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Behind the Scenes: Rugby’s the Game

Playing to WinRugby—it’s a popular game down this end of the world. I’m a big fan and decided to put my love of the sport to good use. I’ve used rugby as a component for several of my books.

So what is this rugby game all about?

• The game was developed in Rugby, England.
• A number of games such as rugby league, American football and Australian rules football are variations of rugby.
• It’s a winter sport played by two teams of fifteen.
• Rugby is played with an oval shaped ball.
• The object of the game is to get the ball over your opposition’s goal line to score as many points as possible.
• The ball may be carried, kicked or passed down the field.
• Grounding the ball, with downward pressure at the opposition’s end of the field, results in a try. A try is worth five points.
• After scoring a try, a conversion may be attempted. This is where the ball is kicked over the goal bar and between the goal posts. Each conversion is worth two points.
• Each team of players is divided into backs and forwards.
• The backs are generally speedsters and capable of sprinting with the ball.
• The forwards are usually the heavier players, the engine-room, if you will, and they’re the ones who are usually in the middle of the scrums.
• New Zealand’s national team is called the All Blacks.
• The current world champions are New Zealand. They have won back-to-back championships.
• At the start of each match the All Blacks do the haka, a traditional Maori challenge.

This version is at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which New Zealand won.

And here’s a second version of the three best hakas

The positions: (matches up with number on player’s shirt)

1. loose-head prop
2. hooker
3. tight-head prop
4. left lock
5. right lock
6. flanker
7. flanker
8. number 8.
9. scrumhalf
10. flyhalf
11. wing
12. inside center
13. outside center
14. wing
15. fullback.

The Forwards:
1. Hooker
2. Props x 2
3. Locks x 2
4. Flankers x 2
5. Number 8

The Backs:

1. Scrum-half
2. Fly-half
3. Inside Center
4. Outside Center
5. Wings x 2
6. Fullback

Shelley’s books featuring rugby:

Blindside, Best Man, Playing to Win, No Defense

While rugby is a part of the above books, the action isn’t so technical that someone unfamiliar with the game won’t understand what’s going on, as evident in the review quotes below. You’ll get just a taste of rugby and the New Zealand way of life.

“I knew nothing about rugby when I started this book but Shelley Munro does a great job of bringing the sport to life, along with some great sexy escapades.” ~ Fallen Angel Reviews.

“I don’t know much about rugby, but the author captures a fast moving, exciting and sometimes dangerous sport in such a way that I could actually understand it.” ~ The Romance Studio

“Blindside by Shelley Munro is a delightful short novel. Knowing little about rugby didn’t stop me from enjoying the storyline.” ~ Reader Views