roninmedia wrote:On a local sports talk show, there was a former college football player on who went to study over in Oxford after college. He was a defensive end so he was big but he could still run and he talked about he got recruited to play rugby and he said rugby was tougher than football.
The radio host, fitting the stereotypical mold of hating "Euro Sports" rephrased the question as "What's tougher? Rugby or a goal-line stand in the SEC (The player played for the University of Florida)?" The guy answered the latter. Football isn't girly man but I wouldn't say it's tougher than rugby.
My senior year of High School (holy crap that was a long time ago...) I elected not to play Rugby because I wanted to avoid any possibility of injury before the football season. In the end I would have been better served to avoid playing football and stuck with rugby instead.
Rugby is a tough sport, but one of the things that having no pads does is makes the tackling LESS brutal in 95% of cases rather than more. Technique and wrapping up is so much more important in rugby as opposed to the brutal direct contact that is the center of tackling in football.
Now, in the rare direct collision tackles that I have seen and/or been involved in for both sports, for sure rugby takes the cake (I once saw a teammate faceplant a kid so hard he had grass stuck in his braces when he went to get up, and I have personally given a dude a grass-stain on the side of his head before) - but football is more brutal because those collisions occur with MUCH more frequency...
Stamina-wise, there is no argument that can be made to put football above rugby, rugby is much tougher in that regard.