As a boy I never played rugby. It was all about football.
Boy's rugby wasn't a big thing where I grew up. It wasn't played in the schools where I lived.
And now the opposite is true. My son's school play rugby and he's just started playing for the first time.
Football is only available as an after school activity, which is a shame as he loves playing that too.
A False Start
When my son started school, he tried out rugby as an activity after school.
We thought it would be a good introduction as we knew he'd be playing it from primary four.
But he hated the coach who took the activity session. It appeared the coach assumed everyone already knew how to play rugby.
At the age of five though, my son hadn't been exposed to it and didn't know anything about it.
Needless to say, he didn't do more than a couple of sessions before he became disillusioned and gave up.
From then on he was adamant he didn't want to play rugby at all.
He was worried about getting injured and his experience at that point had nothing but negative connotations.
Worried About Injuries
Whilst I'm sure there are less injuries in boy's rugby than in the adult game, it's still a concern that my son will get injured.
There have been stories about concussion in the news recently and how prevalent it is in the sport in general.
I think with the light being shined on this at the moment that more awareness of head injuries will follow.
The other thing that will become a concern later on is when he starts being in the scrum.
I've read of spinal injuries relating to being part of the scum in boy's rugby and the scrum collapsing.
At the moment, they don't do scrums or line outs though as this isn't allowed until primary six and seven.
Fingers crossed he will never get injured but it's always in the back of my mind.
Boy's Rugby Can Be Tough
Even at the level my son is playing at, the tackles can be tough.
After every competitive match he seems to come home with stud marks on his legs and ankles and bruises all over his body.
I go along to all the home matches and there is always tears from the boys after some of the tackles.
It's not like in American Football where you can wear those huge shoulder pads like they wore in Dynasty.
It's much more gritty and hardcore than that. I guess maybe it builds character and resolve.
Being Part Of A Team
One thing that I like about my son being part of a boy's rugby team is the sense of teamwork and camaraderie.
At the moment, there are only nine boys in his class and they all get a turn in the squad.
Some of them don't really like rugby but it gives them a chance to see what it's like even for just a couple of minutes.
They all get on really well and support each other however good or bad their rugby skills are.
I like the team spirit I see in rugby and the sportsmanship. I think that will do my son no end of good.
The Matches So Far
It's early days in terms of the matches played against other schools.
So far, they've played six matches: won one, drawn one and lost the others.
The last couple of matches have been very close and were very encouraging for the boys.
When you consider that they've only ever played six matches in their lives, it's good experience for them regardless of the score.
There's only one more home match left between now and Christmas and I won't get to many of the away matches.
I have to pick my daughter up from school too and unfortunately I can't be in two places at once!
What's Your Experience With Rugby?
Do any of your kids play rugby and what do you think of it?
Are you worried about the dangers or possible injuries?
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