Image may contain: Human, Person, People

The Manchester rugby freshers were made to apple bob with dead rats at initiations

It’s putting decent players off joining the club


It is a well known fact that initiations take place at university, and rugby clubs are known to have the worst. The Tab can now reveal what took place at rugby initiations at the University of Manchester, as told by members of the club.

We spoke to various rugby players who provided similar anecdotes regarding what they'd seen and experienced at their own initiation ceremonies.

Some of the worst stories have included sliding through piss, shit and vomit, and well as being having chilli powder rubbed on their genitals.

Image may contain: Human, Person, People

A rugby fresher outside with food being thrown at him

Freshers are forced to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol, some are even hospitalised

Some initiations include a trough being filled with various spirits and disgusting ingredients, and the contents had to be drunk to the bottom by the end of the night.

All of the members claim to have known someone who’s had to get their stomach pumped following the various initiations or have been blackout drunk. One student said: "It’s pretty much obligatory to throw up.”

As well as copious drinking, freshers must eat chillies and inedible items to be initiated

Some initiations have allegedly involved a sick type of apple bobbing in which a dead rat has to be fished out of a barrel of cider with the mouth whilst people drink pints from the same barrel.

Another involved people having chilli powder rubbed over their genital area and another involved eating a Carolina Reaper – the hottest pepper on the Scoville scale, and which has a history of putting people in hospital.

Image may contain: Festival, Club

Multiple rugby freshers lying down after being forced to drink pints and what appears to be milk

Many activities take place outside and include human excrement

The potential team members are said to wrestle naked in sick before all being auctioned off.

Different activities included one in which a ground sheet was put down and any person who needed to shit, piss, or vomit throughout the night had to do it on the sheet and at the end of the night everyone had to slide down.

Punishments take place if freshers do not adhere to all initiation challenges

A group of club members told The Tab Manchester about a well known incident in which one fresher had to maintain eye contact as his rugby "Dad" got wanked off in a strip club as a punishment for not completing an earlier challenge.

One student said: “I know someone who had to shave their head as a forfeit so their friend [who was already paralytic] didn’t have to down another pint."


These events at initiations have led to a huge number of players capable of joining the first team avoiding the rugby club, despite having previously played for their school or county teams. The RFU has said that approximately 10,000 students in the UK decided to give up playing rugby union recently in order to avoid the activities that go on.

When asked for a comment regarding these incidents, a University of Manchester spokesperson said: “The University and students have worked hard in recent years to make all of our sports teams inclusive and our policies, which all teams must agree to, specifically ban initiation ceremonies. If we find out about such incidents we would take serious action against the club and organisers.”

When approached for a comment, the University of Manchester Rugby Club told The Tab Manchester: "The University and students have worked hard in recent years to make all of our sports teams inclusive and the University's policies, which all teams/clubs agree to, specifically ban initiation ceremonies.

"All parties involved give appreciation that incidents like this may have taken place in previous years, but the University Rugby Club has worked hard in recent years to create a friendly environment for its members and stamp out the past 'initiation' culture, a culture which is not tolerated by the club or The University. We understand there is a common stigma associated with University Rugby Clubs, but UMRFC now prides itself on its inclusivity."