Player Profile – Gordon Ross (NE)

Prop. We are at the coalface of the rugby team. We do all the hard work and then the backs score all the points and get the glory. Meanwhile, we are rising up from the mud like a creature from the deep.

Glasgow, Scotland. I like to think I take on the same qualities that the city is well-known for: I’ve got a good sense of humour, and I’m a hard worker. I also smell OK as long as the wind is pointing in the right direction.

How did you get into rugby:
I started playing when I was four back in Scotland. I was raised by a pack of silverback gorillas in the Scottish Highlands. We used rugby as a mating ritual.

Favorite rugby player in the world:
Tom Smith (recently retired Scottish professional player). He personified everything that is great about rugby. He was incredibly shy and was only about 5 feet tall. But he used to walk onto the pitch and demolish the opposition. He was respected the world over.

Favorite player at HBS:
Double B. Same reason as for Tom Smith. Underestimate him at your peril, both on and off the pitch. I still have the face-chugging scars to prove it.

Biggest misconception about rugby:
You need to be the size of a big NFL linebacker to play. The amazing thing about rugby is that there is a position for every body shape. If you are a speedster, then you can go out on the wing. If you are small and short, then you’d make a great scrum-half. If you are tall and lanky, then you’re perfect for the second row. It is the only sport I can think of that combines all these different types of individuals together, and it is for this reason that I think it is the most complete team sport in the world.