Your guide to becoming a pub know it all for the Rugby World Cup

If your rugby knowledge isn’t up to scratch, Conor Neville has you covered to make sure you impress everyone down the pub.

Your guide to becoming a pub know it all for the Rugby World Cup

The alickadoo

A word that has lost a great deal of currency in the modern era, the alickadoo describes the kind of hip-flask brandishing professional going to Lansdowne Road since Tony O’Reilly (his favourite ever player) was a teenage prodigy.

Formerly the dominant figure among the hordes at Lansdowne Road, alickadoos have dwindled at Ireland matches in recent times.

When asked to instance his all-time favourite Irish players, names like Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell will be spurned in favour of Mike Gibson and Willie John McBride. The day rugby went professional was a black day in this man’s eyes.

He is probably personally acquainted with a number of people tied up in the banking crisis. Your chances of happening upon this creature are greatly improved if you watch matches in a clubhouse bar.

Quote: It’s a bit of witch-hunt to be honest, I played with the guy in Bective. He’s a decent guy.

The converted GAA fan

Swept by the success of Leinster and Munster in the Heineken Cup, he has embraced rugby in the modern era. Certainly more so than soccer, finding rugby’s physicality and Ireland’s relative success more to his taste.

Would be surprised to learn , prior to 1995, games between Leinster and Munster used to attract five ould fellas and a dog to Dooradoyle or Donnybrook on a dank December evening. Still not quite fluent in the game’s argot. Like a large portion of the crowd in the pub, he has no idea why a penalty has been given either.

He may not know the rules, but he knows what he likes. And what he likes is Sean O’Brien bulling into the opposition defence.

Quote: Get down on the ball, Heaslip

The girl who likes rugby and hates every other sport

Perhaps one of the most visible legacies of Celtic Tiger. This girl’s motives for following rugby have often been impugned by both men as well as women who like other sports.

The stereotype would have it that such girls are more easily spotted in Dublin 4 and its environs, but the truth is this character can now be found in all parts of the country.

Quote: (showing off a selfie she got with Tommy Bowe) We met him in Dicey’s the night of Saoirse’s 21st.

The stubborn heretic

We are moving into subversive territory here but the new Ireland (aka, rugby country) must be big enough to accommodate such people. The stubborn heretic is more than likely an old school football fan, appalled and bemused by the rise of rugby in Ireland in the past decade.

Before rugby’s explosion, he regarded the game as a harmless oddity, a trivial middle class indulgence, easily ignored. However, rugby’s current fashionability among drinks advertisers, beard wearing hipster entrepreneurs and minor celebrities has roused his contrarian instincts.

RTE’s mini-series ‘Charlie’ portrayed top civil servant Dermot Nally going on a walking holiday during the summer of 1990 and remaining oblivious to Ireland’s progress in Italy.

The stubborn heretic flirts with doing the same, but will ultimately trudge along to the pub for the look, partly out of peer pressure, but also out of the grudging realisation that big rugby matches are now significant events that must be followed if one has any hope of remaining plugged into the spirit of the nation.

Quote: Of course Ireland are good, only 10 countries in the world play egg.

The nostalgic crank

Distinct from the alickadoo, this character began following Ireland in the 1990s.

Was a touch disorientated at the turn the century when Ireland suddenly started winning matches regularly. Part of him still believes it is simply a matter of time before Ireland return to their natural habitat at the foot of the Six Nations table.

He reserves special contempt for those who hopped aboard the bandwagon in the Brian O’Driscoll era.

He is characterised above by all by his love for the romantic figure of Simon Geoghegan, made all the more intense by Geoghegan’s unfulfilled career in a green shirt. He talks about the try in Twickenham in 1994 as if it was the seminal moment of his youth.

Quote: I remember the only game Ireland could win was Wales in Cardiff.

The Expert

Murray Kinsella’s soul brother, this guy is oppressively fluent in the game’s terminology. Phrases like ‘through the gate’ and ‘the breakdown’ and ‘accuracy’ tumble from his lips with remarkable frequency.

Most intimidating of all, he will call penalties before the referee will, making everyone else in his vicinity feel a touch fraudulent.

Chances are, he will complain about the referee’s interpretation of the scrum. His deferential circle of friends will immediately follow suit although they won’t quite know what he’s talking about.

Quote: Barnes is killing us at the breakdown

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