Games People Play Nigel Redman, 34, International Rugby Player

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The Independent Culture
IF I am in a night-club or at a party, I usually take up a position near the back and watch people playing people-games. It is quite amusing, sometimes, seeing how people approach other rugby players.

I am not just talking about women. You get a lot of rugby fans. The best are the ones who used to play a bit at school. They are usually around 40 and they haven't played since then; they just enjoy watching.

Most people are friendly about it, but if you are doing corporate entertainment where you are paid to be somewhere, then a few people can be a pain in the backside. And you have to be as courteous and nice as possible, which is a game in itself.

Or you can play little games with friends, particularly when you can see a colleague struggling in conversation.

It is quite interesting to make the agony worse for him, by coming up and asking awkward questions. And sometimes you will invite the so-called supporter to come and join you at your table, and then you leave.

We rugby players tend to be unkind to each other, and not just physically. Because we play a rough game, I suppose it is in our nature to make each other cringe socially as well. If you are playing at international standard, you have to have a ruthless streak - you cannot be nice all the time.

Life is full of games, whether it is people-watching or putting a friend under pressure at a social gathering with somebody they do not like. I am not sure if it is just men, but we seem to get a lot of pleasure and enjoyment from watching other people suffer.

Nigel Redman plays second row forward for Bath Rugby Club, the European champions. Fixtures and tickets: 01225 325200

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