Rugby: The Future of Football?

October 22, 2007

Drogba diving

 England's Graham Rowntree meets a tackle from John Smit

I have always been a football fan and I think I always will. This is despite the efforts of overpaid, overated players, weak leadership from all the governing bodies, poor refereeing, disrespect from players to officials and fans………hang on, I’m a fan of this? Well yes I am and it’s because of the GAME of football not the people in it barring a few exceptions, it was the sport I was brought up watching and played and is in my blood.

Now in the last couple of weeks I have watched some of the rugby world cup and quite frankly been amazed at what I’ve seeen. I’ve been captivated by the sheer magnetism of some of the players, enthralled by the excitement of the ruck, the maul and occasional running. Watch Chabal wrestle the ball free from a ruck or Habana run with the ball and not feel something? I doubt it. The sheer sportsmanship from players capable of causing opponents real damage but who resist due to some intrinsic trust in each other and the game. The absolute respect of the referees decision, without question. One word out of place and precious territory is lost, again without question. Postmatch interviews not littered with cliches or criticism of the officials, even in the depths of despair after defeat players accept the better team won and the referee go everything right.

Now I am a rugby novice and will no doubt be told it isn’t the noble sport I believe it to be but football should or even MUST learn some lessons from their egg shaped ball cousins. It can only be good for the sport. Think about it for a minute, Drogba or Chabal, Terry or Corry, Rooney or Wilkinson? I know who I wany my kids to model themselves on and ultimately £ 160 grand a week doesn’t by class, eloquence or respect.

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