In this week’s column, England U20 prop, Luke Chapman explains how rugby players deal with the Christmas and New Year period…
It’s finally that time of the year again! The Christmas jumpers are being dug out of the back of the wardrobe and the fear of putting on weight over the festive period is really starting to kick in.
As rugby players, the ever-dreaded Christmas weigh-in looms over all of our heads. Let’s just say, training on December 27th is going to be a very nervy day for all of us!
Although we have a busy schedule over Christmas, we are still given some time-off to spend with our families.
It is always portrayed that rugby players eat a ridiculous amount of food (which in some cases is very true) but we really do have to watch our weight as we don’t have a break of games over the Christmas period.
My tactics going into the festive period are very strategic. I try to eat as little as possible from December 22-24 and then on the big day, I go crazy!
My plate at Christmas dinner looks like a meal fit for a bear. In fact, I currently hold my family’s record for the most brussel sprouts eaten in a minute. I managed 21, and this year I hope to beat it. At least the coaches can’t complain that I’m not stacking up on my greens!
My Christmas week is a bit different to that in a normal job – but that’s a sacrifice you have to make and I have always known that.
This year, I have trained with the boys on Tuesday and Wednesday and if selected, will then travel up to Ealing on Friday for our Christmas Eve fixture.
Once the game has finished, we will then have a jolly bus journey home, which is a good excuse to have a few drinks with my teammates.
That said, it won’t too mad as I don’t think my family would appreciate me being hungover on Christmas Day!
After the Christmas period, when our bloated belly’s start to deflate, it is straight back to rugby with a training session on the 27th as we will be preparing for our game against Nottingham on New Year’s Eve.
If selected, the tie against Nottingham will be my first ever New Year’s fixture and I am really looking forward to it.
It should be a great day. Everyone down here in Cornwall lives for rugby, and to have the chance to watch a game on New Year’s Eve is going to special for our fans.
I’m sure there will be a record crowd – complete with a lot of drunken Cornishmen preparing for their big night out.
Once the game is over, I too will be preparing for my favourite night of the year, where I will be meeting up with friends and family in my local town of Looe.
It is now a tradition for us all to dress up and hit the local pubs. I’ve even been known to grace the town dressed up as a fairy, smurf and even a nun.
This will be my last column of 2016 and I really hope that you have enjoyed hearing my side of the Rugby Union story. I will back in 2017 with more tales.
Myself and the guys at MyClubBetting would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Cornish Pirates prop, Luke Chapman works with MyClubBetting – an organization that focusses on giving back to grassroots sports clubs. For further information on My Club Betting simply visit myclubbetting.com or call 01883 772929 within office hours.
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