How professional rugby players spend Sunday


During the week, Nate Brakeley works as a data analyst. But on the weekends, he competes with Rugby United New York. Rugby United New York is the city’s first professional major league rugby franchise and is currently in its fourth season.

During the pandemic, the league centralized operations that spanned five provinces in Jersey City. Brakeley, 31, and his fiancee, Emily Mule, 39, then moved from the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan to go upstairs across the river.

“Usually men ride the city on public transport,” Brakeley said. “We moved our business here because we were able to promote ourselves more effectively to the general public.” In most cases, the movement worked. Training resumed in January this year and in March the team played the first game of the season. It’s the end of this month.

Bagel breakfast I get up at 8 a.m., but it’s late because I get up at 6 a.m. on weekdays. Whoever wakes up first makes coffee. Usually it’s Emily. I get out of bed and grab eggs, sausage, and cheese for every bagel from the International Bagels and Cafe just around the corner. Emily is fasting intermittently, so she doesn’t eat breakfast. Eat while watching a rugby match. This is usually done in the UK. I like to watch other teams and see how they play and learn their strategies. Emily can go to a spin class.

body Stretch for the next 20-30 minutes using the 20 stretched mobility torture devices I collected (foam rollers, lacrosse balls, impact guns, bands).

brain I read and play chess on my computer. I like science fiction. It’s a fun combination of speculative escape and interesting commentary on today’s society. I am reading “Peaceful Devastation” by Arkadi Martin.

Jim day If you don’t have games, go to the gym for two hours and ride a bike or rower. Then put a weight on your back and squat down. You can lift 400 pounds in a good day. Then follow the leg exercises. Emily does all of this with me. She lifts the weight and uses the machine. That’s why we started dating. She said she would come to the gym with me. That’s how she got me.

Match day If you’re playing a game, you’ll be in a silver Subaru Forester purchased during quarantine in New Hampshire before noon. This year, we will meet early at the driving range for all home games. Then 30 people get on the bus and arrive at the stadium together. We were playing at Cochrane Stadium in Jersey City, but in this last home game we are at St. John’s University in Queens. It is a better quality area. I was nomadic this season. That does not bother me. I am happy to be able to play anytime, anywhere. Rugby is part of my life. Get a lot of validation here.

Preparation I walk to the locker room and unpack my luggage, which consists of crampons (size 16), shorts and a change of clothes. Then I get my uniform shirt which is attached. It was washed, as far as I can ask. The numbers are based on the position you are playing. I am usually 4 or 5 years old. There is humility in not spraying your name on your back. You can’t have cauliflower ears because you tape your wrists and then your ears (next to your head). It happens when you pull on your ears. Liquid-filled and solidified, the ears resemble the heads of a cauliflower.

warm up At 1:30, we will all be in the field. I stretch, I sprint and I spin the ball. After that, the team warms up. The other team does the same. Rugby is a small community. We only have 12 teams in our professional league, so every team has friends. The fan filters. They returned at the end of April. Nobody wears a mask because everything is outside. It’s great that they support me. Before the start of the match, we meet in the locker room. There is no pomp speech from the coach, but there is a speech from the captain. I will support the team. Then I take 30 seconds to calm down.

to play We are playing in 2. The game is half two 40 minutes long and has a 10 minute break. Only 15 people play at a time. Start by singing the national anthem. I usually remember the kickoff. The others are vibrant snapshots of what worked and didn’t work very well, connected by the blur. Shake hands with the other teams at 4 p.m. Thank you to all the fans for welcoming you. We wouldn’t be a team without the people who came to see our game.

king of the hill I will return to the locker room around 4:20 am and introduce myself to my coach. The coaches have different intonations depending on the progress of the game. Then the players say their part. If we win, we sing bastard versions of “New York, New York”. It does about 3 verses, but it’s good for screaming.

Team meal I take a shower, change clothes and meet Emily. We went to supper on Connie Island once. Currently, thanks to Covid, we are not allowed to eat post-match meals with other teams or supporters. There we will meet at the Cast Iron Loft in Jersey City, where many of the team live. The team are having a big pasta and chicken dinner, and we all have dinner on the roof with our family and friends. Post-match socialization is an integral part of rugby culture.

Local horns If there’s no play, Emily and I go out to dinner around 6 a.m. It’s only been three months since I’ve been here so I don’t feel like I’m home yet. But we are not that cramped. I like the two Cajun crayfish spots, The Boil and Left Bank Burger Bar.

Rules I will be back home around 8:30 am with or without games. Watch TV and movies. We recently saw all the hospitality at Ozark. It was a dark and fascinating sight. And Nevers. It was a good and interesting crossover show as Victorian England met science fiction. At 10:30 a.m., I was in bed and beaten during the day, exhausted and injured. As soon as I level, I go out.

How professional rugby players spend Sunday

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