Rugby Runner by Gerard Siggins

Full of matches, games and ghosts… the fifth book in the Rugby Spirit series by Gerard Siggins keeps readers on edge once again…

Chapter 1 
Eoin hauled himself out of bed and checked the bruises on his legs. He was still hurting from the tough week he had just had, helping the Leinster team to win a European tournament in London. It had been a great experience, though, meeting and playing rugby against boys from several countries, and getting a chance to test his developing skills – and play in another international stadium.

He wondered what his pals Dylan and Rory had been up to since they got back, too, but he would see them soon enough.

He peeled back the corner of the curtain and watched as the rain bounced off the pathway outside. Today would be a day to pack the bags for his return to school – something he wasn’t entirely thrilled about, but that was coming up fast.

‘Eoin!’ came the call from downstairs. ‘I’m dropping over to Grandad in ten minutes – if you get dressed quickly you can come too,’ said his dad.

Eoin always enjoyed visits to his grandad, whose house was on the other side of Ormondstown, the small town in Tipperary where he lived with his mum and dad. 

‘I’ll be right there,’ he called. 

Dressing quickly, he popped into the kitchen where his mother was putting the finishing touches to a huge breakfast. 

‘Oh… thanks Mam,’ winced Eoin. ‘That’s lovely, but I have to cut back on the breakfasts. You know… Leinster diet plan.’

‘Oh, sorry, I keep forgetting. Sure it’ll be time enough to start that when you’re back in school.’ 

Carefully selecting the smallest rasher, Eoin slapped it onto a slice of brown toast and folded it in half. 

‘Have to dash, Mam, sorry,’ he grinned as he followed his father out the door.

In the car, his dad asked him about the eating programme he was following.

‘Yeah, I have to cut down on certain fats and sugars,’ Eoin told him. ‘They want me to keep a diary of everything I eat and drink, and to measure how much exercise I do. It’s all very scientific now.’

‘I suppose that’s the end of your trips to the chipper with Dylan, then?’ Eoin laughed.

‘Definitely. I must drop in to see how he’s getting on after I visit Dixie.’

Dixie was Eoin’s grandfather, a famous rugby player in his day who took great interest in the youngster’s sporting activities.

‘I see there’s a piece in the Ormondstown Oracle about you,’ Dixie smiled as they walked up the garden path towards him. ‘They say you attempted the biggest goal ever at Twickenham by a youth player.’

Eoin grinned at the recent memory. ‘Ah, well I got a lot of help from the wind. And sure I missed anyway!’  His giant kick in the closing stages of the final in London hit the crossbar, but another Leinster player had followed up and scored the winning try.

‘They seem a bit sniffy that you weren’t playing for Munster. I have a good mind to write them a letter explaining just why!’ said Dixie.

Eoin was at school in Dublin, and it was there his skill was first noticed by the Leinster selectors. It had been hard at first to wear the blue shirt – especially against the red ones – but Eoin had got used to it and enjoyed helping win the trophy for his new province just as much as he would have with Munster.

‘Ah, sure don’t worry about writing that letter, Dixie,’ laughed Eoin.

Which stadium did Eoin play at?

Where do you think Eoin and his family live?

Did Eoin score the winning try?

Would you cut out chippy teas and bacon sarnies if it meant you could play professional rugby/football?

Where do you think the bruises on his legs had come from?

Why is granddad spelled with both a capital G and then without a capital G?

For more, check on the rest of chapter 1 and chapter 2 here.