UoB rugby freshers made to eat raw chicken liver during social

Three have experienced salmonella-like symptoms as a result


Bristol rugby freshers were made to eat raw chicken livers during a social, causing at least three of them to fall ill.

Three freshers told The Bristol Tab they suffered from diarrhoea the next week and endured salmonella-like symptoms.

None of the three freshers concerned wished to divulge much about their experience, although one described it as "just banter."

When asking other UBRFC members, past and present, about eating raw chicken at socials, they also told us about how there's a level of pressure to be a "lad".

One member recalls an incident where a fresher, already wearing a nappy for a social, was singled out. "Most of us had boxers underneath to retain some dignity, however this older lad picked on one person and pressured him into removing his pants from under his nappy", they said.

"After about five minutes of pressuring, the guy was eventually stopped by other older boys, but then as compensation he thought it was fair to take the fresher's t-shirt (which we were meant to bring with us in case the bars on the bar crawl wouldn’t serve us without them).

"Not everyone is a huge rugby ‘lad’ that loves everything to do with it and I think some people become badly impacted by the way they’re treated."

Another member described his first social with the club, when he was taken up onto a platform where other club members chanted "virgin".

UBRFC Club Captain Hywel Rose told The Bristol Tab: "You're entitled to write whatever you want as I'm allowed to say whatever I want and I will make this very clear. I would suggest you think long and hard before you jump on the anti-rugby bandwagon and write a negative article about a club you have absolutely no idea about or have been a part of.

"So many people these days love to bash university rugby clubs and paint us in such a negative light and yet they've never been a part of it and simply don't understand the benefits to a young man of being a part of such a club.

"As I'm sure you're aware men's mental health is a hot topic and massive problem in Bristol these days but maybe in whatever article you write you should think about the benefit of being part of such a club in supporting young men through uni.

"You might also like to think about how we've raised over £4,000 for charity and counting this year so far for great causes such as Movember and Freedom of Mind. You might also like to think about how a student led club provided rugby performance for over 160 people as well as intramural rugby of six teams for social players at the university. All of which provides a much needed release for young men in a stressful uni environment.

"So quite frankly I'm fed up of you pestering my committee and members trying to get information to write a made up negative article that is beneficial to nobody. So I suggest strongly that you stop trying to bother anyone else. I would happily meet you in person but you know what my tone is going to be so that's up to you. But nobody from the club will be making any further comments on any potential article."