Beating Mudgie To Rugby Pubs

This pub posting blog is more competitive than you think.  Readers probably think we all swap notes and tip each other off but I know that Martin guards his notes fiercely and Rich refuses to share information with anyone south of Leeds.

So the opportunity to lay down a marker and actually get to a bar before Stafford Paul is a big positive and means I might be moving up the league table although I suspect all the boys will have visited this corker of a place before.

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You left me last time braving the storms in Clifton Campville after sub-zero cricket but cricket in sunshine is far more enjoyable.

In fact, this blog may run under the guise of Life After Football but everyone knows its really a blog about cricket, darts and bowls.

In fact, such is my bowls credibility due to finding plenty attached to boozers  in the East Midlands corridor, my most recent follower on Twitter is Llanrwst Bowling Club.

Welcome on board and hopefully you’ll get an away fixture against The Barley Mow in Stapenhill as there is some terrific beer on the table…

In fact fellow Twitterati guru Mudgie posted that he was heading out to Rugby later this week with plenty of the usual suspects such as international globetrotter Rich Martin, Pete and Paul Mudge for a day of heavy drinking look at some classic pubs.

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It’s almost as if I knew this was happening as I was in the home of William Webb Ellis (apparently he was the first football cheat you know, see these Rugby players started all the on field antics) on Monday and did a recce for them.

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Well, not quite as my pal and I had been on a ‘cricket day’ and we fancied a quick one to whet our whistle after five hours of pretending I was 21 again.

My pal assured me that the Rugby Tap would be open as it is a tap house and possibly in the GBG so, as Martin, Duncan and BRAPA will testify, it was bound to be shut at 3.30on a Monday.

Shut it was but the other member of our party, a top bloke who had played cricket in many parts of the Midlands suggested we visit an old haunt of his 390 – The Merchants Inn CV21 3AW

It’s right next to the school and is an absolute classic boozer that has set itself up as the Home of Rugby and is an absolute gem of a place.

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However, it wasn’t full of just rugby fans as there were some boys with Leicester baseball caps at the bar, old boys with big panama/fedora style hats and people from all walks of life.

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There was fantastic memorabilia everywhere and a really helpful, friendly barman who poured a terrific pint of Scarlet Macaw (Oakham) which would have pleased renowned Oakham advocate Citra.

The conversation was flowing as we discussed old football and cricket stories with the coach who had played cricket at a good level himself…(and was happy to visit the bar)

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…current TV punditry, old school fitness tests and Brew XI.

Not only that but a bloke in the loos was really chatty and eulogising about just how good Rugby was and in particular its location as he could be in Scotland “in less than four hours.”

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The barman made a point of shouting out “see you later lads” as we were leaving and this place had a real feelgood factor to it.

Bearing in mind it was around 4pm on a Monday; it had a good smattering of people around and is obviously an absolute classic.

I can heartily recommend Mudgie and the boys pay it a visit on Friday as it is within walking distance of the station and ticks all the boxes.


25 thoughts on “Beating Mudgie To Rugby Pubs

  1. The Merchants is actually our scheduled lunch stop 😋

    I’ve never in fact been to any Rugby pubs before, except for a Brewer’s Fayre just off the M6, but I’d bet Paul has been to most of these given how easily Rugby can be reached on the train from Stafford.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I reckon Paul has been to more in the Midlands than anyone? I feel like I know him well! Are there any Brewers Fayre pubs that are remotely pubby? A wise choice for food although I suspect the beer will catch your eye more…


  2. On balance, I think the Seven Stars just pips the Merchant for pubbiness, but this is certainly better for beer. It’s always been a bit of a Leicester Tigers pub, but whether that’s changed now Wasps are a Midlands team playing out of the Ricoh…

    I’d put the Rugby Tap about 6th in Rugby so you probably made the right choice, though it’s changed hands recently so may be more interesting than a room with barrels of beer now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a lot of rugby flyers etc posted everywhere but the clientele was a good mix with Leicester City baseball caps on show too. First pub I’ve been to in Rugby so sounds like the choice was a wise one…the beer was outstanding.


  3. A rare example of BeerMat picking a popular pub here ! Shame he didn’t review the food for us ;-0

    I bet there’s a fair few boozers you’d enjoy here, BeerMat. Not all of them on our itinerary !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Wheeltapper, which someone mentioned on Twitter, sounds like a good BeerMat pub 😀

      “There is a pool table and the locals are often playing dominoes and cards in the L shaped bar area.”

      Liked by 1 person

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