7. says: bizness

    here in the states, American football players always scorn soccer as being a “gay” sport. Really? They say that diving make us gay. I’m sorry, but obviously they’ve never watched basketball.

  8. says: JamieB

    ahhhhh, im from australia, and when they call it kick and giggle or grass ballet, really grown men should be able to think of better calls, but they are rugby players after all. They place such enormous on theirs brains with these calls. tisk tisk.

  9. says: channo

    hahaha, i think it doesn’t have to be rugby players. stupid questions & cynical comments could come from anyone who doesn’t have enough respect towards the world of sports.

    remember those stupid questions that usually pops when we watched live matches with girls or children?

    or maybe those rugby players just got hit in their head one too many times to respect other sports, i don’t know

  10. says: fifinho

    i also come from australia and have to put up with the nonsense of AFL which is what almost all australians call “football”.

    just to make a point to ‘ill-d’ i have often used the claim of calling a sport where you use your hands FOOTball ridiculous however my friends argue with other sports such as tennis you don’t call it racketball or some nonsense like that. i could easily go on but i’m going to stop because i have homework to do lol

  11. says: Dicky

    Football just lost it’s way since the early 1990’s. To call it the world’s favorite sport is ridiculous. It’s a girls’ game or minority sport for the upper classes in most of the English speaking world. It’s got a tiny player based in India, the world’s second biggest nation by population.
    Football is fun to play, but hell to watch. Popular because of it’s simplicity, it’s a lowest common-denominator, ugly spectacle. I can appreciate what is (or was) good about football. Rugby is infinitely superior though.
    Rugby and in particular Union is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The fastest growing sport in Germany, biggest population in the EU. Rugby has a big future. Association Football needs to be put out of its misery.

  12. says: AZ

    Excuse me Dicky really what are you doing on this website? Its a FOOTball Website take your Fagby Union somewhere else where its appreciated, oh yeah thats right there is nowhere where Fagby Is appreciated .

  13. says: El Heatho

    Dicky what the heck r u doing on this website with such stupid views maybe you should go and hit your head against a pole sum more and go share your crap with the other 5 union supporters in the world or maybe the 2 new one s u found in germany!

  14. says: John

    Dicky are you kidding? Do you even have a clue about how many people watch the world cup on tv? 750 million people watched the world cup final in ’06 and the whole tournament racked up over 26 billion in cummulative viewers. I want to see the NFL or rugby put up those kind of numbers. Football is not getting less popular, all the time it’s getting more and more popular in the US. ESPN is playing EPL games every weekend, even MLS, and Central and South American games are on throughout the week including tournaments like CONCACAF, the Champions League. And you’re seeing football highlights making it into the top ten reels on all major sports networks in America, so football is obviously growing here. And your arguement about only a tiny portion of India playing soccer is absolutely idiotic because anyone knows that in India everyone plays cricket. Everyone. And I don’t see rugby doing very well compared to football, or even the NFL, on the financial side of things either.

    Not to say that American Football and rugby are good sports in their own, it’s just that their players and fans can be so freaking dense sometimes it’s absolutely ridiculous.

  15. says: shaw

    right just to say you all have no respect for sport every sport is diffrent and has diffrent styles of peaple who can play it best basketball tall and thin meanwhile in rugby you can either be very large or smallish but fast and football is genrally in the middle but all these sports require diffrent skills and if u respect sport you will respect this like me and im sure many others do.

  16. says: Kevin-o-connell

    Firstly this article is incredibly stupid and ignorant!For someone to say something this stupid furthers the notion that soccer/football fans are stupid idiots.I love rugby and have a passing interest in soccer (I’m Irish, football is Gaelic football) but reading this article and these comments has turn me off the game to be honest.Footballers aren’t overpaid?Give me a break.Fair enough, players like Rooney or Messi deserve those sorts of wages because they are among the best players in the world,but someone like Kevin Kilbane (who is at best,an average player) earns in a month what Brian O Driscoll,possibly the best rugby player in the world, earns in a year.The idea that all rugby players are just large brainless idiots is just ridiculous.Admittedly players are getting larger and larger but someone like O’Driscoll is incredily skillful so that idea is preposterous.You have to admit that someone like Ronan O’Gara or Jonny Wilkinson is as skillful when putting the ball right over the black spot from 50m is as Beckham curling a free kick into the top response to Hugh’s comment, South Africa aren’t slightly better than England, they’re miles ahead, akin to England in soccer

    Secondly, I’m appalled at AZ’s comment below.Be as stupid as you want about popularity but DO NOT BE SUCH AN IGNORANT CUNT and bring homosexuality into the equation.Any rugby fan who posted a comment didn’t stoop as low as to calling soccer someting like “Poofball”.When Gareth Thomas came out at least he was treated well by fans (apart from a few ignorant Castleford league pricks),unlike in soccer,where,knowing that track record,he’d have killed himself by now.Soccer fans,not just the ones on this site,need to clean up their act when it comes to these things.

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