|Rugby is a sport of scrum
and rough contacts,
always within full respect for the adversary. Itís a sport of anglo-saxon origins that found its best latin expression first in France and then in Italy, where the national team is now part of the historical "elite" of rugby. Who was right? Oscar Wilde, who said that "rugby is a good occasion for keeping 30 bullies far from the center of the city", or Henry Blaha, who said that "rugby is a beastly sport played by gentlemen"? Richard Burton ("Rugby is a wonderful show: dance, opera and, suddenly, the blood of a killing") or Pelham Grenwille Wodehouse ("To score a try, one needs to engage in a series of actions that, in every other contest, could get a 15 year sentence to jail")? Or Reverend Corey, who said that "rugby is a game for good sportsmen of every classes, but not for bad sportsmen, independently of their class"? Few sports are able to create so much enthusiasm and criticism, even though the point of view of many of those who despise it are based on commonplaces.
Is it a violent sport?
Rugby is not a violent sport, but a rough one. Serious injuries are relatively few and no more numerous than those in so called "less violent" sports, such as football. You give and take lot of blows (because of falling or clashing with adversaries), but after three days everything is back to normal. To play rugby with safety, top preparation is necessary: if muscle tone is poor, itís possible to fall badly on the ground and be crushed by mountains of muscle well prepared to clash on the field.
If anything, American Football is the violent sport, where itís possible to stop every player of the opposing team and not only the one who has the ball, like in rugby. Is it foul play? Exactly the opposite! Rugby is a school of life, it teaches you to be correct and to respect your adversary, it pushes you to be legal and despise cheating. The minimal protest against the referee is disapproved of, and there are rituals at the end of the matches that include a salute to the audience and the opposing team. On the field, rugby players fights like mad, giving nothing to the adversary, but at the end of the match itís all over and itís time for the "third time".
This is part of the rugby tradition:
a small feast organized by the host team, usually inside the sport facility. After the shower, players, managers and companions of the two teams eat and drink together, getting to know each other and exchanging opinions. Often itís here that the players starts friendships that can last a lifetime. Instead, in the international matches thereís an official dinner for the two teams, with the exchange of gifts, pennants, ties etc.
To prove that, in rugby, thereís hardly ever foul play, look at the rarity of expulsions, very little in spite of the frequency and intensity of body contacts. Recently, temporary expulsions of about 10 minutes has been introduced for really important fouls. Is it enjoyable to watch it? Maybe until some years ago it wasnít, but recently some rules have been changed: the game is now faster and easier to understand by everyone, and many pauses slowing rhythm has been eliminated in favor of the action of the opposing team.
the line out can be done by lifting the player who receive the ball, so he has a greater chance to pass it on to another of his team. Even in scrums, the team that line out the ball has now 99% of chance to keep it. This way action can go on, the show is more interesting and thereís more continuity in the game.