I spent an afternoon trying to be a GU rugby lad

Apparently I need to bulk up


Let’s be honest, rugby lads tend to have a pretty awful reputation, with everyone thinking all they actually do is chin pints, screw girls and perpetuate lad culture.

There must be more behind a rugby boy than simply 117 kilos of pure muscle though, so to find out what the boys really get up to every day, I decided to spend a day with Glasgow Men’s 1st team.

1pm, Lunch

I join the lads at lunchtime, a culinary success if ever there was one. Not only did one of the guys buy all the vegetarian ingredients and make it just for me, it also tasted pretty damn good. We had what I like to refer to as “team carbo time” in preparation for our hellish gym session which was to follow.

The guys were surprisingly anal, and made a point of making me wash up my dishes as soon as I was finished eating, which probably explains why their flat was cleaner than a bloody showroom. While we ate, we watched Storage Hunters. Storage Hunters is, without doubt, the second-best TV programme ever to have been created, second only to Grey’s Anatomy (obviously). The fact the rugby boys like Storage Hunters suggests we should all like the rugby boys.

Happy chickens with their yummy pasta.

Happy chickens with their yummy pasta

2pm, FIFA and man stuff

Let’s get one thing straight, FIFA is not my area of expertise. I don’t even know how to work the bloody controller.

To make it easier for me, they let me play as Barcelona, while one of them played as St Johnstone. Apparently, this should have made it an easy win for me, but really I was just pressing buttons and hoping for the best. After seeing how bad I was, one of the boys decided to introduce betting into the mix. If I lost by five or more goals, I would be required to post a public Facebook apology to the Men’s Rugby team for being shit.

Thank heavens, they were all very disappointed when the score ended 4-0. While we played, the boys gave me some tips on being the best rugby lad I can be, such as “Never do legs day less than three days before a game” and “Don’t say initiation is easy, because then we’ll have to re-initiate you.”

Apparently, turning the controller won’t turn your player

2:30pm, Gym

This was definitely the part I was least looking forward to. While rugby boys are built like trees, I’m more of a stick of bamboo (except probably quite a bit fatter but you get my point).

The boys informed me it was shoulders day, and my request of swapping our painful weightlifting for cardio was met with a lot of snorting and gasping and cries of “no cardio here”. The gym session actually turned out to be a lot more fun than expected though, until my arms started to spasm. The boys were so patient, despite probably being ready to quit when I kept saying “I can’t do itttttt!” Also, they all wore extremely short shorts, and I was weirdly okay with that.

This is about as far off the ground as that bar ever got.

This is about as far off the ground as that bar ever got

Juuuuust kidding

Juuuuust kidding

4pm, Protein shakes

Pumped full of endorphins, we bounded home. As we walked, the boys filled me with a very misplaced sense of pride by claiming “you did really well, honest”.

I was oddly excited for my protein shake, as it was going to be the first time I’d ever tried one. I’ll tell you now, it’ll probably be the last time too. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty: the boys even gave me the chocolate flavoured protein so it would hurt my soul a bit less. But drinking a protein shake is like drinking a pint of double cream…with banana bits in the bottom.

I shouldn’t complain too much though, protein is a rare find for a vegetarian and very expensive to buy in powder form. Plus, they even let me blend my own shake.

Bit of an interesting texture...

Bit of an interesting texture…

4:20pm, Dumbo and more man stuff

One of the cutie-pie rugby boys spotted Dumbo was on as we were flicking through the TV guide and got very excited, so we put it on. I was interested to see they’d splashed out on having Sky: apparently “it’s mainly for the sports”.

At this point I was still nursing my protein shake so one of the boys warned me if I didn’t drink it quickly I’d miss my metabolic window. Of course I totally nodded in agreement and pretended to know what a metabolic window was, because by this point I was feeling like I definitely didn’t have my life together compared to these boys.

While watching Dumbo, the boys told me some stories from their initiations which I unfortunately can’t repeat. They also warned me I ought to “bulk up” and discussed rugby stuff. I didn’t have much to contribute here, so instead I marvelled at the holy mecca of vitamins and proteins filling the top shelf in their kitchen.

Rugby boys don't adhere to stereotypes.

Rugby boys don’t adhere to stereotypes

And then it was time to leave the rugby boys behind and head home. The afternoon had been fantastic. Not once did anyone say anything sexist or racist or homophobic, which is always a plus. I offered to marry one of them and promised to carry on with the exercises they’d taught me, so if you see a girl wandering about with massive shoulder muscles soon, it’s probably me. They even told me that if I want to play for the 2nd team they’d be happy to hook me up, but no socials unless I get initiated…

Also, a heads up ladies: a lot of these boys are single and very much ready to commit. See me for more details.