With the 2015 Rugby World Cup mere days away and one excited LeftBack all set to take in the experience live from the muddy isle – this week we thought we’d bring you our very own RWC flavoured bucket list.
As many of you know – I will be making the rugby pilgrimage of a lifetime later this year. After a brief stint in Italy – I’ll trade in my Vatican audio guide and walking shoes for a Springbok jersey and a perennially full pint. And even though we won’t be catching any games live – I couldn’t be more amped.
Early on in planning this trip, we took the decision not to see any games live due to several factors including the ridiculous ticket prices and a woeful Rand. Nevertheless we felt like the confluence of nations and the host country’s penchant for beer would make for a memorable rugby experience. Plus, this approach will free us up to spend more time with the people, the fan parks and the banter.
To maximise the fun I’ve put together a rugby bucket list – a scavenger hunt of sorts for other Saffas making the trip. Stick to it and you are sure to have the experience of a lifetime.
So here the challenges I’ll be attempting and documenting on Twitter (@LeftBacks) when wifi allows.
1. Take a selfie with a weeping Australian
Australia have not been shit hot in the lead up to the World Cup and while they have the pedigree to go all the way, they’ve ended up in the dreaded pool of death and are in danger of heading home early. So there are bound to be tears.
My job will be to find an Australian having an ugly cry and convince him or her to take a selfie with me. If the answer is yes, I can tick this item off my list.
2. Win an argument with a British sports fan
This is going to be tough. Very tough. And I’ll tell you why.
I have never known a British sports fan to admit that they are not the greatest sporting nation to have ever graced the face of the earth.
But I am going to try.
If England – who also find themselves in the pool of death – fail to make it out of the pool stages I’ll be sure to keep the argument focused on rugby but knowing them, the topic of #NewEngland (the “reborn” cricket team) is bound to come up.
Luckily this is a score we’ll (re)settle when the Barmy Army make their way to our shores later in the Summer.
3. Have a drink off with a Kiwi
For such a small nation, New Zealand have an inordinate amount of sporting talent but unluckily for them – so do we.
I plan on taking a Kiwi on in a drink-off. Ideally this will take place during the highly probable semi final between the Springboks and the mighty All Blacks and at the end of the game, much like in the drink-off, there will be only one team left standing. I’m betting that team will be team South Africa.
4. Meet a supporter from all 20 competing nations
While it’s going to be nigh on impossible not to feel the presence of the British and Australians – I’d really love to meet one supporter from each nation.
Rugby is a sport that’s really exploding in Japan so it would be awesome to engage in a bit of light banter with a Blossom supporter. Rugby is also big in inconspicuous places like Uruguay, Georgia and Romania so I’d love to meet their fans too – especially Romania as I’m a massive Eastern Europe fan.
5. Lead Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika in a pub
The anthems – particularly in a Rugby World Cup – provide at least 37% of the enjoyment (watch this if you don’t believe me).
In my opinion, there is nothing more spine-tingling than watching our boys sing their lungs out whilst I do the same along with a group of equally tipsy compatriots – beer in one hand, Springbok in the other.
So, if I happen to find myself in a bar that is a little down on atmosphere – I’ll be sure to belt out the first few lines of our anthem where appropriate and then record the event for future purposes.
There you have it – a Rugby World Cup flavoured bucket list. Can you think of any other worthy challenges I should tackle? Ideally I’d like 10 items to check off the list so if you have any ideas – hit me with a comment or tweet us @leftbacks.
We never grow tired of your banter.