Christmas Rugby Entertainment

Christmas is a tremendously busy time for players, coaches and ground staff around the Aviva Premiership.

I know some clubs are playing three games in 12 days this year. That is a really tough ask in the modern-day game where the right amount of recover time from games is vital.

There are a few players around the league who would advocate having a break throughout the festive season.

The French do it in the Top 14 and, by all accounts, it’s very well received - although they do have to catch up with midweek games later on in the season.

There are few people who would not want to spend precious time with their families over Christmas and the New Year. Especially those, like me, with young families to have fun with.

But I believe you have to always remember that this is an entertainment industry we are in and, especially around Christmas, the rugby-watching public want to be entertained.

For as long as I can remember in this country, football and rugby is a staple diet of many families during the festive season. It is planned into families’ calendars months beforehand and most games in both sports are played to some of the biggest gates of the season.

That brings in good income for the clubs and proves that people still love their fix of sport at Christmas. Look at how Quins and Sarries virtually sold out Twickenham for their league game on the 27th December.

I remember as a child going to watch the annual Leicester Tigers v Barbarians clash and Welford Road was rammed every year.

As players, we can bemoan the fact that we are training or playing around the big day and perhaps that means we can’t have a sherry or too many mince pies.

But careers are 10 or 12 years long these days and missing out on the family Christmas others may enjoy for a few years is, in my opinion, a more than acceptable price to pay for playing a sport I love and consider myself very fortunate to be playing for a living.

I hope you all had a good one.


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