Nutta’s Navel Gazing – Props

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Nutta’s Navel Gazing – Props

Every now and again someone is silly/inebriated/idiotic/demented enough to ask for my opinion on something.


And every now and again I’m asked about my opinion regarding the types of people you may find playing Rugby.

So, in the immortal words of my Old Man “Be careful what you ask for Boy because you just might get it.” And so I’ll share my opinion and dish out ‘Rugby Positions Described’ for a few weeks just to fill the void and have a laugh.

I do not claim this as original work. Some of it is. But most of it is stolen observations, anecdotes and sometimes just downright plagiarism of stuff I’ve heard along the way in my +35yrs of pulling on the boots, doing up the laces and rediscovering my hamstrings fused to my spinal column sometime in the late 1970’s. Please bear in-mind I am not au-fait with modern rugby technique and terminology. I’m still coming to terms with lifting in the lineout. But a couple of times a year I still roll out for a slap and a tickle and realise that not much has changed.

So without further a-do, I offer the sacrifice below for critique & comment as a ham-fisted attempt at explaining rugby positions to the uninitiated:

Starting at the beginning, no greater do we have then the Props. For the Nufties, they wear No1 & 3. There is no typical physique for the Pride of the Pack with Homer Simpson’s through to Silver Back Gorillas being common. But unseemly hairiness, strength, random nudity, karaoke addiction and general ‘uniqueness’ are prerequisites.

The role of prop is unforgivingly noble; to let others shine. They support the scrum, belt the ruck, lift the line-out jumpers but most importantly provide the moral compass for the herd of unethical cats that make up the rest of the team (especially the hooker). And at no time is this role more critical than when on bus-trip or on tour.

Props have 2 types. Looseheads (no1) tend to be more impulsive. Tightheads (no3) tend to be a bit more philosophical about life. This manifests as about a quarter-second difference in timing on when they throw their first punch.

Props are unbelievably multi skilled. They can step, pass, pirouette and chip-kick off both sides. But following a secret conclave at the Vatican in 1976, The Secret Society of Props have signed international confidentiality agreements not to (it lets Backs feel they contribute). Instead they read Schopenhauer, compose Haiku in their spare time and anchor the Boat-race.

Props are universally acknowledged as the smartest players on the pitch but are rumoured to have a Cryptonian weakness as archaeological records do indicate with some certainty that beer, rum, red wine and generous cleavage have been secretly mixed together and subjected to endless chanting and Sting songs to create a concoction so powerful as to stop Props taking over the world.


Underfed front-rower with no speed or ball skills. Started playing footy in the 70's and still going. Can't remember the last time I passed on a ball, beer or karaoke mike. Motto - "Meat and potatoes first. Then gravy. And you don't put gravy on the plate first Boy."

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