Blogging from the fringes of the game.
As the name suggests, this site is about rugby union. As most would know, the average rugby union team is distinctly divided into those who play as Forwards and those who play as Backs (or three-quarters).
Based on who’s telling the story, the rugby union Forwards are the large, powerful individuals who do all the dirty work.
They are the ones who fight for primary possession of the ball through rucks and mauls in open play, or in scrums and line-outs in the set pieces.
To them, Backs are the pretty-boy handbag carriers who run around and get all the glory.
Backs, on the other hand, are the more normal-looking, non-glandular-problem human beings. They tend to be faster and sleeker, and claim (with much justification, it must be said) to have superior ball-handling and kicking skills.
The reality is that the old saying is probably true: Forwards determine who wins the match — the Backs decide by how much.
Looking ahead and into the rear-view mirror
The other sense of this title is that it aims to look at the game of rugby union and to constantly look forward: to the next match, the next big tour, the next major tournament and the Next Big Thing.
It will also look forward to how the game can grow even bigger both within countries that already play the game, and among those who are new to it and are developing. How to make the rugby world a bigger one then that reported by the BBC sport rugby union.
But it also intends to look back — at the best of the past, at how the rugby union game used to be, and how the game has changed.
It will reminisce about the best matches, the best tries, the best players, and even the best writing and the best books on the game.
A look from the fringes
The rugby union world is not as big as the people running the sport would like to think it is. But I believe the people who follow it are as fanatical and passionate about it as those who follow higher-profile sports such as football (soccer), tennis, basketball, and the like.
And many of them exist outside the lands traditionally associated with the game. While more than 100 countries play rugby union, only a handful are usually associated with it.
I originally came from a country that is not a powerhouse of the game, but that didn’t stop my enjoying playing or watching the game, of becoming someone others would call a rugby man.
I am also a journalist, someone who used to cover rugby as a sport on a daily basis, but who now observes it from further afar, so to speak.
So while Forward And Back will look at major rugby union news and events that happen, and have happened, it also aims to offer and share the perspective of fans and followers from the smaller nations; from those on the fringes of the game.
I hope you’ll come along on the journey. A good place to start is with this look at the Rugby World Cup’s greatest problem.