A Massive Leap Towards AU For All

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Although Men’s Rugby only have one competitive team as opposed to the three in previous years, as of last Wednesday, the men’s rugby development squad have been given opportunities to play merit standard rugby once a fortnight at Ruislip rugby club. This is fantastic news for a future that previously seemed very bleak. The Merit tournament was an opportunity to remove some rust and play some tough full contact rugby.

What this means for the future is that people of all abilities are welcome to join LSE Men’s Rugby and play at both a competitive and recreational level. Merit league rugby, although a hard physical challenge, is of a standard very much open to all; even those who haven’t played rugby before. If contact isn’t your thing, or you’ve had an injury that prevents you playing contact rugby, you can also play mixed touch rugby, hosted by the Rugby Football Union, at these sessions. Some of the boys played last week and saw some familiar LSE Rugby alumni (both men’s and women’s) faces. This is a brilliant atmosphere to have fun, make some friends and mingle with people you wouldn’t have otherwise.

In other news, the Men’s Rugby Club, in partnership with the LSE Athletics Union and the LSE Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce are hosting a session named “Tackling Sexism and Homophobia in Rugby”. There are some incredibly inspirational people speaking at the event. Nigel Owens, the world’s first openly gay professional referee (and the referee for the World Cup Final!), retired England International Claire Purdy and Pedro Dias Ferreira, the Club Captain of the Kings Cross Steelers, the first gay and inclusive rugby club in the world, are amongst the incredible speakers that are lined up for the event.

This event will be held on Tuesday 10th November, and tickets will be available for FREE on a first  come first served basis, exclusively for LSE students. It promises to be a pioneering discussion of homophobia and discrimination in rugby from grass-roots right through to international level; and is definitely an event not to be missed! The issues highlighted during the panel discussion will be important for all clubs and societies to consider when working towards an AU for all.

To conclude: if you’re considering playing rugby at any level and haven’t joined LSE Men’s Rugby, do it – drop me an email at s.puri@lse.ac.uk to get started!  If you’re not interested in playing, but interested in engaging in dialogue about homophobia and sexism in rugby, make sure you come to our event on the 10th of November. More information can be found on our Facebook page. See you there!

Alex Dugan