The Inbetweeners have been a regular on the Beach Rugby Series for the past two seasons, falling in Cup Final in Autumn and the Plate Final in Spring. They return this summer determined to get some silverware. We sat down with captain Richard Stemmett ahead of the new season to understand a little more about how they tick.
UR7s: Hi Richard, thanks for sitting down with us today ahead of the new season. Lets jump right into it. How would you describe the standard on the Beach Rugby Series?
Richard: Having played in both the opening tournaments I would say the level has improved drastically. I think the more the game grows the more competitive it will get and attract more and more talent which is great.
It also forces us to keep up and work a bit harder, get a bit fitter. However the standard does have a fair bit of range and makes the competition fairly equal baring 1 or 2 top teams. Subs play a huge part though as we found out with a lot of guys having to play full games most week. I think its all about smart rotation.
UR7s: Two seasons and still coming back, tell us why you guys enter each season?
Richard: Beach touch is too much gees, such a great leveller of rugby skills and fitness that anybody can do it. Spring season was a struggle with guys being overseas etc and having played majority of games with only 1 or 2 subs is tough.
However the fact that it kept guys coming back week in and week out says a lot for the type of tournament it is and why we want to play. Finals day is also such a big highlight and all the effort over the weeks all makes sense on finals day. Plus who doesn't enjoy playing touch on the beach and a sneaky wetty in the club house Cafe Caprice?
UR7s: Sneaky wetty! We love it but some serious fitness is required?
Richard: Beach touch fitness can be described in many words, mainly negative ones and ones we probably cannot mention and generally have 4 letters......
It is a different fitness all together, as said I before its such a great leveller and only if you are fit or weigh 16kg will you not struggle on sand. We don't do much beach specific fitness together, by much I mean none, but we do have 3 of the fastest 15 men in the world on sand which makes us look much better as well. We also have the 2 time reigning champion for slowest man on sand so it evens things out!
UR7s: What are Sprinboks like on Sand?
Richard: Playing against big names is always great and it's a bit more excitement to the tournament. Having 2 world cup winners from 2 different nations playing against us is not something you do everyday and definitely makes for good banter at post match beers.
UR7s: And those post match beers are in Camps Bay, pretty iconic setting right?
Richard: Camps Bay is one of the most beautiful beach settings in the world and often we don't appreciate that living in CT. Some of the shots that are taken with either the mountain or sea in the background make you question whether or not it is actually camps bay. It's awesome to have an excuse to be there every week, summer will be the best of the lot and will be a great way to enjoy the sunshine after a day at work
UR7s: You keep mentioning finals day, tell us a little more?
Richard: As mentioned before finals day is everything to look forward to. It's such a well executed occasion that it's something you want to be apart of. The amount of attention it attracts from the public and people on the beach is incredible. It's quite tough having to play a few more games than normal but the chill areas provided are a cool way to spend the time and enjoy it with your mates.
Spending the rest of the afternoon evening at Caprice for the after party is also a treat, lots of beers a burger and good banter is never a problem.
UR7s: It's not just beers, banter and sunshine though right?
Richard: No it really is, all the partners of the beach touch series really add a lot of value and "bulk" to what you are getting out of the competition.
The spring season fitness session at Switch on a Suday morning was epic, a few of the Inbetweeners went to work off their braai day hangovers and thoroughly enjoyed it. Cipla nutrition also provide ridiculous discounts and supplements at the games to keep us going.
Burger and beer specials from caprice are always a winner and I am sure in summer the Inbetweeners will make their way through as many buckets as possible.
UR7s: Thanks for sitting down with us, finally any funny stories?
Richard: I think the most interesting friendship on our side is between Warren and Devon who are openly curious and shave each others chests to get ready for the beach.
Brad never fails to complain about how tired he is after a game until he swallows some Red Bull, one of his best though was complaining how painful his teeth were after running so much.
UR7s: Rich, you are a star. Enjoy the season and best of luck!