Playing rugby with George

Now an associate , George launched a brand-new sports and culture group at Norton Rose Fulbright when he was still a trainee. Here’s his story.

“I actually started playing sports with the firm while I was studying the law conversion course. The hockey team were down a few players, so they got in touch with the future trainees to see if we’d like to give it a go. That was the first time I got a sense of how active the firm’s groups were. 

Since I’ve been here, I’ve played some hockey occasionally, some rugby, and some casual football tournaments. I even played in the London Beach Rugby tournament outside our office a couple of years ago. That was a competition for corporate teams in what was basically a giant sandpit in Potters Fields, directly behind our office.

Starting the ball rolling

But the biggest thing for me has been touch rugby. Lots of us thought it would be good to have a team, so myself and a couple of other trainees and associates got together to kick things off. Now I play regularly and I also co-captain the squad. 

Touch rugby is a little different from the sport you might be familiar with. For a start, you don’t rugby-tackle people. You just touch the other person, call out ‘touch’, and that counts as a tackle. It requires a lot of honesty – although there’s obviously a referee too. It’s also more fluid than regular rugby in the sense that there aren’t team positions in the same way. 

Mixing it up

We’re a mixed team and a very inclusive one: we always have teammates of different genders in every match. The firm actively encourages that in the way they fund sports groups, so that they can make sure there are opportunities for everyone.

We’re also mixed when it comes to the colleagues who get involved. Our regular players include partners, associates, trainees and business development staff. The firm is big enough that I think it’s fair to say I never would have met a lot of them if I hadn’t been doing this.

Networking on the pitch

Building those links influences your training contract too, as I found out directly. When I moved into real estate for my second seat, it turned out that I’d already played football with one of the associates there – and they’d signed me up in advance for a match against a client. We got thrashed, by the way, but it was an interesting way to network. 

What’s nice though is that our activities aren’t just about sport. If you asked some of my cohort, they wouldn’t go anywhere near football or rugby, but they’d be able to tell you all about the music groups we have here. You’ll find people who share your hobbies, you’ll try new things, and you might even start a new group together the way we did. It’s all totally up to you.”