1. Team info sheets
At the start of the season Pirates distribute an info sheet with details of all players and coaches addresses, mobile phone numbers and wives and kids names plus birthdays. The wives and kids names have actually proven to be really useful as I am dreadful with stuff like that: heck I can barely recall my own twin sons’ names! But the birthdays…that just kills me. Some of the boys are born in the 90s! Reading that sheet can make a man feel old (I’m 35 btw), the only small consolation is that I’m not the oldest player at Pirates (a certain Mr Paver holds that honour, although he’d deny it if you asked him). Luckily for me props get better with age.
TRP verdict: Everyone’s allowed a ‘senior moment’ every now and again. You’re in.
2. Sports Injuries
I’ve had a few injuries over the years – torn Achilles, ruptured AC, torn bicep, fractured eye orbit and broken nose (about five times) – and every time you get a sinking feeling in your gut wondering how long the latest setback will keep you away from the rugby field. I’ve also witnessed a few injuries in my time and some can really turn your stomach. I remember a Sevens competition while at University where one of the lads got his head stood on at a ruck and he came up with his ear hanging off with only the lobe attached. I also had a close-up view when our hooker broke his nose and cheekbone after being on the wrong end of some foul play.
TRP verdict: Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart. You’re in.
3. Hugh Grant films…
…or any romantic films really. There have been a load on over Christmas and the Mrs has been lapping them up. I can always tell when she has watched one because I end up in the dog house for 1) not saying romantic things or 2) not making romantic gestures. I honestly think she expects me to write songs and pick flowers; front rowers just aren’t wired that way. If you need someone to move a heavy box then I’m your man, but if you need someone to share your hair straighteners with, you should’ve married a back!
TRP verdict: Notting Hill’s chance are we going to turn you down. You’re in again.
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