Naked wrestling and 1,000 pint challenges: Inside Cardiff Uni Rugby socials
They love nothing more than getting their kit off
We've all heard the traumatic tales of the infamous rugby initiations up and down the country that are shrouded in secrecy and are never to be spoken of. And it’s no secret that Cardiff Uni has one of the most well known rugby teams in the country.
In Cardiff, the horror stories of their naked antics and heavy drinking has freshers quaking in their boots. The rugby team is known for their notorious socials, so we decided to find out more.
After discovering their weekly socials are held in the Cathays Conservative Club on Wyverne Road, we headed over to speak to the staff who witness the weekly rugby socials.
Jayne Hicks is lucky enough to be the staff member who looks after the lads and has developed a strong rapport with them over time. This year marks their fifth season of hosting socials there.
After speaking to Jayne, along with an ex-member of the Cardiff Uni Rugby team, we have found out just how crazy the rugby socials are. From naked sumo wrestling, to lots of pints and getting off with pig’s heads being the norm, here is everything we know about the Cardiff University Rugby team socials.
The Cons Club pour over 100 pints in preparation for the social
This is the busiest season yet for the Cons Club, with as many as 180 attending the rugby socials. According to Jayne, the 7.30pm arrival time for the social can only be described as a "tsunami" of bodies. She says she will pre-pour around 150 pints of lager before the rugby club even arrive, as when they get there it is mad. Staff also place buckets on all of the tables as they have come to expect projectile vomiting as a standard element of the night.
Of course the boys also have to prepare for the socials too and dress smartly every week in their beige chinos, blue shirts, red and black striped ties and tweed blazers if they’re feeling chilly; jeans just won’t do. On some occasions the team also have to bring in props, which have previously included microwaves and shopping trolleys. For one social, all members had to bring in an egg and keep it with them all night and would get fined if they lost it.
The night begins with two members stripping off naked and doing a drinking “triathlon”
An ex-member of the rugby club says the night generally begins with a few games for the freshers, with at least one member of the club naked already. The games of the day get recounted, the Man of the Match and Dick of the Day get chosen and have to strip off. Man of the Match has to neck a pint, whereas the unfortunate Dick of the Day has to perform a "triathlon", where you have to down a pint of bitter, lager and cider, one after another. The social secretaries will then conduct games such as boat races, where the boys have to stand in a line and down their drinks one by one again, all whilst being naked.
The rugby club have a “1,000 pint challenge”, where they have to drink 1000 pints before the SU
One of the challenges members partake in is the "pyramid", which is usually reserved for birthdays and involves taking a shot, followed by a WKD, a beer and a Guinness, another beer, another WKD and is topped off with a final shot. But the maddest challenge of all is the “1,000 pint challenge”, where the team have to drink 1,000 pints before heading to the SU. When telling us about the “1,000 pint challenge”, Jayne recounted a time when the team did a 2,000 pint challenge, following the same rule. However, the lads didn’t actually make it to the SU after this one, which is understandable as it worked out to more than 13 pints each. The boys regularly complete the 1,000 pint challenge though.
There’s a lot of nudity and always a lot of naked sumo wrestling in beer
Everyone knows how much the rugby lads like to get into their birthday suits and mess around with one another. They are naked at every social, and one of their classic naked activities is sumo wrestling in beer. This essentially involves a selection of the guys wrestling each other, naked, whilst being showered by the others in pints. An ex-member of the club has said: "it's all very consensual…you do get very comfortable in your own skin, as you will at some point be naked, drinking and singing."
They do some pretty grim stuff, like kissing a real pig’s head
The rumours have been confirmed, the rugby lads actually do some pretty grim stuff which would have the other sports teams cringing. According to Jayne, they recently brought in a real pig's head and made each member kiss it. However, it isn’t unusual for this to happen as pig’s heads have been used all over the country in sports’ socials. The staff at Cons have also revealed the team previously made one another eat live goldfish during their social.
The boys who don’t drink have to chug milkshakes instead
One rugby club member told us the rugby team actually have a Welfare Secretary: “Members can go and talk to them if they have any issues, and the club is even supportive of members that do not drink.”
In cases such as these, they will still be involved in the drinking games, but will chug vanilla, chocolate and strawberry milkshakes instead of alcohol.
They have definite dad-music tastes
The rugby team regularly have naked karaoke nights as part of their socials, with Robbie Williams' "Angels" being the song played most along with some classic Backstreet Boys tunes. Not exactly what you'd expect from such huge boys, but it's nice to know they have sensitive sides too. No matter what, everyone strips off and sings before departing for their night at The Lash.
If boys damage the Cons Club they have to clean it, with a toothbrush…
The rugby team are responsible and pay for all damages they do to the club. And when damages do occur, the older members have been known to offer to make those guilty clean the club toilets with a toothbrush. A few members will often stay behind after the social has ended despite "barely being able to hold a brush" and help with the cleanup of the room. In addition, they regularly have whip rounds to help the club's charities and will also fund carpet cleaning services.
Despite their antics, the Cons Clubs absolutely love Wednesday with the rugby club
Despite everything, the Cons Club love them, it spices up Jayne's night, she tells us. The members love them too, everyone has a fun time.
Jayne had nothing but positive things to say about the group, even going as far as to say she "absolutely loves Wednesday nights". According to her, they communicate fantastically and are very friendly to staff and other customers alike, and will even recognise the staff outside the Cons Club and have a chat to them.
One ex-chairman of the rugby team got so attached that he cried when he graduated. It’s not just the lads who have fun, Jayne likes playing around with the boys, hiding their eggs behind the bar during the challenge mentioned above, and mixing up their clothes whilst they're stripping just to confuse them. It seems as though she is seen as a mother figure to many in the society, and is always treated with a lot of respect.
All in all, whilst the lads may have a mildly concerning fixation with getting each other naked, they seem to be a well mannered, thoughtful bunch who have a strong sense of brotherhood, and surely that's the most important part of any society. Even if pig's heads are occasionally on the menu.
According to Jayne, there are never fights and the boys will look after those who get too drunk.
Speaking to The Cardiff Tab, Cardiff Uni RFC said: "As you’ve said there is an excellent culture of inclusivity within the rugby club, and we do have a very strong and positive relationship with our friends at the Cons Club Cathays, as I’m sure Jayne Hicks will attest too.
"As the Cons Club is a licensed premises, there is of course alcohol served. However, we don’t recognise what you describe as 'drinking challenges', as it is against the code of conduct of the club to force any member to drink.
"Again, as for 'kissing pigs heads' and 'eating goldfish', I’m afraid this is not something we would condone or has taken place at any socials this year.
"It is of course extremely disappointing that The Tab, having been supplied with details of our on going charity activities would choose to ignore raising the profile of these charitable causes, and instead pursue an article of fabrications and misinformation, quite clearly slandering the rugby club and by extension the university which we represent.
"As mentioned in our previous correspondence, the rugby club has been assisting the Welsh Blood Service with their campaigning in Cardiff, and 50 members are signed up to donate blood later this month.
"As well as this the clubs continuing its support of the Movember Foundation for men’s health, where we have so far raised £1500 this month. The Movember Foundation raises funds for Testicular and Prostate Cancer, as well as Men's Mental health issues. Being a club of young men these are clearly issues which have touched many of us personally, and therefore this is why we choose to support the organisation so strongly.
"Additionally, at our socials we have been collecting for the Royal British Legion poppy appeal, and have made a contribution of over £150.
"I sincerely hope that you choose to highlight these charitable causes in your article, and help to raise the profile of what I’m sure you’ll agree with us are incredibly important issues."