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All Manner of Men

There are eight forwards. They take part in scrums, line-outs, rucks, and mauls. Essentially everything that is meaningful in the game. The close physical work necessary for the forwards engenders a sense of comradeship not shared by the prancing self-centered effeminate backs. The game has evolved, thank goodness, with multi-phase possession allowing the forwards to demonstrate their running ability with the ball.

Props and Hookers
The front row is the cauldron, the foundation for all good rugby play. The front row is noted for their power and good looks, like no necks, battered ears, and S shaped noses. These guys are pretty much at the top of the food chain. Such players are noted for their intelligence and ability to play well into their forties. These guys woould, in fact, rule the world if it wasn't for the barley and hops.

Second Row
The second row is the engine room where the power flows. The second row or lock forward is tall,with plenty of leverage strength in the legs. He must be productive in the lineouts as a jumper or supporter. Mobility is added plus. The second row is much appreciated by the front row for their power in the scrummage but they are generally not as good looking as the front row.

The loose forwards
The loose forwards include the #8 and the flankers. The loose forwards are respected by the front row for their mobility,fitness,defense, and support work. The loosey must have tremendous fitness and ball fetching instincts which are not completely understood or trusted by the props and hooker who are perfectly content to scrummage all day for the ball.

Lovely,The satisfaction of another scrumdown courtesy of the prancing stone handed backline

The Scrum-half
The little scrum half provides the ball to the backs when the forwards are dam well ready for the strutting backs to knock it forward. The forwards have grudging respect for the scrum-half because he trys hard and is not afraid to get dirty with the rest of the scrummies. The wise scrum-half will drink and buy beers for the scrummies to maintain his favored position with the forwards.

The Flyhalf
It is rumored that the Fly has the best vision,hands,kicking ability, and overall tactical decision making ability on the side. The forwards do not understand or trust this individual. The hard working scrummies generally expect and anticipate a knock forward from the fly so they can have the pleasure of another scrum-down.

The Centers
These hombres are supposed to be deadly tacklers,strong running instincts, good hands. Alas, the centers are lumped in there with the prancing flyhalf. If the fly doesn't knock, surely one of the centers will muff it up so the scrummies can experience the joy and satisfaction of another scrum-down.

The fullback and wingers
These guys may as well be from Mars. They are allegedly fast with excellent striking ability. They are supposed to score lots of trys, catch the high ball, and counter attack with flare. But the stark reality well understood by the forwards is that the fullback and wingers prance and preen more than the inside backs. They don't get dirty and they are always playing with their hair and pulling on their collars. In fact their sexual orientation has been called into question on numerous occassions. Some props think they are "real purdy.

More definitions for the rugby idiot. Click here.

"On a crisp fall day in 1823 William Webb Ellis picked up a football in his hands and ran with it. To this day, backs throughout the world hail this moment as the birth of rugby. Forwards, however, know that the game was not really invented until 1.5 seconds later, when Roland Dimrumple drove a squealing Mr. Ellis' face into the turf, kicked him in the solar plexus and told him to "keep his sodding hands off the ball." - Anonymous

"Rugby football is a game I can't claim absolutely to understand in all its niceties, if you know what I mean. I can follow the broad, general principles, of course. I mean to say, I know that the main scheme is to work the ball down the field somehow and deposit it over the line at the other end and that, in order to squalch this programme, each side is allowed to put in a certain amount of assault and battery and do things to its fellow man which, if done elsewhere, would result in 14 days (in jail) without the option (bail), coupled with some strong remarks from the Bench (Judge)."
P. G. Wodehouse Very Good, Jeeves (1930)

This engraving depicting "football" during the War Between the States is interesting in that the players are more keen on punching each other out than holding the ball shown way in the background.