Rugby – Test Match Or Not ??

Rugby – Test Match Or Not ??

Last week, there was a debate opened around why International rugby games are called “Test Matches “instead of Friendlies. This particular debate set me thinking about the reasoning behind calling an International rugby game a Test match.

The reason for calling it a Test match is fairly straightforward, it is a game against the best players from another country and this in turn means it is a test of character, also a test of your ability as a player and also a test of your mental strength. There it is in very simple plain language, the reason why an International rugby match is called a Test match.

It is very interesting that people will get caught up in the aesthetics of the makeup of a professional sport. Yes rugby has a long road to travel to be as inclusive as other sports in Ireland. People still feel rugby is elitist from the schools game even right down to the club game because some clubs in Ireland could be considered as elitist as the school system.

This particular issue is being addressed by the IRFU who are in the process of bringing rugby to the masses like the GAA, the FAI and other sporting organisations. Ireland is a very small country and we do well to compete is all the sports we do ,maybe we could do more and be better in some sport but we do punch above out weight in certain sports.

Rugby is still a minority sport across the World but World Rugby is like the IRFU being proactive in bringing the game to the whole World. It may never fully regain the ground that Football will have in the World order but that is fine too. You cannot win every battle you try and take on.

The reason for rugby to be targeted about the naming of games is hilarious really given that in other sports you have the very same jargon in other sports , it’s just the language used in each sport.  In GAA you always hear people on about the “ Pride of the Parish “ Doing it for the Jersey” and so on… So why people find it hard to stomach the rugby jargon is beyond belief , yes it can get annoying when you hear certain phrases like , “ ruck time” , “ getting to the emotional pitch of a game “ and so on but let’s face it all sports have language we can’t stand or maybe it is just because we don’t actually understand the meaning of each phrase..

Whatever the reason, all sports should be able to exist in harmony in this country and yes you will continue to have the band wagon support in every sport but what is actually wrong with that?? Yes it can be annoying as hell in some cases but those people will always be there and they will be there into the future…

Time now to get behind the sport you follow and support your chosen team or athlete because all these men and women deserve our continued support. We have enough strife in this country and across the World let’s not start turning on any one individual sport let’s get behind all competitors in this country and watch them continue to punch above there weight….


Cian Mc Gibney


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