Rugby has a well-deserved reputation as a physically demanding sport. There’s running, hitting, pads-free tackling, and, to the untrained observer, an inscrutable combination of passing and kicking. The best players are not only peak athletes—they have a highly developed skill set. So what happens when a bodybuilder tries to learn the game?
In his latest video, Jon Call, better known as Jujimufu, set out to answer the question. He went down under with the Melbourne Rebels, donning their distinctive navy blue uniforms and submitting himself to a series of rugby challenges.
Things begin pretty simply, with Juji learning to line-out and pass the ball. Even as someone known for his strength and flexibility—he’s famous for viral videos that capture him performing a split across two chairs while pressing a loaded barbell over his head—the rugby moves don’t quite come naturally. “I don’t think this is gonna go very well,” he says, even as he manages a semi-respectable showing.
He moves on to kicking, trying to punt the oblong rugby ball through the goal. (His cameraman loses $100 on a side bet on whether one of the Rebels can hit the crossbar.) Everyone’s laughing and having a good time, leading Juji to say he loves the sport.
But he hasn’t gotten to what gives rugby its reputation for toughness: the tackling. Juji realizes that on-camera, as it dawns on him that he’s just been doing the “light stuff.” Perhaps realizing what’s to come, he admits, “I don’t think I’ve been tackled in my life.”
Soon enough the Rebels have him hitting the tackling sleds, pushing almost 300 pounds across the field. He drives the sled a fair distance, pulling up a chunk of sod in his cleats before declaring it a great leg workout.
It’s one thing to tackle a sled; actually getting tackled is another challenge entirely. The Rebels look almost gleeful as they set Juji up with a tackling pad, then knock him into a high-jump mat. Juji then drops his pad and takes a tackle with no protection. “Is that what a normal tackle feels like?” he says, incredulously.
“You guys get tackled like that all the time?” The Rebels assure him they do, then tell him it doesn’t hurt as much if he runs faster—basically tricking him into taking a near full-speed shot, and, as the video title promises, getting smashed.
Watch the full video below:
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