2019 Summer Test Series

Strictly Social: Fighting Off The Pitch Has Its Place

Strictly Social: Fighting Off The Pitch Has Its Place

Social media roundup

Aug 27, 2019 by Austin Willis
Strictly Social: Fighting Off The Pitch Has Its Place

There's no more punching in rugby anymore, just the occasional jersey tug and chest bump.

So these ruggers get to fighting in other ways.

Eben Etzebeth has been trying to fight the opposition for years. Any time there was a scuffle involving South Africa  "the Titan" was predictably in the middle of it. 

Even when the Springboks were trending downward, fans could always expect Etzebeth to spark up a tussle with the opposition. Now the Springboks are back! They tied the All Blacks for crying out loud. 

Then Etzebeth got to fighting again. On the eve of World Cup selection, he has been accused of harassing a homeless person. Some allege Etzebeth went as far as drawing a weapon. The only thing clear from this video is that Etzebeth was restrained.

Clear in the next video is that Rassie Erasmus has selected Etzebeth to represent the Springboks in the World Cup.

James Haskell

Just a continent away a now-retired James Haskell will not be selected to the World Cup, but he too found his way into some fights off the rugby pitch. The sanctioned kind. The former Wasps backrower has signed a contract to fight in Bellator, a mixed martial arts league with his first fight expected for 2020.

If you're not convinced that Haskell belongs in the MMA, just watch this video of Haskell choking out Joe Marler. 

Christian Wade

Here's another former rugby player trying his hand in another professional sport.

Christian Wade was once the top try scorer in the Premiership. Now, he's fighting for a spot on the Buffalo Bills 53-man squad.

Months ago he announced his intentions to follow the NFL UK player pathway with the hopes of signing an NFL contract. With the NFL season less than two weeks away, Wade is still earning playing time in the Bills offense. 

Thanks in part to these two incredible plays.

First off, on his first touch in the NFL preseason, Wade took the ball 65 yards to the end zone.

Then. just a week later against the Panthers, Wade made a huge gain with some evasive running. If Christian Wade makes the Buffalo Bills 53-man roster he'll again rock the headlines and find his way into this periodical.

Wade's battle is to make an NFL roster, which is a different sort of fight. 

Manu Tuilagi

This next guy blew up on social media after blowing up Jordan L'Armour on this kick chase. The ref decided not to blow it up, the legality makes this hit more fun. Manu's hits haven't always been this legal.

There's no forgetting that Manu was the victor of one of the greatest rugby fights of all-time, if you want to call this a fight.

While rugby's best on-field fights may be behind us. Off the pitch, it seems they're just getting started.