Liam Steel is a fantastic rugby player and works for Triumph & Disaster selling out on the road, doing the hard yards, recently I asked him to pen a few words about what his mates thought of him selling moisturizer – below are those words – enjoy – Dion .
The hard-mans game and my bread and butter throughout my adolescence, my defining feature along with all its values and ideas. I am a rugby player, representing a sport that prioritises toughness, manliness, aggression and violence… Needless to say the mix of rugby hardiness and cosmetic beauty brand was an interesting one and although the ‘pretty boy’ expression had been chucked at me a few times, it was a mix sure to raise a toothless grin among the old rugby heads, followed soon after by a ‘back in my day…’ story.
But times have changed the traditional rugby bloke who is hard as nails and has a beauty regime consisting of a single bar of coal tar soap, if anything at all, is out dated. These days the rugby field is as much a fashion statement as strolling the high street once was. Whether it’s socks up or socks down, the flashiest boots or the freshest cut, appearance on the field matters just as much as off. The phrase ‘look good play good’ jumps to mind, suggested by a spiky haired teammate nicknamed sonic.
The term Metro-sexual was never right, a stepping-stone perhaps, that time has now surpassed. We have evolved from this idea that applied to a select few, now the majority are comfortable grooming to look good and feel good. While vanity may play its part so to the natural desire to prepare well and the different steps into making this come to fruition. If you talk to anyone who takes their sport half seriously, they will tell you they have a game day routine, whatever this consists of is all in the name of being best prepared to preform.
So when I am to put on my ‘gameface’ on (literally) before or after a game, I will never be asked, “what are you doing”, but more likely “what brand are you using?” Not an eyelid is batted but perhaps instead a request to borrow some. It is then passed around half a dozen of the guys who were just out on a field trying to smash up the opposition. Clearly times have changed. Good preparation (using Triumph & Disasters fine products) has become part of my preparation, part of my ritual and an essential part in looking the part to play the part ... So until I question whether the ball I just dropped was result of the moisturiser I use, it will continue to have its place.
I have never been the roughest bloke, but I do play a rough game, a game that now recognises it's possible to take care of yourself look good and still play hard, the way it was meant to be played - the Triumph & Disaster way.