Women are often perplexed by the fact that a rugby game can reduce grown men to tears when their team wins.
Understandably, many women don’t know what a prop forward, scrumhalf or flank is, let alone the function of these rugby positions. Yet they follow the game religiously because of their partners.
Inspired by such women, former professional rugby player Jaco Louw decided to write a book, The Girlfriend’s Guide To Rugby, which would explain every aspect of rugby specifically for women.
“While watching the Rugby World Cup in 2007 I realised that my friends’ girlfriends and wives actually enjoyed the hype and excitement around the game. Many of them just had no clue what was happening on the field,” said Louw.
“Their husbands and boyfriends were too emotionally charged during the match to explain things to them. They were left to make sense of it themselves.”
Charmel Bowman writes in the Sunday Tribune that the compact-sized book explains the ins and outs of the game, using analogies of shopping and relationships to explain the game.
The reader is introduced to Barry, Sandy, Kwota and Reffie, ordinary everyday characters who are used in realistic situations to explain key rugby concepts. Sandy scrums and tackles when trying to get designer shoes on sale, a concept most women would understand and probably have done.
“I did not want the book to seem like a daunting read. I have tried to keep it funny and included scenarios that women will appreciate and relate to. And hopefully learn a thing or two about rugby,” said Louw.
He said the book has been well received since it was released late last year.
“The response has been great so far. Quite a few people have said it makes a great gift, mainly boyfriends who no longer have to explain the game to their girlfriends.”
Everything, from player positions to the rules of the game and even the different plays used, is discussed in the book.
Picking a team to support is the first advice the book gives to trainee rugby fanatics.
Louw said passion is crucial. “It is essential to pick a team and support them wholeheartedly. You can even pick your partner’s traditional rival if you want to stir up some rivalry between the two of you.”
He advised know-it-all rugby fans to also have a go at the book.
“The guys would identify with the humour in the book. I think they may even enjoy it more than the newbies,” he joked.
Included at the end of the book are game fixtures for this year detailing all the big matches being played. The chapter, Names to drop and statistics to know, is sure to be a firm favourite with the ladies. It has enough information to allow women to confidently hold their own when discussing rugby trivia with the guys over a beer.
The book is an easy read. Its compact size (198mm by 130mm) is a definite plus as it easily fits in a handbag, allowing easy reading whenever one gets a chance.
Women will probably have to read the books a few times before knowing everything, or perhaps even take it along to a few matches to sneak a peak while the game is on.
But the book will surely allow women to better understand the game and perhaps even surprise their partners with their newfound knowledge of rugby.
The Girlfriend’s Guide To Rugby is available at all major book stores and retails for R99.95.Tweet