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Saturday morning we were sat in the local hairdressers as our oldest two boys were being clipped into shape – being rather entertained by the comments we heard.

Dad 1 [to Mom 1]: “Wine? Are you sure? It’s the RUG-BY match, you know.”
Dad 2 [to Mom 2]: “It’s not JUST a rugby match. No.”

One dad mentioned as loudly as is acceptable [whilst little people are trying to get their locks shorn whilst watching Tom and Jerry reruns] to his son’s hairdresser as she wrestled his offspring into the chair that he was off to “Twickers” that afternoon, which earned him some very interesting glances from the other dads.

As amazing as it would obviously be to have been on the side of the pitch, we’re waiting until the boys are old enough to appreciate where they are before we tote all three of them out to support their team.  So, in our home, World Cup Rugby means World Cup Rugby parties.

They aren’t the tea parties I ever envisaged having with a little princess of my own, as my own mom did with me, but with three boys there are plenty of parties. Pirate, superhero and now rugby parties.  And you can be just as creative.

With the Wales vs. England match on the horizon, I stocked up with the staples I like for any party – bunting, balloons, cake stands and a pretty tablecloth. So they weren’t floral this time, but they were still gorgeous – Rugby World Cup themed – with an astro turf tablecloth to complete the look.

We fired up the barbecue, heated up the range indoors and served up rugby match fare to our neighbours with little decorative food stands and mini goal posts creating a match atmosphere in our garden.   Fish and chips, burgers and popcorn, strawberry skewers and half time oranges washed down with Coca-Cola Zero which is the boys’ new party drink of choice, as the cans are black like Batman apparently.  We added some profiteroles as the “sin-bin” element of the feast.

The trampoline was filled with balloons laced with mini chocolate rugby balls for the boys and their friends to find, and a rugby lineout-styled version of piggy-in-the-middle broke out at some point with children flying everywhere.  
When kickoff finally arrived in the evening and we were piled onto the sofa, the boys rolled around with their Wales and England flags as they attempted both national anthems.  Jensen likes to try singing with a Welsh valleys accent which is surprisingly authentic!

It’s hard to gauge who was rooting for whom during the match on the evening – and it’s even more difficult to pick a team when you have so much love for both countries, and so we concentrated on just enjoying the play, calling out the referee – and me, I spent the time privately reminiscing rugby matches gone by, wishing I could turn back the clock and feel the adrenaline rush once more as the first kick of the match bought the game to life around me and lit a fire deep in my heart.  For a girl who spent most of her awkward teenage years on the sidelines, finding rugby changed my life.

Instead, I live with hope that at least one of my boys decides that he too wants to scrum down in the mud and enjoy the camaraderie that I was fortunate enough to find in rugby union – and I keep my fingers crossed that he won’t mind his mom tagging along to watch.  Maybe one day, I’ll get to “Twickers” too.

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