Hosting the Rugby World Cup

I've always been a bit of a fan of rugby. Tall, often handsome (if you get past the mashed ears and wonky noses), muscly men, bending over in tight shorts. What's not to like? The Rugby World Cup has reignited my passion for the sport



Past rugby obsessions

In the past I went out with a few rugby players, none of them famous unfortunately. Although the conversation wasn't exactly scintillating, being pleasing on the eye made up for it.

I like to think I'm not as shallow as that now. In fact I was so shallow that I once pretended I was sick to sneak off to meet a famous rugby player when I should have been going out for dinner with my boyfriend. When I turned up at the party, all dolled up and ready to meet the man of my dreams, my boyfriend was standing there, none too happy.

The whole thing had been a set up, and he was in on it. I'm not sure who was more angry - my boyfriend for my treachery or me because I never got to meet my idol. Needless to say the relationship went downhill after that. 

Scrumming down on the sofa

Now that the Rugby World Cup has started, I have the pleasure of watching the games with my boys. They love the sport, mainly it seems because they can inflict pain on other individuals without being told off.

I love sitting down to watch a game with everyone piled onto the sofa, accompanied by wine and a large bag of Maltesers. Sometimes the pleasure is marred by my husband hurling abuse at the referee, but I've learnt to live with that.

Spying on the Springboks

Our sleepy town is hosting the South African rugby team, and it has had some unexpected benefits.

One morning last week, I came face to face (actually more face to groin, given some of their height) with the team. I rocked up to my local University gym, only to discover it was overrun with Springboks. I managed to sneak my way in, but was kicked out after 5 minutes. I think they found my presence off putting.

Apparently it's not acceptable to lie on a mat whilst staring up at the crotch of Jean De Villiers.

Meeting Jonno

Last weekend, the legend that is Martin Johnson visited my sons' rugby club. I don't think he smiled once, but no-one minded as he truly is a god. My youngest was the only kid amongst hundreds brave enough to ask him for his autograph.

My son was so happy, mainly because, as he put it, "My brother will be so jealous." I've got a picture of my son and Jonno chatting away. Actually my son was chatting away. Jonno couldn't hear him through his cauliflower ears, bless him.

2003 Rugby World Cup

Back in 2003, my husband went to Australia to watch England win the World Cup. A whole group of his mates went, and I was going as the token girl on the trip. The month before we were due to leave I found out I was pregnant.

I remember the look of sheer delight on his face when I told him we were having a baby. It was only later I realised that his smile was not down to impending fatherhood, but because he realised that my pregnancy (and the horrendous sickness that accompanied it) meant I couldn't come on the trip.

I'm not sure I've ever really forgiven my son for making me miss such a momentous occasion in English rugby. So I'm hoping that this time England will win and I will be there to see it.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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