MARK Bingham, a rugby fanatic and openly gay man, was on United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001 when terrorists hijacked the plane. Mark, along with other passengers, managed to crash tackle the terrorists in an effort to regain control of the plane. Despite their efforts, the flight went down in the fields of Pennsylvania. No one survived.

In Mark’s memory, the Bingham Cup, an international gay rugby world cup was founded.

[showads ad=MREC]Not only did the Sydney Convicts host the cup in 2014, they are defending champions. But since moving up a grade in their competition, the Convicts A team has been beaten fair and square in just about every match. Nobody likes to lose, least of all the Convicts.

The pressure is on. Charlie, the coach, is holding a heap of that pressure; he’s the man tasked with winning the Cup. Sure the Convict’s B and C teams are also competing, but it’s the A team that everyone has pinned their hopes.

From more than a hundred hopefuls, Charlie has to choose the winning combination of fifteen players. Fifteen starters means a lot of talented guys that have been training for the last two years, aren’t going to get a look in.

Self-assured Canadian, Brennan, has been a solid fixture of the Convicts since leaving his previous club after they found out he was gay. As a forward, Brennan loves playing the scrum, but his spot on the team isn’t secure since quiet, shy Aki arrived from Japan. Despite being comparatively small, Aki competes fiercely, particularly in scrum as a loose head prop. Nobody likes sitting on the bench, but then again; nobody ever played rugby for individual glory.

Meanwhile, Irish backpacker Pearse lied when they asked him if he’d played rugby before, truth is he’s never passed a ball let alone packed a scrum. But Pearse is big and in rugby, size does matter. He’s also determined to push himself, to be part of a team, particularly a team that doesn’t sneer at him for being gay.

Scrum is not sentimental, Scrum pulls no punches. Being a part of the Convicts means you’re more than a team, you’re brothers and it’s that sense of brotherhood that pushes the players to do whatever it is they have to do for their team, their club, for gay rugby.

Scrum airs on Tuesday, November 10 at 8.30pm on Showcase, on Foxtel. Click here to watch the trailer.

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