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One of the Art of Coarse tricks

The Art of Coarse Rugby, all those books. The writer, can’t recall – and not looking up – Michael summat? Also did Squire Haggard.


In his days as a young film reviewer, Andrew Nickolds reckoned he could survive on the food and drink provided at press screenings.

He did that. For a week – or so he wrote. Accepted all the PR offers that came in over a week and saw how he did on food and booze. Said it worked, he did indeed live on it. Just that a diet of gin and crips might not be all that healthy.

From my own very limited time in political PR you can indeed get pissed for free every weekday night. It’s the Fri, Sat, Sun that’s the problem…..

6 thoughts on “One of the Art of Coarse tricks”

  1. Michael Green.

    Having played much of my rugby in the 80s and 90s much resonated, even though the book was first published in 1961.

    I once played in a trials match where the opposition didn’t turn up. The solution was simple. The 3rd XV played the 4th XV and to differentiate the sides, the 4th Xv rolled their sleeves up.

    I’ve experienced last minute drop outs from a huge second row forward who put his back out putting on a duvet cover and from a prop whose wife took him away to watch a Jim Davidson show. Changing in the car as we were late to an away game was common and I once played in a side which had four props and four hookers. The surplus players couldn’t even play in the pack as we had a full pack.

    Rugby doesn’t seem to exist now as it did back then. My club regularly put out 4 teams and most clubs put out 3. Now many clubs struggle to put out a 2nd team.

  2. The fairly good TV adaptation of Haggard was shown recently on one of the aesoteric cable channels.
    Fanny: (makes comment to audience)
    Grunge: Who’s she talking to?

  3. Haggard stories are hilarious. MF Green – when he was a trainee reporter he had to spend a lot of time reading his local newspaper’s archives and kept on digging up bizarre death notices that he often used in his columns.

    There was a news story a few years ago about an elderly coupld who lived solely on what they consumed at funeral receptions. They never actually knew any of the departed, just hung around the local crem waiting for a largish crowd and mingled in. Kept it going for ages before getting caught.

  4. Bloody local reporters. For perhaps my best game for my school the local rag summarised the second half as “Dearieme scored two opportunist tries to win the match”.

  5. Michael Green indeed, and he wrote a whole series of “Coarse” books, both Coarse Rugby and Even Coarser Rugby. One that I though was possibly his best was “The Art of Coarse Golf”, and any golfer who read it seemed to agree. Once, as junior player, a mob of us who played at the local club on Sundays would sometimes go out after the official 18 holes and play another 6-9 or sometimes more using a set of rules based on the Coarse Golf book. Problem was, one usually finished up laughing so much and so hard that the standard of play dropped to that described in the book. Coarse Acting was quite fun also for anyone who has been involved in rather amateurish performances. Still have some of them somewhere, though possibly they’ve rather sadly been discretely binned by someone.

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