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I was a little bit awful at sports when I was younger.
Not that I wasn’t enthusiastic; I was just too aggressive [tennis], too uncoordinated [rounders] and too unpopular [netball].  Let’s just say that I had issues even catching a basketball.  As sport clearly wasn’t a natural talent of mine, my parents never pushed me into activities and I left school as a physically inept teenager, standing on the sidelines, wishing I was on the team. Any team.
In the September of 1994 I headed to the Valleys of South Wales to read law as an undergraduate, and learned very quickly that Wednesdays at university were for sports – or tax law on my degree course if you didn’t play.  Near the end of my first year, after months of watching my then boyfriend enjoy Wednesday afternoons touring the UK with his teammates and ending each match with an evening in the bar, I donned an old pair of his Gilbert shorts and headed out for rugby practice with the UWRFC in the pouring rain.
One muddy evening spent hurling myself against tackle bags in a natural equivalent of a mud based ‘slip and slide’ and I was hooked.  I played for the next five years and I loved every minute, from the pre-match adrenaline in the locker rooms to the high of the first hit, right down to the last desperate five minutes when stakes were high.  Rugby made me feel as alive as I’ve ever felt and gave me so much – friends, fitness and a fire in my heart.  I was proud.
The most fantastic thing about rugby is that it is for everyone.  No matter what shape, size, height, width, strength, or lack of natural sporting talent – there’s a position you can guarantee will fit you, and bring out the best in you.
Me, I weaved my way through full back [during my first ever match I learned that body blocks are not permitted – but to be fair, I did what my coach said and stopped anyone passing me], winger [I’m just not that fast], flanker [I wanted to be in the scrum but didn’t really know what to do], hooker [I’m just not that bendy] until I found my place at number three; tight head prop.  Lifting in the line up, scrumming down on the front row and having the time of my life.  Rugby made my university experience fantastic.
Rugby brings people together.  At the end of a match, there were [usually] no grudges held, and after a quick hot shower, a warm jumper and jeans, with a pint of Stella Artois in hand, we were all packed into the student union and comparing bruises.  Everyone has a story to tell.  It’s just brilliant – and I don’t think my parents were ever more proud than when they were watching me, covered in mud, grinning from ear to ear as I finally found my place, and made my peace with sport.
I hope that my boys come to love rugby as much as I have – and so this year, we’re joining in with Allianz, Saracens RFC and their family campaign of Pass Around The World.  It’s really easy to join – upload a ten second [or less] video of you and your family or friends passing the ball on.

So how do you do it?  Ball in on the left, ball out on the right.  It’s simple, right?  We finally managed to get ours done and uploaded – and our blooper reel is coming soon – but we’d love to see you join in too!  Just go to:, upload and pop in your name and email so they can let you know when it’s up!  We can’t wait to see where our pass goes!  By entering, you can win some amazing prizes, too – including a £150 ticketmaster voucher, signed rugby balls and more!


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