How to avoid the Rugby World Cup

8:01 pm on 18 September 2015

Think tackle is for fishermen, and conversion is something you forget to do at the airport? Fear not - we've got five coping strategies to get you through the six weeks until the Rugby World Cup is over.

Purge your newsfeed

With another month and a half to go, your first step has to be expunging rugby from your online life.

Handy Google Chrome extension 'Your Words' replaces words you don't like (like ''rugby'') with ones you do. We've experimented with ''men playing with balls'' but the options are limitless.

Men Playing With Balls World Cup screengrab

Photo: Screenshot

'That stupid game' makes a good starting place, though feel free to be creative: players, if you know their name, make fertile ground for humour (''Richie McCaw'' could be ''John Key's mate''; ''Dan Carter'' becomes ''South Island underwear model'') while ''tickle attack'' works for ''scrum''.

And ''final'' could be ''end to this nonsense''.

A challenging six weeks

With summer round the corner, six weeks is just long enough to get into tip top shape, whether you're planning on donning a bikini or a pair of budgie-smugglers.

Let the starting whistle be your cue to throw on your trainers and head to the gym - so once the final comes to an end, you'll be doubly smug: rid of rugby, and running marathons (maybe).

New Zealand's Nigel Richards competes in a category of the Francophone Scrabble World Championships in Louvain-La-Neuve July 21, 2015. Richards won on July 20, doesn't speak French. Richards already a celebrity in English Scrabble, winning world championships 2007 & 2011. AFP PHOTO

New Zealander Nigel Richards at the Francophone Scrabble World Championships Photo: AFP

Already have buns of steel and rock-hard abs?

Take the time to challenge your mind: pick up the basics of Spanish or Italian, become extremely proficient at online Scrabble, or take a leaf out of Kiwi Nigel Richards' book, who learned French and won the French Scrabble champs, and do both.

(It took him nine weeks, but you've got some rugby-inspired rage to spur you on. Allez!)

Land of Nod unrepresented in the RWC


An extra 80 minutes per game spent under the duvet? Photo: 123rf

Canada, Romania and Japan are all contenders in the Rugby World Cup - but there's no team from the Land of Nod. While others shake their head over the unsociable hours, you'll be deep under the duvet and won't need to pretend to enjoy a 7am beer for the Namibia v. All Blacks match.

New Zealand's first four games all start between 3.45am and 8am - you'll probably still be asleep for at least half of them, and if you share a home with rugby fans, you can guarantee that there won't be a squabble for the shower.

We'd put money on some of your colleagues mysteriously making excuses and coming in late on match day mornings.

Take a leaf out of their book and set your alarm an hour later. You get some zeds, they get some rugby time, and, assuming the All Blacks win, your boss may view your lateness leniently.

(And if they don't, you'll be well-rested enough to take their ire into your stride. Sorry about that.)

Board a plane

Many New Zealanders let their leave accumulate over the years, citing ''too much work'' or and excuses like ''my team can't cope without me'' for why they have 88 days of unused leave.

Now's your chance: book your flight, pack your bags, and take all 88 in one fell swoop!

But pick your destination carefully: you want somewhere where you aren't going to encounter too many rugby fans. Nearby Pacific Islands Tonga, Fiji and Samoa are out, while New Caledonia will be cheering on France.

Have you thought about the United Arab Emirates? Their rugby team doesn't even feature on the world ranking charts - and the weather's swelteringly hot all year round.

Another surprise came when the team found a high diversity of viruses in Antarctica's permanently ice-covered lakes.

Not a big screen, Speights or Jockeys ad to be seen. Photo: Rob McPhail

If hot weather isn't your scene, jump on a boat instead, and head south, and south, and south again, until you get to Antarctica.

There are no televisions to speak of, the penguins don't care, and good luck trying to find a sports bar among the ice floes.

This will work best if you make sure your fellow sailors are fellow rugby haters, or you may find yourself shivering on deck while your cabin mate has an ear glued to Radio New Zealand's sports coverage.

Take a deep breath and... do the hakarena?

The English rugby team have released their own take on the All Blacks' haka, which they call New Zealand's ''secret weapon''.

The 'hakarena', released at the start of this week, shows the England team wiggling their hips and jumping on cue in a terrifying haka-macarena hybrid.

The All Blacks refuse to be baited, but there are plenty of members of the public who feel genuinely irritated by the video.

Get your own back on their rugby chat by busting out a few moves of your own. It's bloody hard work to wiggle your hips without cracking a smile. See, you're feeling better already.

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