<a href=””>Knackered</a&gt;

Scrotum’s aren’t aesthetically pleasing.


They’re just not nice to look at; thin skinned hairy parcels which wrinkle and contract at the slightest sign of cold or fright. Membranous tissue which seems to stretch a mile before snapping; no, there is not a lot going for them.

Ugly; I readily concede, but they do hold important bits.

Bits men want to keep and protect, although unfortunately scrotum’s afford scant protection as I’ve often found out playing contact sport.

I’ve played in dozens of games of rugby where I wished I had a titanium protector instead of my flimsy sack. I’ve been kicked, punched, grabbed and kneed in the knackers more times than I wish to remember.


But it’s a numbers game; it’s like surfing, hopefully the shark will bite the guy next to you, not you. Now I’m retired from rugby, I reflect that  the only comfort I ever took in this, is the times I watched, guffawed and giggled at many dozens of my team  mates and opposition who grabbed their balls, sunk to their knees, closed their eyes and screamed. Some have cried, some have impersonated Edvard Munch, some have even writhed on the ground for extended periods wishing to be put down..

You would think that men; knowing the agony created by a low blow below the belt would take sympathy. But, no – we find the howling, the grimacing and rolling lolling about hilarious!

Image result for kick in the balls

Weird creatures!

However, there are exceptions to the rule.

I played in 2 games whether players have suffered serious scrotum injuries. On one occasion a testicle was ripped straight out of the scrotum and was left dangling against the upper thigh of my team mate. Thankfully a quick trip to the A&E, a gentle guiding hand, a few well placed sutures and the testicle was safely re-inserted and stitched back into place.

On the other occasion, the poor severed testicle had suffered significant damage and could not be saved. Although the player was in the opposition, there is no comfort there. The poor guy had his testicle removed.

You can rest assured that on both of these occasions there was no giggling, smirks or jokes. Gathered players simply standing in silence, hands on hips with heads down. All of us thinking, thank God it wasn’t me. 

Its no laughing matter when your knackers are knackered! Pain is fair game, testicles sacrosanct.

They say New Zealand men are tough, the All Blacks especially so. Many years an All Black Captain suffered a cruel blow between his legs. physically knackered, his knackers knackered, he still managed to find a way to play on. His name was Buck Shelford.

Bring back Buck!

buck shelford

Here is his story:

Buck (Wayne) was a victim of the infamous “Battle of Nantes”, which was one of the most aggressive games of rugby ever played and witnessed. During the game a French boot found its way into Shelford’s groin, somehow ripping his scrotum and leaving him with one testicle hanging free.

Shelford was caught at the bottom of a ruck 20 minutes into the game, losing four teeth, and sustained a large tear to his scrotum courtesy of a stray French boot.

Incredibly, Shelford had his injury stitched on the sideline and played on until deep into the second half, when a knock to the head left him concussed and unable to continue.

The Daily Telegraph.

The aggression of the French rugby team was unprecedented, and many of the All Blacks suspected foul play. It would later transpire that many of the French players were pepped up on amphetamines, a reasonable explanation for their violent physicality.

“When I came out of the tunnel and I saw them, I looked into the eyes of many of the players as I walked past them, and their eyes did not say that they were going into a game against the All Blacks,”

“Their eyes just looked like they were on something, and I could not prove it.”

Wayne Shelford.

The French team doctor at the time, Jacques Mombet, much later explained that the Nantes Test was the most obvious example of French players using amphetamines.

He said New Zealand realised their opponents were “loaded” and made a complaint to the International Rugby Board, which eventually led to a clampdown and ultimately drug testing.


Now, I have played in some testy games before, but I recall this Test Match vividly and I am so pleased I was not within 1,000 miles of the sideline, such was the aggression and violence.

I have genuine respect for French Rugby, my pecking order has always been All Blacks first, then France and then any other team playing England or Australia. But on November the 15th 1986, the spirit of French rugby suffered a blow as painful as any  blow to the groin, and it was no laughing  matter.

Kia Ora