It Must Be a Second Row Thing

It must be a second row thing.

In my experience, very few of us watch a lot of rugby – other than the games we have to watch, of course.

I think that would surprise most people.

Don’t get me wrong, I do my homework. When you are a part of a functioning lineout, you have to know every call in great detail, especially if you are calling it.

That means developing new moves for your team and watching tapes of the opposition you are playing that weekend to try and work out ways of disrupting what they do.

We all take that very part of our jobs very seriously and I like to think that I am a good student of the game. Like anything though, you can overload on something and that does you no good at all.

Someone like my Leicester team mate Geoff Parling hardly watches any rugby outside of his working hours.

I am not quite that extreme but, up to now, I have only watched a game and a half of England’s World Cup campaign from New Zealand... and that’s about it.

That’s partly because they have all been on game days- and partly because there is no way I am getting up early in the morning before my little boy actually wakes me up!

There was a spell when I was about 18 to 20 that I was a real rugby nause and would watch loads of games, whenever they were on. For the last five years or so though, I only really watch games to research the team we are going to be playing that weekend.

It wasn’t a conscious decision to avoid rugby on TV, I just slipped into it. I was just living my life and didn’t want rugby to dominate it 24/7.

I also find it hard to relax when watching the game because I always get involved. If I don’t like one side, I might want them to lose. If I like another side, I might want them to win.

It’s hard to just sit back, relax and watch a game with no emotional attachment.

There will be plenty of time to watch the sport when I have retired.

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