I love the fact that my boys love rugby. They couldn't not given my constant propaganda in that department and the fact that Mrs P's family are all daft on the subject (though they have the distinct disadvantage of supporting Scotland).
Why do I like rugby - and more specifically why do I like it that my boys like rugby?
1. It is a multi-dimensional game -kicking, tackling, scrummaging, running, handwork, footwork.....
2. Kids of all builds can play - tall, lanky backs and wingers; big lads in the front row; tottie wee scrum-halves.
3. The boys don't talk back at the ref (if they do - which I have never seen - the ball gets moved 10 yards towards their line)
4. The boys call the referee "Sir".
5. The parents are well-behaved and chat amiably to the parents of their opponents (I've seen fights only narrowly averted at junior football matches between parents)
6. The captain, and the captain alone, gets to speak to the ref.
7. Having knocked seven bells out of each other the boys shake hands and give each other three cheers.
I suspect it fulfils a role similar to that seen in juvenile rats: What do rats find rewarding in play fighting?--an analysis using drug-induced non-playful partners. Which is why little lads need rough-and-tumble play - or they become lobotomized sitting in front of their PlayStations.
The Eldest Boy plays for this outfit. A prize of a copy of Fr Aidan Nichols' book Looking at the Liturgy to the reader who correctly identifies Paulinus Minor Major from the team photo
NB Father Paul Francis is banned as he has met Paulinus Minor Major