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The NewsBiscuit guide to Rugby

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Saturday sees the start of the 2021 Autumn Internationals, where the three ‘home nations’ – and Wales – will rugby against bigger and better rugbiers from the southern hemisphere to prove that we’re still not as good as them.

However, despite ‘fans’ confidently demanding that they do, no-one actually understands what is happening.

So, our in-house rugby expert, Hugo ‘Binky-Balls’ Hertfordshire-Pyle has produced a handy guide to help you pretend to understand the rules too.

The Game

Rugby was invented at the school which gave the sport its name – Harrow. The object of the game is for each team to rugby their way up the pitch to their opponents’ line and fall over while holding the ball. This is called a ‘try’. But it’s not as easy as it sounds! The opposing rugbiers will attempt to stop this happening by physically assaulting the person with the ball and knocking him/her to the ground.

If someone does score a try, they are then allowed to attempt kicking the ball towards the big H at the end of the pitch before a helicopter lands on it.

Players must run backwards but ensure they pass the ball forwards - if they fail to do this, they are subjected to a ritual debagging.

The Scrum

Rugby is famously a gentleman’s sport, where respect is of utmost importance. As such at various intervals in the game, play will stop to allow the eight fattest players on each team have a manly or womanly group hug. Lots of Vaseline is used.


Quite possibly you’ll have heard television commentators mention the strange names for rugby playing positions, such as prop, hooker, bingo, whinger, Barney McGrew, rabber-dabber, scrum-half, and gezuntheit. Below are explanations for the most important of these.

Prop. A fat simpleton, so-called because those playing in the position were said to 'have the brains and speed of a theatre prop.’

Hooker. A fat and deeply unpopular player who is only allowed on the team if he/she gives sexual favours to the coach.

Fly-half. A pretty boy/glamour girl who thinks they’re God. Will often be heard shouting ‘not the face’ in the vicinity of a tackle.

Whinger. A slight person who runs away from the big boys and girls. So called because he/she stands on the side of the pitch always moaning “It’s not fair; throw the ball to me!”

The Silent Raver. This is person not dressed in any of the teams’ colours and doesn’t touch the ball. They will stand beside the scrum and other fights, usually dressed in fluorescent rave garb, making rave hand signals, and blowing a whistle.

With this handy guide, you will now be able to convince others that you know what rugby is all about. Just remember to wear the uniform: your favourite team’s shirt with a pair of red trousers, sand coloured Caterpillar boots, a donkey jacket, a pint of warm beer, and an obnoxious demeanour.

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