20 tips for next-gen rugby stars

A veteran of 77 Tests and a 1995 Rugby World Cup champion, Mark Andrews shared his recipe for a successful rugby career with players at the Kearsney College Easter Rugby Festival.

1 Wear a gumguard
God only gave you two sets of teeth, you’re on your second set, your third one comes from a dentist and those are expensive.

2 Never question the ref
In all my years of playing, no ref ever changed his decision after being chirped by a player.

3 Don’t take shortcuts in training
Shortcuts in training only lead to losses in matches

4 The team always come first

5 Don’t ever be late
You are never more important than the team, and if you think you are, go play tennis.

6 Always shake your opponents hand after the game
It’s a game of respect, show it.

7 Fear is normal and keeps you from doing stupid things
Don’t fear fear.

8 Nerves are good, it’s your body’s way of preparing you for battle
Only idiots claim to not be nervous before a game.

9 Learn to play for yourself
Not for your parents or your girlfriend.

10 Don’t be superstitious
Touch wood, I never was. If you are starting to make superstitions, break them as soon as you can.

11 Don’t ever leave your after-match gear in your kitbag for the weekend
It will smell like someone died in it when you open it.

12 Listen to your coach
If you don’t agree with him, shut up and take up coaching yourself.

13 Cheating is not on in any form
If you want to cheat go play cricket for Australia.

14 Don’t retaliate on the field
Any fool can lose his cool, it takes a real man to keep his cool.

15 Never have a go at your teammate on the field
No one goes out to make mistakes. If you can’t say something positive, say nothing.

16 Wear underpants at all times on the rugby field
No explanation needed.

17 Learn the difference between initiation and humiliation
They both sound the same but have completely different results. Don’t ever confuse them. Initiation brings someone into your family or team. Humiliation reminds them that they don’t belong in your team.

18 Be humble in victory
No-one likes a showoff.

19 Give thanks to the unseen people who surround you
The groundsmen, the medics, anyone who supports you from the shadows.

20 Have fun, right now you don’t get paid to play rugby
It’s about fun guys, if you lose the sun still comes up tomorrow.

Photo: Phil Cole/Allsport

Post by