Melbourne Rebels



 What’s it like being injured?

Injury is really tough to deal with. When you’re not injured, you’re training with your teammates, pretty much doing the same thing, with the same people at the same time. Your days are full, and your focus is on the next game: you plan your physio times and your extras (mine is swimming, others have pilates, yoga etc.). You know that if you have a diet blow-out, you’ll be able to work it off the next day or at some point! And on top of the standard training, there are meetings, reviews and all that stuff to do.

Once you’re injured, you join ‘the rehab group’. The boys in rehab group are great, but because everyone has a different injury, no one’s really doing the same thing as someone else. You try to train at the same time to increase morale and really just so you can get through it, but you’re not really doing the same thing.

Because you aren’t involved in the game, you aren’t required for many of the meetings about the next game, so you have a lot of spare time on your hands, which you spend at cafés, shopping, playing Xbox etc. However, boredom almost always sets in and you’re in and out of training so quickly, it feels as if you’re living each day exactly the same as the the one before. It’s Groundhog Day!

So if you combine not training as much (or as hard), with eating and drinking more at cafés and playing video games, you quickly see the hard work you put in during the pre-season totally disappear and almost everything you did has counted for nothing! And for people who have become accustomed to the endorphins released by training twice a day for, in my case, more than 14 years, when you don’t get that any more, you enter a minor sort of depression. And your body changes and it affects your self-esteem, which just makes it all the worse. Don’t get me wrong — I still love what I do and wouldn’t swap it for anything, but injury is very hard on a player’s mentality, especially if you’re not used to it!

I feel like this makes me become a different person — I don’t feel like myself, I isolate myself from the world. And I’m so bored, but with no energy to do anything about it, so I get really cranky. I’m pretty sure my family and friends hate it when I’m injured as much as I do (maybe more). And the entire time, all you want is for everything to go back to normal, where you’re back training with your teammates, back in the inner circle, and back where you belong competing week-in, week-out.

Let’s face it: no one, regardless of what level you play at, plays rugby so they can train more. The training is what you do so you can play on the weekend. When you’re injured, the carrot of playing the game you love is taken away and it can be really hard mentally to keep positive.


Do you believe that the phenomenon of global warming is a result of anthropogenic processes or is it due to natural occurrences? Please discuss your answers in detail and provide references when situating your argument.

I think the anthropogenic processes are exacerbating the global warming. However, I am yet to be swayed by either side as to what degree, if any, global warming can be considered a natural occurrence.

Unfortunately I am unable to provide specific references; I read so widely in the area that any ideas I have are complex syntheses of a tremendous volume of information and opinion. I do apologise.*

 *I may have received help with this answer. I may not understand what it says


How does the end of season in Super XV compare to the English Premiership? Is the motivation the same without the need to qualify for European comps (HEC or Amlin) or possibility of relegation?

Geez, that’s a good question. I can only answer for myself; as I’m sure you can imagine, with 40-plus guys in a squad, the same thing won’t motivate me as someone else. But this is my answer.

I want to win every game I play. Full stop. It doesn’t matter what level I’m playing at, or for which team. What motivates me is pulling on the jersey, lacing up the boots and going out and playing alongside my teammates for the win. I love playing the game, and when I’m playing, I’m not thinking about what happens if we win verus if we lose, or if we get a bonus point what it means for other teams… I just want to do my absolute best to get a win for my team.

Probably the biggest difference comes from the media attention on the teams, though. In Australia, we are in such a competitive sporting landscape that if you aren’t in finals contention then you lose that space in the newspaper to someone else. But when relegation and qualification are involved, then there’s still a reason for the media to pay attention to what you’re doing. So in that regard there’s a bit more media focus over there, and a few more cameras at training.

So my motivation doesn’t change, but the outside stuff does.

 My one question is this: you grew up in Australia but have spent a large part of your playing time in England. How do you see your own nationality? Are you Aussie, English or a mixture of both? Where is home?

OK: this gets asked to me a lot! I was born in England but grew up in Australia and went to school in Australia, then I went back to England to start playing over there. Overall, I’ve spent a great part of my life in each place with no regrets and I see myself as a bit of both.

As for where home is? It’s wherever I’m living, so right now it’s Melbourne.

For more questions, post in the forum thread, or in the comments here, or on Twitter using the hashtag #askLipdogg


Melbourne Rebels

Currently at Melbourne Rebels, and a former England International. He loves a good time and don't take life too seriously.

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