My Thirty Seconds of Championship Rugby Fame

Here's a short account of my thirty seconds of Championship Rugby fame!

We American viewers get our televised rugby via Fox Sports World. In my area - Washington, D.C. - it comes on Sunday at 7 pm. Most of the time Max Bretos and Brian Vizard do the introductions and closing announcements. Brian Vizard used to be an Eagles captain; I know Bretos was a back but I don't know much else about his career. Anyway, that's Bretos on the left and Vizard on the right.

I wrote Championship Rugby an e-mail letter (contents below), and it appeared on their 8/22/99 telecast as "viewer mail." The contents of part of my email were televised:

Max Bretos read what was on the screen and added this:

Max Bretos: "Good on ya, Wes; that's exactly what we want to hear. That's why we all play this game in the first place. Forty-two years of age, Wes was, certainly a ripe old age to start rugby. You can play it forever!"

Brian Vizard: "He's not that old."

Max Bretos: "No, you're right. I'm sorry, I'm standing next to an elder..."

Here's my original e-mail. Note that the contents do not exclusively deal with my ear or ankle!

I love Championship Rugby despite the fact that it got me interested in the game.

I started playing last year - at age 42 - having never played before. I play A-side, b-side and Old Boys with the Western Suburbs RFC, a Division II club in Fairfax County, Virginia. (I'm the webmaster of our site at - check it out, you'll see it's unique. I recommend "Spot the Prop" at

Anyway, after two seasons I now have a partially cauliflowered left ear and an ankle that healed strangely after two torn tendons and doesn't look or feel the way it did before I started watching Championship Rugby. More and better injuries will be forthcoming soon - fall season practice begins tomorrow night.

But you know what REALLY bugs me? The practice the photographers have of taking the camera away from the moment the front rows engage in the scrums and showing some idiot in the crowd, an overhead view of the backs milling around, chromakeyed Adidas ads, the look of concern on the face of a coach, etc. Anything but the front row banging together and grunting loudly.

I may be among the oldest and most ponderous locks in US club rugby, but I do enjoy watching pros scrummaging. Is there any way you can make sure we see the WHOLE game?

Wes Clark