Fitness / 09.12.2014

Why I love rugby

By Claire Lavelle
England rugby player, Sarah Hunter, tells us what made her fall in love with the game

Rugby Scrum

Having started playing rugby in primary school, Sarah Hunter now plays for both England and Lichfield as well as working as a rugby development officer for the Rugby Football Union. Here she tells us the seven reasons why when pushed to make a decision at 12 years old, she chose her beloved rugby over netball and athletics.


One of the things that I love about rugby is that with so many players, there’s a position for everyone and many skills are needed. I play number eight – a loose forward, so I have to get the ball to the backs, who can then go on to score a try. Forwards are generally stronger players whereas backs are more lightly built and faster.


Rugby also teaches you to be mentally resilient, especially if you play in the scrum – you develop a mental toughness that can be useful in every day life.

Netball is also a mental, as well as physical, game – here’s how to get involved


No matter how competitive it gets, there’s sportsmanship and respect for each other and the officials in every game. Those are good core values to have for life, I think – not a bad ethos to live by!


There’s great camaraderie too – everyone wants to win, but after we have a good catch up and bad losers are rare. And, despite the hard-drinking image, you’re most likely to find us with a pint of orange squash in our hands than a beer. We like to make an effort to look nice after a match, too. There are a lot of hairdryers and hair straighteners in the changing rooms!


A nutritionist advises us on diet – after training or a match, we eat a protein and carb-based recovery meal, or have a protein shake with fruit. There’s an optimal muscle to fat ratio that we have to maintain – smaller girls are advised to put on muscle and bigger girls to lose fat – but all under the watchful eye of our trainers so it’s done sensibly.

Check out some of Healthy’s recipes for protein filled recovery meals


I train up to three times a week – a mixture of speed, strength and endurance training – and play once at the weekend. Our coach devises all of our fitness sessions.


Getting into rugby isn’t expensive. A decent pair of rugby boots will cost about £20 and subs to play at the club are around £2 per match.

Why I love rugby
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Why I love rugby
'I love rugby' - England rugby player, Sarah Hunter, tells Healthy what made her fall in love with the game.
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Healthy Magazine
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