A Hooligans’ Game


“Football is a gentlemen’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligans’ game played by gentlemen” –Anonymous


My youngest son is a hooker. There, I’ve said it. I like to get these things out in the open.

Basketball, it seems, has lost its charm. Although he plans to finish out the season with the Buzzards 5, he’s been training with the Enschedese Rugby Club for about a month now. Recently he popped through the kitchen door, filthy and sweaty from practice and cheerfully announced that he’s a hooker.




I was slightly appalled. It sounds like a position with a potential for the player to develop a nice set of cauliflower ears. On the other hand, Celtic Sif, who spent most of her youth in the wilds of Aberdeen along with her rugby playing brothers, was delighted about the “roog-beh” and is looking forward to going to the matches.

Last night we drove over to the club to watch a training. We, or should I say, Celtic Sif generated a bit of a buzz on the sidelines. At 5’11” and built like the proverbial brick house, she was being actively recruited for the women’s team. I’m guessing they’re looking for a new flanker. She was obviously tempted but in the end, declined. Me and my 5’2” of fabulousness were completely ignored. Oh well.

Having established that No. 2 Son’s career as a hooker will not involve midnight raids from the vice squad, I decided to investigate what a hooker actually does on the rugby pitch. I found an excellent and funny blog by Ryan Rennaker:


This not only clarified things but confirmed my worst fears:

Hooker: The smallest forward, a hooker is known for his crafty ways and cauliflower ears.

The Welsh win the song contest.

NZ All Blacks have the best dance.


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