The sharing of the RFU’s guide to social media has been followed up by some more documents provided to England’s Rugby squad ahead of this year’s World Cup tournament. It’s a comprehensive guide on how to conduct yourself not only as a leading international rugby player but also a human. Below is an extract*. No stone, it seems, is being left unturned.
RFU Guidelines for England Rugby Players at the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Section 24.3 Instructions for life in general.
These are not in a specific order, all should be treated as equally important.
- Don’t play with electrical items whilst in the bath. Relaxing in the tub after a hard fought win is lovely, but be careful as electricity and water can be dangerous. Avoid toasters, hair straighteners, games consoles and jump starting your car whilst in the bath.
- Treat people with respect. As a worshipped idol of English rugby, it can be difficult to remember that other people exist or indeed have feelings. Try and consider others with your actions and words. Phrases like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are a good place to start, and try not to act like you own the place. Look people in the eye when speaking to them; be polite, courteous and behave towards people with consideration. Be confident yet humble. At the end of a day, ask yourself “Was I an arrogant prick?” If the answer is yes, make up for it tomorrow.
- Do not have sex with prostitutes.
- Use your position in society to do good. Through your hard work and industry, as a member of England Rugby, you’ve been afforded a special place in the wider community; people look up to you. Make sure you use that position to do good, don’t piss it up the wall. Act as an example, set a standard, take responsibility, alert people to charitable situations, use your celebrity standing to make the world a better place. Don’t just use your status for dinner reservations and free stash, tempting though it may be.
- Remember the bigger picture. Even though it might feel like you’re the only one working hard, lots of people are involved. From stewards to physios, marketing administrators to CEOs, lots of us are trying to make this whole thing a success. Even though you’ll take the plaudits for the rugby, there’s loads of stuff going on behind the scenes that you don’t know about. We’re kind of all working for you. Make sure you remember that. Don’t get caught up in the hype and think this is just about how well you played. Maybe mention our efforts to the people you talk to. We’d really appreciate that.
- Do not associate, in person or via the internet, with known criminals, people you may suspect of crime, or Piers Morgan.
- Don’t do anything illegal. The law of the land is pretty easy to understand but for safety’s sake perhaps make yourself aware of some of the more complicated bits. Try to not break these laws. Don’t drink and drive, commit common assault, take things that aren’t yours, expose yourself, possess firearms without license, or kill people. Avoid contact with the police wherever possible. It looks bad. Not cool. This is the Rugby World Cup, not Grand Theft Auto.
Well, there’s certainly some sound advice in there. Let’s hope the boys take it all in.
*The entirety of the guidelines above are fictional. Purely for fun. I’m guessing you worked that out for yourself but you never know… Although if you are looking for guidelines for life, they’re not a bad place to start.
Sam Roberts © 2015. (Text only). All Rights Reserved.