Clapham rugby boys relive the glory years after England’s sorry loss
‘It’s like Cameron and the pig – and we did a lot worse’
Despite England’s defeat yesterday, rugby boys in the capital embraced the night as a chance to relive their heyday years at university, boozing and sham-oozing in a trashy club with the boys.
Within an hour of the game finishing, broad, tight-shirted young men had flocked into the bright lights and tacky music delights of Infernos – one of London’s gaudiest nightclubs.
Now in well-paid but tedious nine to five jobs, many have realised their time in the uni rugby team was a euphoric experience they’ll never get back.
Sporting scarves and clutching doubles, they spent the night desperately trying to be the students they once were, back in the days of boozy initiations and ritualistic piss-ups at the student bar.
There were even sightings of blue shirts and chinos, the cringey combo they sported so often in their prime.
Christian, Dan and Matt have been hit hard by reality of post-uni life, and got nostalgic through sips of vodka Red Bull.
“It was a lot of fun. But now most Saturday nights are in watching X Factor,” slurred Christian, who went to Leeds.
“I miss it. It was great being part of such a solid team.”
Sam, 28, was a keen rugby player at Sheffield University. He spent the night bonding with ex-team mates, and owned up to some dirty behaviour: “We shared everything. We had a Facebook group where we discussed all the girls we’d shagged.
“Often we’d shag the same girls, and we’d share experiences.”
On the dance floor, there were few girls to be seen.
Instead was a mass of bulky guys holding on tightly to one another, trying to rekindle the team bond, revive memories of tour, and feel like top dons again.
Mark, who went to Kent University and now works in London, admitted working life is damaging to the rugby lad’s ego.
He said: “You come to London feeling like a big dog, but you soon realise you’re in a bigger city.
“I guess you realise the world is a lot bigger than the drinking circle.”
Despite the three or more years of getting slaughtered at least twice a week behind them, few would admit it did any damage to their health.
“It made us amazing drinkers. The shit I had to down means I can take anything now,” said Elliot, who went to Swansea University, and – unlike most – was celebrating the match result.
As the club night drew to a close, the boys started to amass in the kebab shop next door.
James, who went to Imperial College and is now a Paramedic, said over a carton of kebab meat: “Rugby at uni is immensely fun, but then coming out and having a job, you take what you learned and use it in the best way.
“I think the shit I had to do for rugby at uni helps me in my job today. I often have to deal with pretty bad smells, but after drinking someone else’s piss, that doesn’t seem so bad.”
Alex, who was also a rugby player at Imperial, added: “I have no regrets about stuff I did in the rugby team.
“It’s like Cameron and the pig – who gives a shit? And we did a lot worse.”