Friday, 26 July 2013

Dads' army prepares for battle

I recently bought a cheap pair of rugby boots, the first I've purchased since 1996 - the year I tore up my leg and was forced to give up the game.

I only did so to guard against falling over and landing on my face in front of a field full of 5-year-olds when my peripheral coaching role starts in September. 

But I'm now going to get to put them on a little sooner than that.

Because, for one afternoon only - and possibly only for a few minutes depending how my fellow dads and I get on - I am coming out of rugby retirement.

In a move which I would like to think more Rocky Balboa than Michael Jackson in terms of how it ends, the Aireborough Lions coaches have entered a team in tomorrow's six-a-side "Touch and Pass" tournament being held on our own pitches. 

Each game will comprise two six-minute halves, with rolling substitutions - which is why we have a ten-man squad. 

In our multi-shaped ranks (that's a few of us pictured above at our kit launch), we have Englishmen, we have Irishmen (North and South), we even have a Welshie. Better still, we have no Scots - removing any worry of someone not buying their round afterwards. 

Well, I say "afterwards." But, as it turns out, a pop up bar will be open at pitchside throughout the day. What a practical, nay, "forward-thinking" club Aireborough is.

To be strictly accurate, I have made one appearance on a rugby field in the last 17 years, almost precisely 13 years ago in London, when Wee John forced me to guest for Universal Studios' mixed touch rugby team. (I cannot stress to you enough how difficult it is to play mixed touch rugby without getting arrested, or at least a slap in the face). 

I must also admit that, on Tuesday evening whilst out for a very slow run, I took a short detour via the rugby pitches to see if I still had a bit of pace over 50 yards. I didn't. 

But, I mean, what's the worst that could happen?

Actually, don't answer that.

Words and pictures in a day or two.