It’s little known that William Shakespeare, as well as writing, also enjoyed a good game of rugby in his spare time.
So, the team is assembled for practice one Saturday afternoon. It’s the middle of winter, and even for England, it’s cold and it’s wet. The pitch is a muddy swamp, and the players decide that they simply can’t play in these conditions. So they go to the club-house for a bit, but they very quickly get bored. And then one of the players has a bright idea: Why don’t we all go over to William’s house?
William Shakespeare is doubtful, but they persuade him, and pretty soon, the whole squad is relaxing in his living room. Well, they’re rugby players, and true to the stereotype, they all quickly get drunk, and of course, they come up with the even better idea – of having their rugby practice in the house (“well, it’s a big house, after all”). William has also been drinking, so he’s easy to persuade this time, and after moving some furniture out of the way, they get down to the serious business of practicing their sport.
Meanwhile, not far away, the King has just had a great idea for a play, and dispatches a messenger to summon his favorite playwright.
Well, the messenger arrives at the house, and he can hear this enormous commotion from inside, with shouting and crashes, and he thinks that William Shakespeare must be getting attacked. He braces himself, and crashes through the front door… and lands directly in the path of two groups of large hairy rugby players.
The messenger is pinned to the floor for a while, and he can’t move. He does manage to free himself momentarily, before getting trapped again, up against a wall.
Finally, he escapes, and returns to the palace as quickly as his mangled body will allow. The king takes one look at him, and gasps. “What happened to you?” he asks.
“I think,” said the messenger, “that I got caught between a ruck and a bard’s place.”