How to watch the Rugby World Cup... without losing your job!

Rugby World Cup
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

All the action will be taking place in the morning, so you'll need a cunning plan if you want to follow it in the office...

With the Rugby World Cup kicking off in Japan on Friday, millions of viewers are looking forward to a feast of sport over the coming weeks. Yet fans with conventional jobs risk missing many of those early kick-offs.  If you want to watch all the action without using up an eye-watering amount of annual leave, we have some ideas that will allow you to soak up every try, conversion and off-the-ball punch-up, without landing yourself in a disciplinary…

1. Make sure you're sitting in the corner of the office...

If you want to watch the Monday morning Pool D fixture without attracting the attention of your firm's resident snoop, it obviously pays to be sitting at a screen which isn't visible to the receptionist, the whole of the sales department and that guy who can never work the printer. Get your back to the wall and hog any alcove like you work in IT. From your vantage point you'll be able to spot anyone as they approach your desk and reach for that "minimise" button before you're rumbled.

2. Arrange a series of external meetings that coincide with the fixture list of the home nation sides....

This is a more risky strategy, but if you can make it pay dividends then you're laughing all the way to the pub. Probably best to find some collaborators who work at other companies to make your scam stick.

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3. Persuade your boss that watching Rugby World Cup matches will be "good for office moral"...

This technique should only be attempted by someone who could talk their way out of an All Black maul. Having a boss with a penchant for egg-chasing might also help. What's more, if you pull it off your colleagues will view you as a hero – even the ones who can't tell the difference between league and union. However if you fail, then your cover is well and truly blown. An all or nothing approach.

4. Quit your job!

Extreme circumstances sometimes call for extreme measures. Your partner and any dependants probably won't appreciate your "commitment" as a fan, but you've been thinking about a career change for a while now anyway.

5. Feign illness for seven weeks...

Let's be honest, we all know of people who've done this. Indeed if some sections of the right wing press are to be believed, half the country are skiving off at any one time, so maybe it's time you got in on the act. First you'll need to lay the some good foundations by pretending to be under the weather for a day or so and then choose your illness wisely. If you drop glandular fever into a conversation then the HR department are likely to sign you off until Christmas. Then all you need to do is get your GP onside. Cross your fingers they’re a rugby fan.

6. Get a job in which watching the World Cup is a mandatory requirement!

Cracking your way into sports journalism is a notoriously tricky business and you have less than 24 hours to do it. In the words of Ian McGeechan, this is your f*****g Everest.

7. Record all the matches and watch them later...

This option should only be used as a last resort as it has more weaknesses than the Russian scrum. Not only will you have to spend the whole day avoiding the results, but you’ll then have to scamper home and watch five hours of non-stop rugby without being tempted to check the scores. Furthermore, unless you're a friendless hermit this schedule could cause considerable upheaval to your domestic and social life. What's that? It'll be fine? Fair enough.

The Rugby World Cup begins on ITV on Friday 20th September

Main pic: AFP/Getty Images

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.