In an effort to build bridges with the wives and girlfriends and hence enable to spend more hours at the club watching the world cup , here are a few basic rules for the Laydeeeees .

If, however, you cannot convince your better half to join you at the Club, please be re-assured that our new man Herb ( or Erb if your jamiaican or American ) has already been told about the golden rule

if the wife/girlfriend phones up, you’ve just left the Clubhouse and thus should be home shortly


The Match Each team has 15 players, eight burly forwards and seven much prettier backs. Matches are 10 minutes shorter than in football – that’s 80 minutes of bare-faced, politically incorrect, thrilling brutality.

Passing You’re only allowed to pass the ball to someone level with you, or behind you. You can move forwards by running the gauntlet of enemy defenders while desperately clutching the ball to your chest.

Tackling Apart from tackling above the shoulders, opposing players are allowed to do pretty much anything they want in order to get the ball off you – and they do. Crushing your face into the mud and belly-flopping on top of you are all encouraged. Watch and weep.

Scoring A Try, worth five points, is scored by running with the ball over the opponent’s goal line and planting it on the ground in a triumphant manner. You’re then given the opportunity to “convert” the Try – which means kicking it over the crossbar between two posts for another two points. If the opposition commits a foul, you get a penalty kick worth three points. Finally, you can take a Jonny Wilkinson-style drop kick during open play while everyone is doing their damndest to get the ball off you. Very difficult, so worth three points.

Lineouts These occur when the ball goes off the pitch. The players line up next to one another, the ball is thrown between them and they all perform acrobatic feats of athleticism in order to grab it.

The Scrum When play needs to be restarted there will be a scrum. Each team’s forwards put their arms around each other and lock necks with the opposition. Their aim is to drive their enemies off the ball.

Rucks These are the bits that look like a body-builders’ street brawl. They occur when everyone’s trying to get their hands on the ball after someone’s been tackled to the floor.